Masala!

A journey of spices with Tresind Studio

- By Inga Stevens

For fans of the immersive dining experience and of Tresind Studio’s Chef Himanshu Saini’s exemplary tastemakin­g skills, the new Spice Odyssey tasting menu is an ode to his expertise and accolade as Chef of the Year as it transports diners into a magical world that can only be uncovered when the perfect balance of spice and heat is achieved. The studio’s new monochrome décor with the noir tones of the butterfly centrepiec­es casting a beautiful black and grey shadow over the crisp white tablecloth­s forms a playful yet sophistica­ted backdrop to the fourteen colourful courses of the finest modern Indian cuisine and the silent dance performed by the butlers as they expertly traverse the studio floor attending to the twenty-capacity dinner service.

From the first mouthful, we buckle in for a grand voyage of history and flavour through India’s spice evolution. The Jal-jeera puri with sweet potato, preserved lemon, and tangerine wakes up the senses with a sophistica­ted nod to Chef Himanshu’s love of cumin. Bursting with sweetness and sumptuous texture, this is followed by the bite-sized yoghurt cremeux with raw mango chutney, served on a delicate shiso khakra and cloaked in flavourful garden herbs. The chaat mille-feuille with courgette blossom and pumpkin mash is a formidable third course as it returns to the menu showcasing Chef Himanshu’s impressive French culinary techniques.

As the first non-vegetarian course, the lamb and turnip tartlet elevates the menu as you bite into the crispy paratha casing and enjoy the delectable filling paired with nasturtium leaf and marigold. A stand out menu item, the pickled chili offers a surprising twist as it is washed down with buttermilk curry ice cream that provides a cooling reprieve from the heat of the chilli.

The menu’s first seafood course showcases the pleasant heat of cinnamon with the ghee roast crab, cooked inside cinnamon bark, while the next course warms the soul with a chicken fat dumpling and crisp coriander tomato broth. Another new showstoppe­r on the Spice Odyssey menu is the Kebab Scarpetta served gently bubbling over an individual flame and mopped up with a lightly toasted sourdough bun paying homage to ‘the best bits of the kebab’.

Both the prawn and potato salad with chili jaggery chutney and tomato rasam and the succulent duck leg confit with fermented chili and peanut butter curry brought the savoury courses to a rousing finale, just in time to be transporte­d back to sweet childhood memories of India.

The adventurou­s and creative menu culminated in the final two sweet courses; crunchy filter coffee cornetto with melt-in-your-mouth chocolate ganache and miso caramel ice cream followed by a moonlight experience where the studio lights were theatrical­ly dimmed to serve up the perfect romantic dish of coca hive made of white chocolate and queen been sidra honey, aptly named the ‘honeymoon’, which was washed down with kan-junga tea.

The deep flavours of the dishes paired with the whimsical flair of Chef Himashu’s imaginatio­n ensure that the Tresind Studio’s Spicey Odyssey menu is a triumph.

Trseind Studio, voco Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai. tresindstu­dio.com

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