I’m eternally grateful to Carnival by Tresind. Last week I arrived there grumpy after a hard day at work and left a few hours later as happy as Larry (whoever he is). Everything at Carnival is designed to make patrons smile, from waiters blowing bubbles as a part of a welcome ritual to the quirky table decorations; I had an ornate lamb in ribbons on mine – perhaps I’ll call him Larry!
In restaurants where fun and happiness are the theme, I quickly become suspicious that the food may be a bit of a joke, too, but I was eating more than my words at Carnival. Every morsel on the 14-course tasting menu was a clever medley of flavours and textures, presented in an Instagram-worthy way. The makham phal, for example, comprised avocado and lime mousse dotted with rock salt on a delicate white cocoa butter hive, which looked like coral and began to melt on contact with my fingers. The salty chocolatey flavour mixed with the sharp citrus gave me a When Harry Met Sally moment.
Signature Dish: La Tomatina Beverage Soup, Dhs58
Creating this clear tomato consomme is a time-consuming process, but the resulting concentrated tomato essence is worth it - every mouthful feels like mainlining nutrients and the flavour is so robust that it seems a substantial dish despite the lightness of the liquid. It comes chilled, in a bottle served on ice with a pizza-esque cheese and tomato bread stick on the side. Nom nom nom!
The 14-course tasting menu I tried was part of a special press preview. I hope they make this available to the public, as it was one of the best meals I’ve sampled in the UAE.