Inside Trèsind, BKC | All the Deets
Having grown up in Dubai, I was familiar with the Trèsind brand and was impressed by how, in just a few years, it was being touted as one of the best Indian meals in the city. Fast forward to last week when my friend and I visited the first Indian location in BKC to find out what all the fuss was about. The first thing I noticed was that Trèsind is not a fusion restaurant. Though you may find a foam or two on the menu, the idea here is not to infuse Indian dishes with western flavours or ingredients, but simply to reimagine traditional Indian recipes through a modern lens. Chef Himanshu Saini embraces various culinary influences from across the country and weaves them in a contemporary and sophisticated way to take you on an imaginative gastronomical journey.
Stepping into the SK:ID designed space, I was immediately blown away. I loved the fact that they kept the restaurant small, serving just 70 diners, which is a trend I feel we’ll be seeing more of in 2019. The interplay between the pearl walls, steel and copper lighting installation, marble flooring and rose gold décor worked beautifully. Stylish yet relaxed, there was a great sense of depth, space and artistry here that you don’t often come across. As we sat down, we were offered their signature mocktail, the Lava Lamp and the Tangerine Virgin Mojito. Both were fresh and flavourful, with the Lava Lamp’s presentation earning top marks.
There are two set menus, vegetarian and non-vegetarian so we tried them both. The first dish was a set of three savory snacks of which the sweet potato dabeli was my favourite. Next up was the Watermelon Rasam served with ghee roasted prawn. The addition of the watermelon added a great dimension to the rasam and was a welcome companion to the super spicy prawn. The cafreal, made with either paneer or chicken, is originally a Goan dish and is made with Goan vinegar, Goan pepper with coriander and spices. The cafreal was served on a fried, crispy shiso leaf which added a great pungency and texture. The Lamb Khari was a fried version of the typically baked pastry and was served in a complex, deeply layered stock that I completely demolished. The vegetarian version featured a yogurt based curry which was just as satisfying as the lamb.
Next up was Chef Saini’s interpretation of a Gujarati farsan, where he recreated khandvi in an ice cream form. This was served with a roll of khandvi, fafda, papaya chutney and a fried chili. This was my least favourite dish as I felt the khandvi flavoured ice cream didn’t work and the flavours were too cloying for my palette. The next dish is called Family Picnic and is a great main course. Servers drop off a three-layered tiffin box inside which you’ll find a lamb curry, puris and sides of pickle and onion. The vegetarian version had a cucumber curry and roti. I really enjoyed the lamb curry, it was delicious and perfectly cooked. The cucumber curry was a bit bland so I hope they rotate dishes through this tiffin.
Chef Himanshu approached our table with a large marble map of India, where 20 states were represented by a particular spice or flavour. He then added these 20 ingredients into a base preparation of khichdi, one dish he feels truly unites this country. For example, he added saffron from Kashmir, green apple from Himachal Pradesh, raw mango from Uttar Pradesh, spring onion from Arunachal Pradesh, peanut chutney from Maharashtra and spinach from Madhya Pradesh. I loved the idea behind this dish and though it definitely wasn’t the best khichdi I’ve tasted, it was the most unique.
The set menu features two desserts, the first was Mithai and Confectionary in which kaju katli was converted into a condensed milk foam and was served alongside a pulled sugar and butterscotch crumble. I loved the pistachio garnish and felt that while the chef had stayed true to the dessert’s flavours, the presentation was unique and well thought out. Next was the Coconut and Pineapple Payasam Pudding which was served on a banana leaf with a carpaccio of pineapple, glazed pineapple, mango pickle and the traditional payasam. I found this dessert to be slightly sweet but my companion polished hers off.
Overall, I like the fact that Trèsind isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel but are rather using traditional flavours in a creative way. The décor is absolutely stunning making this a great spot for a special occasion, business dinner or romantic date. A refreshing change to your usual heavy Indian meals, this is one that your palette (and Instagram) will love you for!