Surrounded by the crazy buzz on social media of Carnival by Tresind, I finally got a chance to review it. For a while now, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to go visit this much raved-about restaurant. Tresind remains one of my favourite restaurants in Dubai till now, so was curious to how this counterpart will match up to the same.
The minute you enter Carnival in the evening, it fills you with a sort of whimsy. The interiors clash really strangely. The floors are a zigzag black and white, whereas there are rose gold trees as you enter the restaurant. It’s quite dark in the restaurant as well. I get its a whimsical theme, but does it have to be this gaudy?
My initial pretences quickly went away as we were seated within five minutes of arriving with a bit of a bubble show. The service from end to end was impeccable. We were treated to a 15 course meal, after which my mom and I ended up waddling our way home.
Our meal started out with a Sita Phal, which was this pumpkin stuffed in a deliriously soft thick kulcha bread. Delicious. Carnival by Tresind was impressing me more with every bite.
When the cocktail mixologist arrived, he gave me a very potent alcoholic ‘tea’ with edible flowers and berries. Beautiful and delicious, it was served from a teapot with plenty of charm and character.
My mom also thoroughly enjoyed her passionfruit mocktail. Liquid nitrogen is almost always used in the dishes to add a mystique to it.
We then tried the ‘makhan pal’ which was an avocado mousse-like substance on top of white cocoa butter. Even though it looked appealing, it didn’t tickle mine nor my mom’s tastebuds at all.
What I really enjoyed was the jelebi chaat, which hit the Indian ‘umami’. Sweet, spicy, sour and tangy all at once.
The dal cappuccino with truffle ghee and jeera (cumin) biscuits was delectable; however the truffle taste didn’t shine through as I had hoped.
My mom and I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Thai’tanic, a super interesting rendition of kheema pav, only with pandan infused bread and delicious thai style minced chicken.
We then tried the ‘pullinji’, which was a very tangy prawn dish with a curry leaf crisp. I enjoyed this South Indian take on the dish.
Next came what I thought was a very confusing dish. It was a masala dosa meets lamb chop that I didn’t enjoy at all. They just don’t go very well together!
After that, there was a dish with two rather frail looking thin slices of beef with a cheese toast. I couldn’t really enjoy this dish either, because…again a bit of a fail when it comes to fusing these things together.
Post a delicious palate cleanser, we then moved on to the main course. I really enjoyed the Korean take on the chicken biryani as well as the Malabari fish curry which arrived in a plastic packet. Both were absolutely delicious. The mutton dressed as lamb was tender to boot.
I was surprised by how much I loved the vada pav experience! It was delicious, even though it tasted more like a Maharashtrian dish called “dabeli”. A favourite snack of the mill workers of Mumbai, I’m glad Chef Saini brought this very basic dish to fine dining standards.
The dessert called ‘Gajak’ was altogether very visually appealing, but also so overwhelming even for two people to share. A vast quantity in my opinion was altogether unnecessary. Taste wise, it tasted like a snickers ice cream…
We closed with a ‘miracle berry’ which is like this berry you eat which alters your tastebuds. That was a really fun experience, but didn’t provide anything to me in terms of taste.
Overall, I felt we were in the end asked a bit too much about how everything was to the point of almost annoying. The staff needs to relax a little bit. Don’t obsess and let the guests actually enjoy the food. There are 15 courses, you don’t need to come back and ask me how each course is.
Overall, Carnival by Tresind is dining entertainment from end to end. Not all the food lives up to expectations; but it’s undoubtedly bold, inventive and daring to the point of amusing at times. Definitely one to check out for the dining experience, albeit not entirely for the food. If you want both with an air of sophistication, Tresind is undoubtedly the better bet. Otherwise, let Carnival by Tresind take you to an interesting and entertaining dining experience.
LOCATION: Podium Level, Burj Daman, DIFC
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary meal in exchange for this review. However, opinions are my own.