Everything about Carnival by Trèsind is created to enthral and surprise. From the eclectic, brightly coloured décor to the modern dishes and inventive mixed drinks, we love the attention to detail at this quirky Indian eatery.
So when we heard there was to be a brunch we couldn’t wait to take our seats. And it would seem we weren’t the only ones.
We arrive early, but the restaurant is already packed with eager brunchers, from couples to families.
The large crowd certainly has a lot to do with the food, but it could feasibly be thanks to the excellent value, too.
At just over Dhs300 with house beverages (including tax), this trumps many other offerings in the city when it comes to dirhams for quality (and quantity – bring your appetites, there’s a lot to eat).
As you’d expect, this is not your average brunch, and each course is served to your table in an innovative way. As is the trend with contemporary Indian restaurants in this city, plenty of dishes arrive amid plumes of dry ice. Not that we object, we like a touch of theatre. And there’s no shortage of that.
On arrival we’re offered a Spanish beverage, curiously served in small plastic bags, that are cut from a tree and handed to us, marking the start of our intriguing culinary voyage.
Following tradition, bread arrives first. An entire trolley of it. Carb-lovers that we are, we can’t help but try some (just a little, mind), careful not to make the rookie error of filling up on it. The pesto wheel is tasty, while an almond Danish ticks the sweet/savoury boxes well.
This all goes nicely with a fresh, bright salad that is prepped at our table, combining heaps of crispy, colourful veggies and some beautifully seasoned rosemary chicken.
Course upon course arrives, leaving us looking on in wide-eyed wonder. From a steel bridge containing soft-shell crab tempura, spicy prawns and delicate battered fish sticks (with a delicious, fresh, minty dip), to a Hawaiian beef kebab with burnt pineapple served in a mini palm tree, we’re delighted at every turn. A creamy, cheesy chicken dish, finished off tableside in a giant Parmesan wheel, is unexpected for Indian cuisine, but turns out to be a highlight.
After what feels like we’ve eaten about 25 courses (maybe we have, frankly we stopped counting after the grilled lamb chops) there’s a choice of mains. We opt for chicken biryani and a mushroom pilau. Both are beautifully fresh, but filling. We admit defeat, sit back and listen to the live music.
Luckily we get a second wind, as it’s not often we’re wowed by a pudding, but this one is spectacular. We won’t ruin the surprise, but if you’re a Snickers fan, you’ll be one happy camper.
With fun twists and a buzzing atmosphere, this is one we’ll be back to. But in roomier clothing.
Dhs190 (soft drinks), Dhs289 (house beverages).Excluding DIFC tax. Fri noon-4pm. Burj Daman, DIFC (052 242 4262).
The bottom line
Excellent value, even better food.