From the same team that brought us the ground-breaking Tresind, Carnival By Tresind is making waves across Dubai as the premier destination for Indian fine dining with a postmodernist twist. I recently got to sample their Season 2 Menu (their Non-Veg edition came in at AED 350++) and see what the hype was all about.
Ambiance: The decor is definitely 5-star with the restaurant going big on color – from gold-tinged faux trees, colorful umbrellas to the LED-illuminated bar, the carnival theme is ever-present throughout the restaurant. One thing I didn’t like, though, were the Bollywood item songs playing in the background – they clashed with the eatery’s classy atmosphere.
What we had: We sampled their entire Season 2 Chef’s Tasting Menu : the starters included Bombay Chutney Sandwich, Pink Pani Puri, Dahi Vada, Dragon Chicken, Vengar and Into The Wild. The exhausted list of mains included Jhinga La-La, Chicken Curry, Kofta Curry and Pind Di Thali and dessert was topped of with the Fruit Ice Cream Bowl, Milk and Cookie Bar and Gajak.
Starters: Our tasting started on a high note with two classic favorites presented immaculately – the Bombay Chutney Sandwich and Pink Pani Puri (chickpea crackers with spicy sauce)- and it was clear that the chefs had stuck to the classic Indian take with a modern twist, I loved the spicy pomegrante chaat that the Pani Puri came with!
Next up was the Dahi Vada – and that’s where the theatrical presentation started – the spicy Indian street snack made with gram flour balls and yogurt was given a delicious twist with frozen yogurt chunks at the bottom.
From the savoury Dragon Chicken (spicy chicken wrapped in noodles) , Vengar (a beautifully-presented mix of Parsi kebab and boiled egg) and Into the Wild (Wagyu beef strips and prawns grilled on a salt slab with chili paste), my favourite definitely has to be the Himalayan-inspired Into The Wild for its flavorful taste and the perfect texture of the beef and prawns. The Dragon Chicken was my least favourite out of the starters as the spicy sauce did nothing to help bring out the flavour of the chicken.
Mains: My absolute favourite from all the mains was the Pind Di Thali – coming in a set of metal containers, the Punjabi dish had the perfect mix of Sarsoun Ka Saag (mustard leaves stew), Makki Roti (cornflour bread) and Lassi – it got the home-made taste and feel right on-point. The Chicken Curry and Kofta Curry were rich in gravy and taste- just how I like my curries! The Goan-inspired Jhinga-La La (Prawn Curry) was my least favourite main owing to it’s extremely spicy taste (despite our requests for a mild palette).
Dessert: Dessert was much-needed after our palette was spiced up – The Fruit Ice Cream Bowl (Tutti fruity ice cream topped with berries and fruit syrup served in a frozen watermelon) was a creatively delicious twist on an ice cream flavor popular across the Indian Sub-contintent.
The Gajak (caramel crackers) were delightfully crunchy and well-presented too but the star dessert has to be the Milk and Cookie Bar: sweet dried milk bar – called khoya – topped off with a cookie crust, raspberries, cinnamon ice cream and a drizzle of caramel. It has to be the best Indian dessert I could have ever tried in the UAE – being the right mix of crunchy, tangy and sweet.
Highs: A decadent 5-star choice of food that brings old Indian favorites back to life
Lows: The location is a bit tedious to find
Verdict: A must-visit for any fan of Indian fine dining that is worthy of all the hype and buzz. Stick to their 89 AED Business Lunch though as that’s the most value-for-money option.