I’m always down for a good collaboration with this talented duo Gaurav & Anisha, since my meeting with them 6 months back. So when we popped up at Avasa last month I had to meet them and taste the menu in detail for sure. It was extremely exciting to finally step into one of (widely maintained Royal Orchid group’s) their Indian cuisine fine dining venue. The passion of owners run so deep with food business that you may feel their passion been consistently groomed via their culinary adventures.
We started off with Indian spiced chickpea soup with very rich flavor of garam masal and turmeric however not excessive in any of them. Next up was a healthy organic Quinoa and Avocado salad. I love the taste of diced avocado amalgamating with walnuts and olives plus the lemon and olive oil dressing adds to the quinoa taste. As we were invited to experience a magical world of gastronomical wonders at this famous Indian Kitchen from their new menu, we were thrilled to see the wide variety and fusion.
In appetizers we tried Mutton Seekh Kabab, this succulent Minced lamb kabab were molded on skewers with full finesse and then seasoned with herbs, the dry roasted masala rub in meat has essence and aroma at the same time, these items are grilled over glowing ambers. Next item was indeed a treat to our eyes and a perfect set platter for a non-veg lover too. Its Hasrat-Hussen i-e tandoori baked tender cottage cheese marinated with spicy yogurt and stuffed in layers with nuts and khoya. I loved the mint chutney on side.
Bharwan Aloo Papdi tikki was another appetizer we tried, we loved the crispiness however found it little less in spices and seasoning, I would love to try with some other variation and in bite size so it won’t result in shards strewn everywhere while munching. With potato patties on next go. It’s the new Bun Kabab at AVASA which has taken all our taste buds attention. This is by far the best version of Indian sliders filled with saffron flavored lamb patty and chunks served with homemade mint mayonnaise. It is flaky and juicy at the same time.
The first official course was beautiful to behold, and even yummier in taste. The “Martaban ki Nalli”, Lamb shank and chunks cooked with Gongura pickled gravy. I did manage to taste some with plain white steamed rice. Curry was not too spicy and the meat will melt in your mouth. Then came my favorite part of tasting, yes BIRYANI. The rice course is almost always my favorite on an Indian cuisine tasting menu, but this one left me especially impressed due to its quality of rice, serving pot, aroma & taste and perfection in color and ratio mix (rice & meat), yes indeed it’s a very important factor to consider even in a portion been served to you as a diner will never know if your ratio is right in huge cooking pot in kitchen back there, if what is served is not compact.
The meat was cooked till perfection and the accompanying flavors were spectacular. In dessert we treid their Matka Kulfi with fruit caviar pearls on top, I love the one in mango flavor & Rasmalai along with Gajrela is also another highlight of the menu. In drinks we tried their fabulous Nutella Milk shake & Messy Sunday with so much of chocolate and is indeed a heaven for chocoholic.
It was great meeting Executive Chef at Avasa. With a culinary journey of over 8 years in Indian cuisine, Chef Sumit Mandal ‘s experience includes working in some of the largest and most respected brands in India. Chef Sumit Mandal is passionate about not only the food but also believes in a providing an overall bespoken customer experience that has an emotional connect with guests.His philosophy is that a good chefs job is not only to prepare outstanding dishes but also to make sure that the way its presented and served, leaves an impact on the guests. Diners feedback and constructive advise means a lot to him. He loves to experiment with seafood delicacies ( I loved Sunehri Jhunga – the Safron amd yogurt marinated tiger prawn we tasted) and desserts and gracefully embrace the concept of molecular gastronomy and fusion in food by keeping par balance with healthy choices.
We also had a sneak peek into the exclusive new menu launch the next day of our review and trust me the temptation has just risen above the marks. With the molecular gastronomy touch and cloud of nitrogen in dessert presented even added that oomph factor to their outdoor terrace dining hall. The involvement of owners in the kitchen along with the chef was telling a story for their passion itself. We loved their new Mango Mustard Salad, comprising of fresh, ripened mangoes tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves from the latest offerings. It will surely bring fresh flavors with a tangy twist this summer.
A unique blend drink is prepared to match with classic standard of the meal. Lychee lemon fizz was indeed very refreshing. For the restaurant’s interior it is simple yet classy, we love their split chamber of dining with black separators. A hanging display of glass bangles caught our attention and it strikes a great style sense in décor. The dining room touts a very clean décor with adjustable neutral and soft as well as colored lighting.
All in all, it’s a great high end gourmet restaurant in St Regis Island where in we enjoyed a delectable Indian spread with a contemporary twist. Everything in the menu is simple delicious. Just give in to temptation and head to your ultimate Indian contemporary food spot today.
The verdict: Biryani & Bun Kebab never tasted so good. We had great food with good mood – Loved the ambiance & decor! The staff was very helpful and professional, I would like to thanks Sumitra for being a great host, Teresa for liasion, Chef Sumit for creative menu and the management (Gaurav & Anisha) for kind invite & welcome. We are surely returning back there soon.
Avasa – The Collections, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort
Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 02-6742221