Indego by Vineet
The posh Indian eatery takes us through some ups and downs 27 Reviews
A set menu gourmet thali deal. Dhs170 (veg), Dhs190 (non-veg) Timings: 12.30pm-3pm (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
The lazy brunch offers an à la carte selection of fine Indian cooking. Also available on Saturdays. Dhs250 (soft drinks, hot beverages and petit fours). Dhs350 (selected beverages) Timings: 12.30pm-4pm (Friday, Saturday)
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As we investigated a range of colourful chutneys, a customer two tables away from us made an unlikely request. He summoned the waiter with a nod of the head, glanced at the menu, and slowly uttered the immortal words: ‘I want some chips’. We nearly choked on our poppadoms. After all, Indego is one of the most expensive, exclusive and fêted Indian restaurant in the region. Its consultant chef, Vineet Bhatia, was the first Indian chef to win a Michelin star and is something of a gastro-celebrity in London, and compared to other Indian restaurants there’s a real focus on presentation here, while sharing dishes is discouraged.
This contemptible request of French-fried, crinkle-cut, typically-eaten-with-fish impudence, was rendered even more brain-boggling by the fact that it completely diverted our attention from the extraordinary things happening at the other tables. To our left, a couple munched contentedly in the glow of each other’s adoration, seemingly oblivious to the endless high-pitched screaming their two toddlers inflicted upon everybody else. And at the table next to the table where the man asked for chips, a certain British comedian anecdoted so loudly we could hear what he was saying from the other side of the restaurant.
So it took a starter of revelatory brilliance – one of the finest dishes we’ve ever tasted in Dubai – to reroute our snooping eyes and make us focus on the food. It was a dazzling flame of smoked tandoori salmon, cooked to succulent, moist, crumbling perfection, and charmed by a mustard and honey marinade of such scandalous sweetness I wanted to lick my plate clean afterwards. In fact, the only reason I didn’t lick my plate was because the man ordering chips would almost certainly have joined in. Meanwhile, a jealous gaze cut sharply through the atmosphere above a plate of lamb chops, which were amorously tender and imbued with happy slaps of ginger and mustard, but just couldn’t compete with my outstanding salmon.
After such excitement it was disappointing to receive such pedestrian main courses. To be fair, if we’d received the same mains at another, cheaper, restaurant we’d have been happy, but these lacked the spark we’ve come to expect from Indego. My prawns, poached in coconut and chilli masala, had more than a touch of the Thai about it, and the crustaceans were perfectly cooked, but it was one-dimensional and I craved a greater variety of flavours and textures on my plate. Neither of us were warming to Indego’s anti-sharing philosophy. My friend did enjoy his Punjabi chicken; a curry of boneless leg meat cooked with lemon juice, onion and coriander, but reported that it too was run of the mill. The tadka dal, saffron-tinted pilao rice, naan breads and parathas were satisfactory but did little to brighten the mood.
Nonplussed by such unexpected ordinariness, we briefly considered skipping sweets to join our boorish chum for a deep-fried Mars bar at a backstreet chippy, but then we would have missed out on Indego’s memorable offerings. On my side of the table, a dark and crunchy chocolate and almond samosa was lapped up with exquisite masala chai ice cream, while my friend devoured a rich, creamy coconut and mango cheesecake.
As ever, Indego’s a splendid place for a meal, full of bronze statues and antique shoes, and service is well informed and polite. Yet despite a few magical moments we left slightly disappointed: we’ve had better main courses at The Bombay, Gazebo, Khazana and several other Indian restaurants, which unlike Indego, are as cheap as chips.
The bill (for two)
Lamb chops Dhs75
Tandoori salmon Dhs69
Punjabi chicken Dhs99
Prawns chilli Dhs135
Bread selection Dhs30
Tadka dal Dhs30
Saffron pilao Dhs25
2x water Dhs48
Total (including service) Dhs601
- Previous reviews
- 22 March,2012- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 12 September,2011- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 23 March,2011- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 24 March,2010- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 19 March,2009- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 02 March,2009- reviewed by Daisy Carrington
- 05 May,2008- reviewed by Chris Anderson
- 26 March,2008- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 12 March,2007- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 11 October,2006- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 29 April,2006- reviewed by Time Out Dubai
- 30 August,2005- reviewed by Matthew Lee
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