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tresind dubai

Tresind is a restaurant that sells itself as a modernist Indian fine dining establishment. The very young and talented Executive Chef Himanshu Saini brings a unique concept in molecular gastronomy to Dubai for the very first time.

When my colleagues and I were searching online for restaurants for our monthly business lunch, we chanced upon Tresind, read about it, and got immensely curious about the combination of molecular gastronomy and Indian cuisine.

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Tresind – Very India?

Très (French) – adj. very. e.g.  très bien: ‘very’ good
Ind – Abbreviation for India; a country rich in heritage, cuisine and culture

Not in my opinion. To be frank, almost all the fine dining restaurants I’ve tried that serve Indian cuisine do not seem to serve authentic Indian cuisine. You just don’t get that wonderful desi flavor in these fancy restaurants. Mostly, the gravy is bland or sweet.

However, that is not to say that we didn’t like Tresind. We loved it! But it is not very Indian because, well, it isn’t very Indian to add liquid nitrogen to your chaat, or sprinkle flowers on your curry.

Deconstructed Pani Puri – A perfect amuse-bouche

deconstructed pani puri

This was a very interesting and unique way to present the all-time favorite street food of the Indian subcontinent – the pani puri or gol gappey. In molecular gastronomy lingo, this process if called spherification.

Introduced in 2003, spherification is a technique that makes use of controlled jellification of a liquid which forms spheres when submerged in a bath. Normally, we’d have the hollow puri filled with the tamarind water. Here, the tamarind water is jellified into spheres and then served with cute, little puris. One bite into that sphere unleashes the familiar (for us regular pani puri eaters) tangy taste of the tamarind water.

We were also served the zatar pav (bread) that was accompanied with pickled olives, hummus with an Indian twist and sun dried tomatoes. Delicious!

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The Modernist Chaat Trolley

Truth be told, I came to Tresind to experience the chaat trolley that I have so much heard and read about, and it did not disappoint! All of us at the table were highly fascinated and entertained while the chef prepared our chaat – it was as if he was painting on a blank canvas.

tresind chaat trolley

molecular chaat

That’s liquid nitrogen and frozen dhokla going into the chaat trolley. Very unusual ingredients for your regular chaat, but I can testify that this had been one of the best chaats I had ever had! The reason it was prepared right next to our table was to ensure that the ingredients remained fresh and crisp. Chaat is made using 2-3 types of chutneys and the ingredients can get soggy pretty fast. Well, we didn’t have that problem at Tresind.

modernist chaat trolley

Unusual Soups!

Bhaji Minestrone Soup

Not a very attractive picture, I admit, but this is called Bhaji Minestrone Soup. This appears to be a modern reinvention of Pav Bhaji, which is classic Indian street-food. This was ordered by my vegetarian colleague so I haven’t tasted it myself, but she claims that it tastes good.

In case you’re interested, Sumati Menda has shared chef Himanshu’s recipe here.

toast

The bhaji minestrone soup was served with toast topped with mock peas and a small cube of feta. Beautiful presentation!

mushroom soup

wild mushroom chai

This was my order. It’s called the wild mushroom chaiThe soup is poured from a glass teapot into miniature cups, with dehydrated mushrooms instead of tealeaves. Morel mushrooms with truffle oil, two of the rare and very expensive ingredients are used in this soup. My tastebuds were confused after the first few sips, but then the subtle flavors – very earthy and warm – eventually grew on me and I began to enjoy the soup.

Starters

chops

Braised lamb chops, aam papad chutney, churan fleur de sel. My favorite! Lamb chops were braised in raw mango chutney and served with compressed raw mango and churan fleur de sel. The meat was rich and tender, and it simply melted in the mouth. I believe I ate the most chops that was served.

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Mushroom Galoti. This is finely minced mushroom kebab that had a soft and delicate taste. My colleague ordered this, and I remember spending a lot of time photographing this dish from all possible angles until my colleague finally pulled it out from under the camera lens.

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I don’t remember what this was except that this was chicken. Sorry! I’m such an efficient food blogger.

The Palate Cleanser

khandvi sorbet

This is called the khandvi sorbetKhandvi is a traditional Gujarati snack made of gram flour and yoghurt, then tempered with mustard seeds. I haven’t had khandvi before so I didn’t know what to expect flavor-wise. This khandvi sorbet has a nice, refreshing taste, perfect to clean the palate and prepare it for the next course.

The Main Course:

biryani

The lamb biryani. Upon seeing the presentation, one of my colleagues thought this looked like qurbani ke teen hissey. So funny!

I’m very difficult to please, as far as biryani is concerned. Hyderabad, the place famous for its fragrant biryani, has been my city-in-law for so many years now, and I’ve tasted home-cooked biryanis that can never be emulated in a commercial kitchen. Tresind’s biryani failed to impress me.

mustard fish trisend

I ordered this. It’s called the Manglorean fish curry. It’s fish meatballs. It wasn’t love at first taste, but slowly and gradually, I began loving the flavor of the fish and spices. And this fish curry was served with …

appam

Appam! Appam is a fermented rice pancake famous in the South Indian coastal state of Kerala. It complimented the fish curry very well.

