At a time when Indian cuisine is explored, exploited and re-invented up to its most clichéd limits, Tresind manages to do something remarkable. It goes beyond the ordinary gourmet savoir-faire to deliver a unique experience using traditional Indian dishes from every region and reimagining them to match the demanding palates of modern connoisseurs
By: Niyoshi Shah
Posted on: February 11, 2020
LF Says: ★★★
Since 2014, Chef Himanshu Saini has been delighting fine diners at the multi-award winning flagship Tresind restaurants in Dubai and Kuwait, and the much-lauded Tresind Studio in Dubai, an intimate chef’s table experience with a 20 seater arrangement. So when it was announced that Mr. Bhupender Nath, the founder of Passion F&B, was opening his first restaurant in Mumbai – and at the glitzy Bandra Kurla complex (BKC) Business District, no less – expectations were as high as the setting.
From the immersive retro decor and the confident menu, to the lofty views and loftier theatrics, everything about Tresind is unique, remarkable and bold. It feels a bit like a time wrap, like you are transported to another world. The opulent blue and brown interior is intensely retro, with wicker ceiling tiles, mirrored columns and spectacular spherical chandeliers. The highlight of the restaurant is a 35-foot wavy serpentine seating arrangement in the centre, with an equally long handmade chandelier on top, mimicking ripples in the water. The bar in all its glory is visible from every corner of the restaurant. Light jazz accompanies throughout the meal.
The floor-to-ceiling windows at one end are covered in crafty light curtains, which creates a cosy, comforting ambience. The textured empty frames on the wall give an almost biblical feel to the restaurant. The staff takes us to our secluded table at the end of the restaurant, as the waiters expertly present a tray of cold towels to wipe away any fatigue we may feel – it’s surreal, fascinating and rather special.
The restaurant is spread across a total area of 3,710 square feet, of which 2,360 square feet of space is allocated to the restaurant’s experiential dining. Designed by Shweta Kaushik & Zahra Plumber Designer of SK.ID (Shweta Kaushik Interior Design), the unique décor is the result of an ingenious collaboration with Studio Avni, who works with industrial metal filters and has worked with pleated and plain panels of treated SS and copper industrial mesh. Art pieces placed at distinct spots on the wall again reference the ripples of water in a still pond.
Combing the streets of India
The menu is an experimental take on classic dishes, age old recipes and regional delicacies. Some sublime, others intriguing. I started my meal with the guacamole gilawat, avocado kebab, tortilla paratha, chopped salsa and sour cream and an assortment of Kebab Chutney and Ajmeri Kachori. The Guacamole gilawat had just the right amount of spices to make it succulent while retaining the texture of the avocado paste. I enjoyed the Tortilla Parathas - a truly divine dish served with tikki style mashed avocado. The Ajmeri Kachori was excellent and added the crisp to an otherwise soft palate.
Served with impeccable pageantry, the bartender created a charming concoction of bourbon, maple, apple, bitter and cinnamon called the Burn Bourbon Burn. It was riveting and I enjoyed the tangy mix of cinnamon and maple with bourbon’s musky flavour. I tried the restaurant’s famous Black Diamond drink as well, prepared using active charcoal filtered bourbon, house spices and basil. This proved to be a bit spicy for my palate but the smoke theatrics regaled by the server were both entertaining and enchanting.
I truly savoured my next serving – Gujarati Farsan. This was the most interesting dish for me comprising of traditional Gujarati fafda, sambharu and khandvi served with a perfect khandvi flavoured ice cream. Each item came in separate small bowls served in one big plate. It looked overwhelming at first, but once you bite into the rich flavours, one cannot stop themselves from finishing it off. It was delectably original and every flavour rung true to the authentic Gujarati culture.
The next course was the appetising Khichdi, a modest lentil and rice dish that easily became the star of the night by combining 20 different ingredients native to all the states of India. It was unlike any Khichdi I have tasted – a succulent mix of spices that doesn’t over-power the primary taste but just adds a tinge of flavour with each bite. The spices were placed geographical in delicate bowls on a plated map of India – which made for a fun lesson in the flavour palate of each state.
The Chaat serving came with equal aplomb. A whole wheat cracker was topped with sweetened yoghurt which is then sprinkled with crushed Dhokla topped with diced potatoes, coriander, sev and savoury chutney.
Desserts came in the form of milk cake crumble orzo pudding, saffron milk and paan. This was supplemented by an appetizing portion of Kaju Katli - cashew nut fudge foam, butterscotch soan papadi. The Kaju Katli was topped with saffron and the Soan Papadi was authentic in taste and truly enjoyable to bite into. All the dishes were sprinkled with dry fruits and mild spices like cardamom.
A memorable destination restaurant that will take you on a culinary and cultural journey, Trèsind successfully bags the title of being the birthplace of “innovative Indian cuisine”. With the aim to foster the revered legacy of Indian food, it makes for a scrumptious and an exceptional experience, and gives gourmet connoisseurs some interesting food for thought.
LF Says: ★★★
Coordinates: Ground Floor, Inspire, G Block BKC, Mumbai | Tel: +91 89280 00057 | Timings: Noon–3:30 pm; 7 pm–midnight
*The article was edited to mention that Mr. Bhupender Nath is the founder of Passion F&B, which owns Tresind restaurants