Spice Mela: new menu - Rosewood Hotel, Abu Dhabi
However, there are three key phrases that more than anything, is what makes Spice Mela what it is - 'using time honoured culinary methods', 'Spice Mela takes inspiration from the age old approach to dining' and finally, 'The menu remains true to classic Indian recipes, but also reflects the food trends in today's India'. It is this delicate balance between the past and the present that is understood so well by Chef de Cuisine Siddharth that makes Spice Mela so exciting.
Having visited Spice Mela before, I was understandingly brimming with anticipation to see how the new menu will continue to embrace the old and the new. You can read about my first experience here: http://bit.ly/1mtvT2d
|Indian loom reflects the restaurant's connection to India's past|
|Attention to details, greta views and fine ambience.|
I opt for the tasting menu. It starts with an amuse bouche of an understated but significant dish. It is Maska pav bread which accompanies Roasted butternut squash and coconut soup. The bread, a typical snack on the streets of Mumbai, was inspired as a choice on the menu by chef's Siddharth's Summer vacation. Translated, it means 'to spread butter'. It is infused with Spice Mela's touch by having, instead of normal butter, carrrot butter, which brings a gorgeous yellow/orange colour. Sprinkled on top are some chopped chives. This simple street like dish is symbolic of what Spice Mela is doing, mentioned in my opening to this review. On its own it is delicious. The bread is so soft it is almost unnatural. Dipped in the soup, divine. The soup itself also delights and I scoop up a bit, my mouth is met by something chewy. It is dhokli, the Indian equivalent of gnocchi, popular in Gujarat. A stellar start.
With a glass of Villa Sandi Prosecco in hand, the evening has certainly got off very well indeed.
|Recalling the streets of Mumbai|
|The succulent duck.|
On my last visit, the Scallop Moilee was one of the standout dishes. The cliche that it is never as good as the first time pops into my head, and I accept that. However, I find myself appreciating it more. The cliche´ is proved untrue in this case. It is a sensitively crafted serving that overwhelms with goodness. It mesmerizes. It inspires. Please follow the link for a separate review of the dish http://bit.ly/1n5xBHD
|The magnificent Scallops|
|The Masala cod.|
|Selection of curries|
|Dark chocolate wattalapam|
|Muscat De-Beaumes-de-Venise - my dessert wine|
In sanskrit 'Mela' means 'to gather' or 'to meet at a fair'. It has a festive overtone. Spice Mela, therefore, is a gathering of spices, a festive celebration of spices. It spans the ages though. So, while the menu is a celebration of India past and present, I feel the concept of gathering is timeless. In the context of the restaurant, furthermore, it is also a gathering of people who have been drawn to a concept that exhilarates and also provides comfort. Exciting because of the new inventive creations, but also comforted because the old and reliable can be found here too. It is an effortless, natural coming together, gathering.
Spice Mela is more than a fine Indian restaurant. It is a fine restaurant. One of the best in the city. Go and join the gathering. The mela. Spice Mela.
Rosewood Hotel, Abu Dhabi
02 813 5573
460 Dhs with wine pairing
A La CarteStarters 55-75 Dhs
Mains 75-200 Dhs
Dessert 40-50 Dhs
Pictures thanks to Nokia Creative Studio on my Nokia 1520