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Roomali paneer tikka, saffron curry, almond biscotti. Thin slices of paneer rolled with nuts and cooked in the tandoor, served with saffron flavoured pumpkin curry. This is a delicate curry that is mild on the taste buds. Not the typical hot curry that you’d expect.

chicken pepper fry

Chicken pepper fry. This South Indian dish was very delicious and I like how it is served with paper-thin and crispy dosa.

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This is butter chicken that another colleague ordered. Sorry, I don’t remember the details on this one.

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This is lamb curry, if I remember correctly. I can’t believe I call myself a food blogger!

Delectable Desserts

Aamras (mango pudding)

Aamras. We were totally unprepared for when the chef dipped the beautiful red rose in liquid nitrogen, lifted it out for us to see the frozen petals, and then swiftly, he crushed those petals over the mango purée.

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Jalebi caviar 2.0. Isn’t this pretty! You get the traditional, deep-fried orange jalebi, appearing as tiny beads of “caviar” resembling salmon roe floating in a pistachio broth, and then topped with saffron foam.

 deconstructed black forrest caketresind dessertDoda barfi deconstructed black forest cake. The layers include a base of chocolate “soil”, chocolate cubes, coffee caramel cubes, frozen whipped-cream (using liquid nitrogen, of course!), hot chocolate syrup, and the cherries. We all grabbed our spoons and dug in at the same time. It was so much fun, both watching it being prepared and then eating it later.

Tresind, Dubai

tresind

As you can tell, this place doesn’t serve your regular Indian cuisine. You can also observe how I can’t recall half of the dishes I ate, and that is because I had been enjoying myself immensely. I was also under the impression that I’d find their menu online and will reference to that later. Turns out, there isn’t a complete menu online. Note to self: bring that small notebook and pen next time.

The staff was very knowledgeable and answered all our food-related queries to our satisfaction.

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Location:
Level 2, Nassima Royal Hotel,
Sheikh Zayad Road, Trade Centre Area, Dubai

Opening Hours:
12 Noon to 3:30 PM,
6:30 PM to 11:30 PM

Cost:
AED 500 for two people (approx)

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10

winter in fujairah

This picture portrays the current state of my blog: the clouds of despondency and dilly-dallying have finally parted, giving way to rays of fresh ardency and vigor which, I truly hope, would last for a long, long time.

A Hundred Days

Yes, that’s how long it has been since I have last published a post. It wasn’t the lack of time, but rather insufficient inspiration that caused a pause in this blog. First, one-by-one, my family left the UAE to settle in different countries. Dubai is not the same without them; it feels terribly lonely, and I needed time to adjust.

purple flowers

We flew to Hyderabad two months ago to celebrate my first Eid-al-Adha in India. We stayed there for a month, but my application for personal leave got rejected (busy days at work) so I ended up working anyway. Upon returning to the UAE, we got the unfortunate news that Masood’s younger brother needed to undergo a cardiac procedure. This news was devastating for the family, and we made immediate plans to return to Hyderabad. Sadly, due to visa issues, I couldn’t travel. My in-laws advised Masood not to travel without me, and assured to keep in touch with us.

orange flowers

Masood’s brother underwent the cardiac procedure a few days ago, and by Allah’s Grace, it turned out quite well, and he is now recovering at home today. So many kind and generous people, both family and friends, have extended their support and made dua for this trying time. We are humbled by everyone’s love and care.

roses in dubai

Given the current circumstances, we chose to cancel our travel plans for another time, and since this blog is mainly about travel, I didn’t feel inspired to write. Plus, there’s just so much horrendous, deplorable things happening all over the world …

To lighten the mood, Masood surprised me with flowers one evening. After a rather stressful day at work, I opened the door to the passenger side of our car to find a lovely bouquet lying on the seat! Isn’t he just amazing? Masha’Allah. I mean, his only brother recently underwent such a delicate surgical procedure and he couldn’t be there for him because he had to stay with me, and yet he’s the one making the effort to cheer up the mood.

white flowers

Photoshoot in Fujairah

car in fujairah

We drove to the Fujairah to take pictures of Masood’s toy cars. It’s been so long since we last embarked on a long-drive. It’s usually my sisters who make impromptu plans about driving out-of-town, and now, without them and my in-laws around, it felt strange driving with just the two of us.

