New Wave Indian Cuisine is all the rage in Dubai, gorgeous or gimmicky, you decide
Welcome to our first Food News Show after the summer break, we’re reporting about the New Wave Indian Cuisine that’s seems to be sweeping over Dubai. First Farzi Cafe then Jodhpur and soon to open Carnival are all part of this new phenomenon. Plus a cute and affordable Italian eaterie in DIFC Gate Village, Mercato – that’s Roberto’s little sister not the mall in Jumeirah. With Eid around the corner, learn to cook some dishes from the region and then eat lunch at Al Maeda Levantine restaurant at the Double Tree Hilton. We inaugurated the first Leavantine cooking class yesterday. Welcome to Tuesday’s on The Ticket 103.8 with me Monica Kapila, and co presenters Stef Burgon, Mark Lloyd and Zahra Soar.
Jodhpur New Wave Indian Cuisine
We visited for dinner in August and sampled a comprehensive tasting menu of both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. The main chef Pradeep Khullar is extremely passionate about his craft and seems to really want to take constructive criticism on board to improve the overall experience for diners. A bit of molecular gastronomy, lots of play on presentation, food arrives on little scooters and miniature pressure cookers, but still some tradition bits of serving, so larger sharing bowls of food.
Stand out dishes for me were the Lemon Pickle Masala Prawn, that’s nimbu jingha, golden garlic, grilled prawns. Large, juicy prawns where you could taste the lemon pickle. We had a tasting portion but if you order a la carte, AED 95 for 3 pieces. I think that’s good. I also liked the melt in the mouth morsel of lamb that was tender and very well seasoned. We loved his little flaky broken up bits of onion kulcha, keep eating till you’re full, don’t just have one! More theatrics with the jalebi trees!
Don’t expect Rajasthani food, although they may be introducing an element of that soon just for the namesake in their new menu, watch DoinDubai instagram for that. The decor is a little heavy in parts with dark winding stair cases and oversized buckles on hugely long organza curtains together with an very bright and brash turquoise and gold pillars in the middle of the restaurant. So it’s not a restaurant I’d like to linger at, but I did like the food, it was full on a Friday evening in early August, so that speaks volumes!
Carnival New Wave Indian Cuisine opening 3rd September 2016
From Tresind, Carnival calls itself post modern Indian cuisine. So what’s modern if this is post modern? A very theatrical restaurant with dark interiors, brightly coloured helium balloons, bubble machines to welcome you in and little metal goat ornaments with coloured ribbon on every table.
We tried the 15 course tasting menu on Friday night, a vegetarian and a non vegetarian menu and there were some really stand out dishes for me. I liked the daal cappucino, the jalebi crispy chaat, the Mumbai sandwich and my Indian Banoffee pie dessert served on a banana leaf.
But there was a lot of emphasis on the presentation of food in oversized bowls and plates, bits of drift wood. There was a bit of molecular gastronomy mainly linked to the drinks, so wisps of smoke, popping bottles with sweet fizzy drinks and plastic glowing Halloween toys and bouncy glow in the dark mini monsters. Are you desperate to try? It opens on September 3rd and you can select whatever you want from the small plates, large plates or desserts. So I suggest you opt for the start with the jalebi chaat and the pumpkin kulcha, then choose either the lamb wrapped in galouti kebab or the Mumbai sandwich, try the daal cappucino as it’s genuinely innovative and new, then the banoffee pie dessert.
But it did remind me very much of what Farzi Cafe is doing. There is no alcohol licence as yet, but that’s coming and the bar tenders are pretty skilled at making good mocktails if you specify what you do and don’t want. I liked my lychee, lemon and soda drink, but really didn’t need the smoky effect or the oversized bulb glass it came in.
But then maybe I’m not post modern Indian! The little shot glasses made of ice that served one of the rose petal palate cleansers were very pretty and worked well but looked very laborious to make! Wishing Carnival all the best for the opening and we’ll add the new menus here when we get them.
Eid Treat Al Maeda Levantine cookery class and lunch at the Double Tree Hilton
This restaurant has been around a while but the cooking class is brand new, the restaurant is located right next to Ramusake that we spoke about on the show last time, but this one is managed by the Hilton Double Tree at JBR. It has a really nice feel to the restaurant, a long communal table with terrace views and very brightly patterned floors and a very modern, homely feel, kind of like how you’d want your kitchen to be.
We did a little cooking class with 6 other food bloggers, and made some traditional Arabic dishes that are actually on the menu, and with Eid round the corner, I think it’s a very appropriate thing to do. It’s on every Tuesday from 12pm to 2pm and you need to book your class before hand. AED 199 that includes the class and lunch. 055 166 8092 or email [email protected]
Mercato Affordable, Authentic Italian in Gate Village DIFC
This is Robertos’ little sister, apparently they use all the ingredients that Roberto does so there’s some economies of scale going on here, and that’s what makes Mercato so affordable. We went for lunch last Saturday and sampled the pastas, pizzas, salads the cappucino, I liked the sage and pumpkin filled home made fresh pasta at AED 45 and the Margherita pizza for AED 38.
Cappucinos served in large cups for AED 18 were gorgeous and I liked the bright environment and brightly patterned floor. A great place to meet someone in DIFC or for the regulars that work there and want a quick lunch or snack without breaking the bank. It’s not a very sophisticated place, but then it doesn’t purport to be either. There’s a real Italian lady who manages the place and service couldn’t have been more accommodating. They didn’t know what a baby chino was, as we had a 5 year old from London who was obviously used to the finer things in life, so they learnt something new! Will go back.
Happy Eating Dubai! We’ll add the podcasts here for this post when they’re up! Next time look forward to a bit of Scottish at Copper Dog, a bit of English at the Rose and Crown and a bit of Japanese/Korean from Namu at the new W hotel in Al Habtoor City. Stay tuned to Food News on The Ticket.
Thank you Monica.