Why is this the one place you must eat at in Mumbai?
- not modernist for modernist sake
- no foam and froth
- a good representation of most parts of India
- delicious tasting food
- wow moments make a regular appearance during the course of the meal
- good pricing for the experience offered
I’m talking about the tasting menu at TresInd (meaning ‘very Indian’) at BKC (Bandra East) in Mumbai.
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I opted for the 10 course chef’s tasting menu at Tresind Mumbai, conceptualised by Chef Himanshu Saini, ex-Indian Accent and now the group chef at Tresind. The tasting menu aims to take you a little culinary journey around India.
It was a hot sultry afternoon and the welcome with cool rose-scented fumes from the dry ice made for a theatrical and cooling welcome.
The first course named ‘Snacks’ had 3 bite sized chaat-inspired dishes. My favourite was the ghughni chaat where the mustard oil flavour was brought about by equally pungent wasabi peas. The other two were a pumpkin dabeli and a dahi kabab, which for me did not carry as much flavour as the original versions of the dishes.
Pani Puri Bingsu
This was a take on a Korean shaved ice dessert in which the pani puri liquid is served as a granita inside of a cup made of ice, topped with cubed potatoes and boondi for crunch. This worked as an excellent palate cleanser and brought all the flavours and textures of a pani puri to the table in an innovative form.
This was an inspired dish in which a finger of paneer wrapped in roomali was topped with smoked paprika mayo for an added punch of flavour.
An innocent enough name given to a course that completely blew our minds with a Tresind touch. It is probably one of the most memorable things I have eaten in recent times. True to its name, there was a tiny piece of khandvi, fafda and piece of pickled chilli but the savoury sweet golden yellow coloured ice cream with flavours of khandvi was the wow element in the dish.
Ram Babu Paratha
A paneer and peanut stuffed inspired from a shop by the same name in Agra, this was served with a peanut-based saalan gravy, and an exceptionally good chana with potato, that had the exact same flavour like you would get in any good chaat place in the North. This course came in the comfort of a thaali, so the diner feels the satisfaction of eating some real Indian food in the midst of all the bite sized courses with fancy plating.
Khichdi of India
The real stand out in the Tresind Mumbai’s tasting menu was the Khichdi of India, an iconic course of their tasting menu. A simple dal-rice based khichdi came to the table accompanied by 20 ingredients from all around India placed beautifully on an India map made from marble. Each of these ingredients was mixed into the khichdi to produce a most unique and interesting dish, which tasted like no khichdi I have eaten till date. All those amazing flavours and textures – from green apple to chenna and mustard oil to gun powder worked their magic. When asked why this dish was given the star treatment in the tasting menu, Chef Saini had an interesting point of view. Khichdi is the great unifier across India eaten both by the poor and the rich, in sickness and health, each region having its own way of preparing this humble lentil and rice dish. Creating a masterpiece out of khichdi was a nod to this simple homely dish.
The guava chaat was a guava sorbet served inside a frozen guava half dusted with strawberry powder got us ready for the main dessert which was called palang-tod (break the bed). Comprising saffron milk, orzo pasta kheer with crumbled milk cake for texture and a paan coated in silver foil, served up in a dramatic prop of a miniature broken wooden bed (with the cheesy additions of jasmine and rose petals), this dessert was a fitting finale for the meal.
Thoughtfully sized portions mean you can do justice to all the ten courses. But I do recommend skipping breakfast if you are going for lunch so that you have enough space to try out all the beautiful culinary creations. The waiting staff is knowledgable about every course and the details about the ingredients and the concept.
Please note that I went to this place a couple of days before a menu change. While some courses may remain the same, some have changed.
If you are looking for a special place to dine out in Mumbai, you must check out Tresind Mumbai’s tasting menu. You can spend a good 2-3 hours in the comfortable setting, tasting some of the best modern takes on Indian food at what I would think is a reasonable pricing at Rs.4000 for two people.
Disclosure: I was here on invite. The views expressed in the post are entirely mine.