Review: Culinary mastery at Tresind Studio
Modern Indian dining as you’ve never experienced before…
We must admit that you almost didn’t have the pleasure of reading this review. We were reluctant to revisit Tresind, the modern Indian dining restaurant on Sheikh Zayed, not because we didn’t enjoy our experience there five years ago, because we did. It’s just that we typically try to focus our attention on reviewing new restaurants, otherwise we’d be the size of houses. But, having been persuaded by a trusted friend to give it a go again, we walked out the door having learned a valuable lesson: Never underestimate the talents of chef Himanshu Saini again.
Tresind Studio is the chef’s table experience serving only 20 guests per service. It’s hidden behind a door in the larger Tresind restaurant, and manages to be refined with its legion of well-trained staff and yet still deliver food with serious kick and intent.
Chef Himanshu has chosen Le Jardind (Gardens of India) for this season’s menu, which means that the rectangular room looks a bit like a garden centre meets university dorm room with hundreds of potted plants lining the windowsills, complete with garish floral blinds. It’s a little kitsch for our taste but what matters is the strident, full-on food that embraces herbs and floral flavours within each dish.
Over the course of the next two hours we’re treated to 13 jaw-dropping dishes (Dhs395 set menu), beautiful both in presentation and taste. The traditional pani puri is elevated to otherworldly levels as we’re presented with a tall vase of smoking cucumber liquid, which is poured into two delicate puffs. You can try eating them daintily but you’ll get the contents down your shirt. It’s far better to slip the whole thing in your mouth in one go. There’s the crunch and then the burst of fresh cucumber sweetness as well as the final kick that’ll make your eyes pop.
The star dish comes early amid the starters. Served in a beautiful black bowl filled with water and floating flowers rested a lamb tartlet topped with turnip, and nasturtium leaf. A delicious piece of art.
From the curries the butter chicken broth is an outrageous cup of tangy yellow cloying goodness served with a charred yet tender chicken skewer. We slurp loud and proud enjoying each pungent swig.
The chaat, eloquently placed on a plate surrounded by real roses, has an inbuilt culinary timer. You get the sweetness of the chutney and the fresh crunch of the fried bread fritter first, before the sudden punch of spice heat.
We could go on describing each of the 13 dishes in detail but we wouldn’t want to spoil the culinary surprises of Chef Himanshu. A unique restaurant, a masterful gastronomic experience that’s worth returning to again and again. Tresind Studio feels like a mature business well into its stride.
Voco Hotel, Mon to Sat, 7pm to 11pm, Dhs395 for the set menu. Tel: (0)43080440. tresindstudio.com