Our visit to one of Dubai’s gastronomic hotspots for Indian cuisine was nothing short of excellence. We were completely bowled over by Trèsind’s modern take on Indian classics making their theatrical appearances at our table as we indulged.
The name Trèsind is a play on the French ‘trés’ meaning ‘very’, so was it ‘very Indian’? It’s housed in the upmarket One&Only Royal Mirage hotel and is visually stunning as you walk into the dining area, albeit a little dark.
The menu is full of familiar traditional Indian dishes, raised to a fine-dining level. Some are quite heavily tweaked, like pani puri containing a speck of pickled pear instead of the normal chickpea and boiled potato and crusted with a hint of feta cheese. Others that stick to the tried and trusted ingredients are executed beautifully, like the pressure-cooked mutton curry, served at the table straight from a traditional whistle cooker, after the steam is released at the table. They like a bit of theatre at Trèsind.
Speaking of theatre, I’ve never had such a dramatic cocktail as their ‘petal drop’. A jug of pink liquid was poured into a large martini glass before a huge smoke-filled bubble was delicately deposited on the glass, only to be burst by a pair of rose petals, releasing a subtle aroma over the table. Such an entrance leads to high expectations, luckily the taste lived up to the hype.
Between the regular courses, there were a few lovely little surprises like the lemon and blueberry sorbet that served as a palate cleanser following our starters. Then there was the paan-flavoured candy floss served as post-dessert. Aarya loved the little clouds of spun sugar and they really did taste of ‘paan’ (Indian betel leaf), bringing one of the quintessential smells of everyday India into this fine-dining setting. Now that was very Indian.
Here’s what we had:
- Cedar wood smoked tandoori chicken, burnt pineapple carpaccio: It was smokey and delicious. The cedar wood smoke was created and piped/injected into the pot of tandoori chicken right in front of us.
- Chicken tikka malai: My daughter had chicken tikka malai and was more than happy with it being less spicy and a little cheesy.
- Barramundi fish, kothimbir vadi, peanut salan: I was pleasantly surprised by the way the fish complemented the humble kothimbir vadi of Maharashtra although I felt that the crisp texture of the vadi was a bit compromised by the runny peanut salan.
- Blueberry and lemon sorbet were served in dried Indian lemon shells.
- Rajasthani papad ki subzi, missi roti: I absolutely loved it though it failed to woo my husband. The papad goes wonderfully well with the yoghurt based spicy gravy.
- Slow cooked pressure cooker mutton curry: This was truly the highlight of the main course for me. Perfectly tender goat’s meat is the result of slow cooking in a pressure cooker. The dish brings the old school pressure cooking ideology to the modern kitchen. I have always been a pressure cooker advocate right from the start and can’t make a family meal without it. So I really appreciated the drama of bringing the pressure cooker out to give the diner a first-hand experience of whistling under pressure 🙂
- Chicken biryani: This was primarily ordered to cater for my daughter’s preference for less spicy food at restaurants but we all enjoyed it equally.
- The mutton curry was had with steamed rice while the Rajasthani papad ki subzi was supplemented by an assortment of breads that included missi roti and mini naans.
- Gajar halwa ice cream, smashed burrata, basil oil: It was exquisite and tasted very much like the traditional ‘gajar ka halwa’ albeit a little on the savoury rather than sweet side but we didn’t mind that at all. The burrata perfectly complemented the ice cream too.
- Daulat ki chaat, soan papdi crumble, 24-carat gold dust: My first experience of trying daulat ki chaat – an iconic winter-time dessert from the streets of Purani Dilli (Old Delhi in India) and a must try at Chandni Chowk; eating this in Dubai was unexpectedly enticing for me. For the crunch, it was complemented by soan papdi (or papri ) and paired beautifully with this ‘pud of wealth’.
Paan-flavoured candy floss: Packed with flavours of Indian betel leaf called ‘Paan’ this really did take us back to the streets of India. Best of all, my daughter absolutely loved the flavour and magically light texture of the candy floss.
So in conclusion I would say the food was excellent, though not so amazing as to justify the prices. We would have needed a mortgage to buy a bottle of wine here. Maybe it’s the going rate for a swanky Dubai venue but it was way more costly than comparable London Michelin guide restaurants.