Fortunately, the drive to Fujairah is never boring, thanks to the interesting sights and fascinating views along the way.

ferrari in fujairah

bicycle in Fujairah

desert of sharjah

sands of arabia

mountains of arabia

road to fujairah

town in fujairah

masjid in Fujairah

We then parked near a beach to take a stroll and photograph Masood’s cars. The weather is amazing this time of the year. Winter in the middle east means it is time to head outdoors, spend time in the parks, swim in the warm ocean, shop at the farmer’s market for home-grown, organic produce, enjoy BBQs, and head over to the Global Village in the evening!

car in fujairah

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Photoshoot in Jumeirah

Having had great fun shooting in Fujairah, we decided to head back to the beach for another photoshoot of the cars. This time, we chose a beach that’s closer to home.

dubai roads

boat in jumairah

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In the picture above, you get a glimpse of the red, hop-on hop-off bus. So Masood was busy setting up his toys and was occupied with trying to determine the various angles with which to take the pictures,  and then this red bus came along. The tourists were fascinated with what Masood was doing and even took pictures of him taking pictures of his toys!

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There was even a party being set-up at the beach, and it was beautiful!

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However, what happens during a beach wedding photoshoot is less than glamorous. There are too many people gawking, random strangers taking your photographs (including moi), and the wind and sand slowing wrecking havoc to the bride’s coiffed hair and expensive gown.

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Back to the cars …

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Happy 44th National Day, UAE!

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You’ve given us beautiful, glorious memories to cherish our entire lives.

To the UAE and its people, thank you!

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Posted in Dubai, Fujairah | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments
3

boston market

Does your local market host vintage car shows? Mine neither. Even if there were car shows here, the weather in the UAE is so hostile that I wouldn’t have bothered going anyway.

The historic Quincy Market in Boston, however, is the sort of place I wouldn’t mind visiting every week. Along with Faneuil Hall, North Market and South Market, Quincy Market is set around a cobblestone promenade where jugglers and musicians entertain the passers-by. The unique array of shops, restaurants and outdoor entertainment have made it a favorite destination for both locals and tourists alike.

quincy market

In 1742 Peter Faneuil, Boston’s wealthiest merchant, built Faneuil Hall as a gift to the city. To better accommodate the merchants and shoppers, Faneuil Hall was then expanded in 1826 to include Quincy Market, which was designed in the then-popular Greek Revival style.

The Faneuil Hall was home to merchants, fishermen, and meat and produce sellers. It is where colonists first protested the Sugar Act in 1764.

Today, the first floor is still used as a lively marketplace and the second floor is a meeting hall where many Boston City debates are held. The fourth floor is maintained by the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.

On July 4, the Declaration of Independence is read from the balcony of Faneuil Hall to commemorate its first reading on July 18, 1776 (typically at 10 AM).

Before I share pictures of the vintage cars, I wanted to show you this live statue, which I found quite entertaining:

live statue at quincy market

Notice the water bottle? Yes, that’s for when this fellow gets thirsty. I’m not quite sure who he is supposed to be. Paul Revere, perhaps?

It’s a tough job.

The Vintage Car Show

Located at the West End Promenade at Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market, cars were on display just steps from the best shops and restaurants in Boston’s Marketplace. It was really fun to be able to see them up-close, talk to the owners, and touch the vintage cars. Owners were happy to discuss the histories of their vehicles.

1960s Ford Galaxie Wagon

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1977 Lotus Esprit S1

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That look on the boy’s face is priceless.

The Lotus Esprit was unveiled at the Turin motor show in November 1972. Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro had wanted to call the car Kiwi, but Lotus management was intent on a name beginning with the letter E, as is Lotus tradition.

Interesting Fact: The Lotus Esprit was made famous in the 1977 James Bond film ‘the Spy Who Loved Me’. Roger Moore drove the Esprit in to the sea, where it then turned into a submarine.

1971 MGB GT

1971 mgb gt

Manufactured and marketed by the British Motor Corporation (and later British Leyland), the MGB is a two-door sports car as a four-cylinder, soft-top roadster from 1962 until 1980.

The MGB GT was not only a good looking car of its time, but it offered saloon car comfort levels with a sports cars performance.

1964 MG MGB

1964 MG MGB

This MG Model B was produced from September 1962 until July 1980 at the Abingdon Works when the last MG B rolled off the production line.  The Plant was closed by Margaret Thatcher as part of the British Government’s Privatization Plan.  The “B” was the successor to the MG A, and because of the popularity of the car became synonymous with the definition of sports car.

Nels Anderson’s 1963 Land Rover Series IIA 109 Station Wagon

Nels Anderson's 1963 Land Rover

the green bean

Mr. Anderson is the director and webmaster for the Boston Area MG Club. The Green Bean, as it is also known, is the type of classic Land Rover that features strongly in the general public’s perception of the Land Rover, from its many appearances in popular films and television documentaries set in Africa throughout the 1960s, such as Born Free.

There were several other cars as well, but instead of taking pictures I took a short video:

I love how these vintage cars are so well maintained. For those interested in knowing when and where the Boston Area MG Club members are going to host their next gathering, you may check their website for updates.

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