My wife and I had been in Dubai for several months and had a chance to check out a number of fine restaurants. On this night, we wanted something extra special, a dining experience to be remembered long after the smells and flavors had faded away. We decided correctly and had such an experience at Indego by Veneet, a restaurant in the Dubai Marina specializing in Haute Indian Cuisine.
We had heard about Indego by Vineet and then by chance met its proprietor, Vineet Bhatia during the taste of Dubai where he was a featured chef. Veneet is the first Indian chef to receive a globally acclaimed Michelin star and is also the proprietor of the famed Rasoi and Urban Turban in London. His restaurant in Dubai has also created quite a following for it contemporary adaptation of traditional Indian dishes with fine-dining presentation and ambiance.
Once one enters the venue, you are immediately transported to another place and time. The restaurant setting creates an ambiance for the night ahead with rich Indian fabrics and furnishings perfectly contrasting with the dark woods and alabaster surfaces to create a rich façade for what waits beyond.
The staff was nattily dressed in traditional Indian Kurta and dashed to and fro anticipating needs of each guest. Our waiter confidently explained the ins and outs of the menu and each ingredient as if he had prepared it himself. During our experience, the service was more like a symphony with the orchestration of the servers, our waiter, and sommelier who were in sync with each other as well as our dining experience. We never felt that it was too much but when we needed something it was there. Our waiter asked with each dish “How is the spice level?” to make sure that the dish wasn’t too spicy or hot. Each dish was of course seasoned to perfection with the right amount of complication, layered tastes and flavors one would expect from a Michelin rated chef.
Visitors to the restaurant can expect to experience contemporary Indian dining at its finest, with each course served together on a traditional plate, showcasing the multitude of flavors, authentic spices and tastes Indego by Vineet is famed for. One will savor the presentation almost as much as the taste. Each dish is painstakingly presented as a piece of art with the arrangement of the sauces, vegetables, and meats placed into a visual masterpiece. It is apparent that Indego’s ambition is to stimulate each of the senses visually, through the aromas, touch and of course taste.
After we ordered, the waiters began stagings our table with tasty breads and various sauces and other options to add to each dish. For the starter, I selected the Tandoori Salmon with a dill and cucumber raita . The salmon was marinated in a yogurt and masala mix and was moderately piquant. Raita is a side dish of yogurt and chopped cucumbers. It was flavored by mustard and honey giving it a sweet and tart taste. My wife chose the Bhurami Fish Tikka which was creatively topped with a coriander chutney and radish relish giving it a memorable flavor.
For the main course I had the Pot Roasted Ginger Lamb Chop which was served with corn and morel korma, laced with truffle oil. Korma is a dish where meat or vegetables are braised in water, stock and yogurt. The presentation was perfectly in sync with the complication of flavors that followed. Each spice and sauce complemented the meat for a taste that will not be soon forgotten. My wife had the Pan Seared Scallops and upon my third request, hesitantly let me have a taste. It was complimented by a saffron mash and spiced cranberry chutney. It was an exquisite combination of entrée and side dishes spiced to perfection. Regardless, our waiter stopped by at a convenient time to ask How is the spice level?
The meal was completed with the sweet tastes and textures of the rasmali, chocolate samosa saffrom kulfi. Kulfi is similar to ice cream in appearance and taste; however it is not made with eggs so it is denser and creamier. Again the presentation was a work of art. I paused briefly to ponder if I should frame it or regrettable destroy it with my sinister fork. I chose the latter and quickly forgave myself with the first bite of this cool and sweet delight.
Each dish at Indego by Vineet was flavorful without being over powered by the spice. Spices are meant to enhance the flavor of the dish, not to be the flavor or the dish. Veneet has perfected this objective choosing the right combination of spice, dishes, and preparation to please the most finicky palate.
Indego by Vineet is not your ordinary dining experience. You will be disappointed if you expect your typical Indian cuisine and normal dining. It seeks to be at the pinnacle of not just Indian cuisine but of any culinary experience which it gracefully achieves. What you can expect is an exquisite stimulation of the senses from sight, to smell, to taste and a dining experience as delectable as the dishes themselves.
Published on Jul 16, 2013