Carnival by Tresind, Dubai
How often do you get welcomed in a restaurant by getting bubbles blown at you?
Having had a good impression with Trèsind, I looked forward to trying out Carnival by Trèsind. Both Tresind and Carnival by Trèsind come under the umbrella of Passion F&B Management Consultancies. When we asked about the difference between these two restaurants—besides the price, because Trèsind is much more pricey—we were told that Trèsind is fine dining, while Carnival is fun dining.
A staff holding a toy fish approached our table after we had all settled down. He informed us that he’s going to welcome us by blowing bubbles. And just like excited little kids, we were all smiles watching those transparent bubbles coming out of the fish mouth. The concept is to evoke a feeling of childhood and nostalgia. In a world where we are so caught up in the daily struggle, I suppose this little escape to happier, carefree days is a good touch.
We went for dinner. The lights in the restaurant were colourful and dim. The furniture and decor eclectic. There is certainly that element of carnival.
The color scheme—gold, black, leather—is very Dubai-esque: chic, vibrant, modern, urban. Glittering copper-colored tree branches add to the fun vibe. The black-and-white chevron floor sharply contrasts with the turquoise, orange, yellow, and brown chairs that add pops of colour throughout the venue.
Much like the word carnival that refers to a celebration and happy times, here too is a celebration— the celebration of Indian cuisine and its heritage.
A restaurant that’s crowded on a week night is good news, and we were happy to see the smiling faces at Carnival. People were having a good time.
Our meal began with two of the most popular snacks of Bombay: pani puri and chutney sandwich. Bombay’s sandwich comprises of pav, the bread, stuffed with mashed potato and fresh lemon-mint chutney. The sandwich is presented in the palm of a porcelain hand.
A pink pani puri stands behind the sandwich. I heard that this pink pani puri was developed in October for breast cancer awareness month and has gotten so popular that it went on to become a firm fixture on the menu. The puri is dyed a vibrant pink color using beetroot and the pani mixture is sweetened with pomegranate as opposed to the usual tamarind. It was a very good variation, but I think I still prefer the original tamarind-based pani.
This was complimentary, by the way!
Our first appetiser. Grilled lamb chops, Mysore masala, and mini crisp dosa. Do you see the dosa? We were informed that the lamb chops were slow cooked for about 4 hours. It is mild in terms of heat and is accompanied by Mysore Masala which is south Indian mashed potato. I absolutely loved how tender the lamb chop was and how the slightly sweet chutney complimented it so well. AED 140.
Nepalese Wai Wai wrapped chicken supreme and chilled cucumber. Wai Wai is a brand of instant noodles produced initially in Thailand by Thai Preserved Food Factory Co. since 1972 and was then promoted worldwide from Nepal in 1985. This is Carnival’s take on the Indian-style “Chinese” food. The chicken is wrapped in noodles, drizzled with sweet & sour sauce, and garnished with fresh coriander leaves. And just before serving it to us, it was briefly torched at the table to give it a smoky flavor. It was served with chilled cucumber. This was a hit in our group. AED 108.
South Indian ginger prawns, palm sugar caramel, and curry leaf crisp. Puli Inji or Injipuli is a special traditional Kerala pickle prepared during feasts, and I’m told that no kerala feast is complete without it. It is famous for the flavors it gets from heat from the chillies, ginger, sweetness from jaggery, and tartness from tamarind. If you love prawns, you need to try this. AED 128.
The refreshing Strawberry Murabba (fresh strawberries with jaggery water) is an interesting alternative palette cleanser to the usual sorbet. Love the presentation!
Home Style Chicken Curry
Home cooked chicken curry with makhan naan. This chicken curry looks simple yet its gravy is luscious, velvety-smooth, and tastes just like the chicken salan cooked at home. None of those ridiculous sweet-based gravies they serve as authentic Indian cuisine! This curry is rich, mildly hot and brings out the earthy flavors of the garam masala spices. AED 139.
Chicken or beef biryani with bibimbap vegetables (vegetarian option is also available). In Korea, Bibimbap is a large bowl of rice topped with an array of individually prepared vegetables and beef, and served with seasoned red chili pepper paste. Bibim means mixing, and bap means rice. The mixing usually happens at the table right before eating. Carnival by Tresind gave India’s famous biryani dish a Korean twist and it actually works well! AED 151.
I forgot what they called this dessert but even though we were too full to even have a sip of water, we had to try it! Brought to our table in a 90’s style Black & Decker oven, this rich milk-soaked cake is dotted with another 90’s favorite – little hearts biscuits. Once out of the oven and on the table, the cake is drizzled with sweet caramel sauce, garnished with fresh tart raspberry garnish to cut the sweetness from caramel, and finished with scoops of cinnamon ice cream.
Gold Emotion. Normandy, France.
This is an alcohol-free apple cider with food-grade 24-carat gold flakes. Just when I thought Dubai is going already going overboard with its obsession with luxury and gold, along comes this drink. At first we were like, is this even safe to drink? After taking that first, tentative sip we thought, “Where did that gold go? This tastes like sparkling apple juice.” A very pricey apple juice at that. At AED 350 (USD 95) for a 750 ml bottle, I slowly savored my apple juice (even when apple is my least favourite flavor) whilst being fascinated by the gold flakes floating in my glass.
The quality service and knowledge of the staff at Carnival is impressive. I will say that it’s better than Trèsind! A meal for two costs approximately AED 500 (USD 108) for two people. Complimentary valet parking is available. The place is kid-friendly.
Lunch Set Menu at AED 89
Chefs Tasting Menu Veg at AED 325 and Non-Veg at AED 350
Early Bird Menu – Everyday 5:00 PM To 7:00 PM
12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 7 PM to 11:30 PM
Address and Phone:
Podium Level, Burj Daman, DIFC, Dubai
04 2759071 (Table booking recommended)