Eat Sleep Rave Repeat
Food trends come and food trends go. Nouvelle Cuisine in the 80s, foraging and street food in the noughties and of course Molecular Gastronomy in the 90s. The use of chemicals and scientifi c techniques have become standard in the fi ne dining kitchens of the world from the sorely missed El Bulli in Catalonia, The French Laundry in California to the Fat Duck in Bray in the UK. I’ve had many a foam, liquid spherifi cation, powder and fl uid gel in my time but never when it comes to Indian food, so I was very interested to be asked to head to The Radisson Royal to eat at Tresind. Opened only four months ago, the fi rst thing that hits you is the space: it’s a lovely intimate setting, with well thought out tables and a separate bar area with nice subtle lighting. We sat in the window with a great view of SZR below and took in a drink whilst we reviewed the menu. There is a lot to take in, so we plumped for the chef’s taster which comes in a veg and non veg option to get a real sense of what they are trying to achieve. First up was a deconstructed Pani Puri, presented on a spoon and downed with a single mouthful of mint, puffed rice and tamarind gel. The chef then turned up with a trolley, a jug and a tray, very intriguing but it all became clear when he placed a handful of Dhoklas ( South Indian sponge) into a Nitrogen bath while creating a Jackson Pollock inspired scene
all over the tray. With a splash of yogurt, a handful of fried pastry sheets, a pinch of Japanese Togarashi seasoning ( which I am a bit partial to on anything) and some masala in the mix, he then crushed the now ice cold sponge into it to make a modern take on the Papri Chaat that is common place on the side streets of India. It was lovely, spicy, soft, crunchy and refreshing. We then moved to a course inspired by the Eastern love of tea, this time a pungent wild mushroom soup poured from a pot into a cup with dried mushrooms and truffl e powder. Thick and peppery, it coated the inside of my mouth whilst we wait for the next delight. It duly arrived, with a beautifully presented tuna tartar in a dry ice smoking bowl, delicate to the touch and balanced with a slight cumin kick. Three smaller plates followed: a succulent lamb chop with mango chutney two ways: one a light puree and the other a fl avor bomb of a jelly, each complementing the delicate lamb in different ways. This came alongside a light coconut and curry leaf king prawn, again perfectly cooked and full of fl avour plus a tip to the Middle East with a chicken Shwarma Kulcha that was creamy and hearty. We were then left with a Khandvi fl avored sorbet; this is normally an Indian savory snack but was used very cleverly and was a beautiful palate cleanser for the main course. By this point we had eaten quite a lot so I wasn’t really expecting a full sized main as part of the tasting menu, but I was very happy when it arrived as I’ve never eaten anything quite like it before. A succulent duck meatball sat in the middle of the plate surrounded by a rich
meaty dark brown gravy: I cut in and a runny egg yoke spilled out and enveloped everything. And with a buttery black lentil dhal and two veggie kulchas ( and the bread basket to help mop up the eggy overspill), it was a joy to eat. I was intrigued by the concept and part of me thought that these type of techniques had had their day but I hold my hands up - I was wrong. Used sparingly with a little showmanship, there is still life in the old dog yet and if you want to go and eat some amazing modern Indian fi ne dining fare then Tresind totally delivers at a very reasonable price. Tresind, Radisson Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 7pm
to 11.30pm. Tel: 04 308 0440. Metro: World Trade Centre.