TAMBA Does the food at this new high-end Indian fusion outlet deliver?
n a little over a year, Abu Dhabi’s WTC Mall has becoming one of the places to visit for a meal, mainly thanks to The Hub, its recently opened cluster of high-end restaurants. And one that’s creating a lot of noise is Indian-fusion outlet Tamba.
In English, tamba means copper and the metal is on display pretty much everywhere in this classy venue. The décor is dark and moody and huge, heavy copper bells hang from the walls, and there’s an open-plan kitchen at the back. This isn’t the place to go for a traditional Indian restaurant experience. The music is modern, urban and clubby, and the menu is tapas in style. The portions are a bit more bite-sized. If you like places like Zuma and Hakkasan, you’ll love it here.
First off, some merit badges needs to be given to Tamba’s staff. They are slick, friendly and know their menu and are a credit to such a young restaurant. So what
Iabout the food? Every dish is beautifully presented, but some work better than others. The king crab puris were of a high quality, thanks to a juicy mouthful of meat and a feisty chilli powder. The sweet and sour pumpkin parathas might be too sweet for some, but were What’s On approved – you could roll them like tacos and some pistachio sprinkles added a pleasant crunch. If you like a risotto, try the flavourful mushroom khichdi but skip the lamb gyosa. On this occasion the fusion didn’t work – they were greasy and lacked the wow factor of the other dishes. The paneer tikka was way too sweet and a non-event, also in part due to the dense texture of the cheese. You’d be mad though not to try the Manglorean chicken, served with coconut dosas – great finger food and a menu highlight.
While the savoury dishes were decent it’s the desserts that really excelled. The curiously named The Break-Up was a decadent and rich dark chocolate mousse ball with peanut semifreddo, salted caramel and chocolate sauce, but the showstopper was the Lady Chatterjee, an exhilarating and fresh cheesecake with passion fruit curd and white chocolate. It’s possibly the best pud we’ve had all year.
We’d like the portion sizes to be a little bigger and a couple of the main dishes didn’t quite work for us, but these are minor gripes. Overall, Tamba as a concept is brilliant and it’s a venue we’d take visitors to any day of the week.
World Trade Center Mall, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Wed noon until 1am, Thur to Sat noon until 2am. Tel: (02) 3048219. Taxi: World Trade Center Mall