The Collection, St Regis Saadiyat Island.
A bit late but, but better late than never for a place like Avasa – The Indian Kitchen! A large group of us dined here on Friday night and had a wonderful time. We could not fault the food or the service at this place, especially considering that we were a large group on a busy weekend night. Right from the booking, through to the end of our meal (we were the last ones to leave), the staff were courteous, helpful and friendly. Special shout out to Indira who was our head server. Her nothing is too much and service with a smile only made our experience even more memorable.
We started our meal with some yummy appetizers, Murgh Chuski (Chef’s special), Mutton Sheekh Kabab (tender and flavorful minced mutton kababs) and Hasrat-E-Hussen (Slices of Cottage Cheese stuffed with Khoya). Although all 3 dishes were great in their own way, it was the paneer (cottage cheese) that was everyone’s favourite. The fresh, stuffed cubes were savory and cooked to perfection! We also ordered some Roasted Tomato and Coriander Soup and the Organic Quinoa and Avocado Salad as sides. Both dishes were excellent but the Quinoa salad was especially brilliant. Cooked to perfection with just enough flavor packed in, it made for a light and refreshing salad.
Next up were the main courses for which we ordered a mixed naan basket, the Murgh Methi Malai (Chicken in Fenugreek and Cream gravy), Pondicherry Prawn Curry (Orange, mango and coconut spiced curry) and Dabba Gosht (spicy street style lamb curry). The naans were good and up to the standard of most good Indian Restaurants in Abu Dhabi. All three of the curries were remarkable and it was hard to pick the best among the three. The Murgh Methi Malai was smooth, creamy and just melted in our mouth. The prawn curry had a great tang and coconutty taste but it didn’t take away from the soul satisfying essence of the dish. The Dabba Gosht, although claimed as ‘hot’ on the menu, had just the right amount of spice and was not very spicy to our seasoned Indian palettes.
Next came the Sweet ending with desserts. Initially we were a little disappointed that two of the options were unavailable, but the ones we did try were so good that it more than made up. The Ras Malai although worthy was not up to the mark. The Gulab Jamuns, served warm, were sweet, soft and hit just the right spot. The Banoffee Pie, though a bit heavy on the whipped cream was still very delicious. The star of the show was the Matka Kulfi (3 different flavored kulfis in one serving)! It had a lovely, creamy texture and each flavor (especially the pistachio) was subtle yet noticeable enough.
As still visible from the semi-decent pictures we managed to take, the presentation of each dish is alo very appealing and pleasing to the eye.
All in all, it was a great time at Avasa and we would definitely recommend it to everyone for a wonderful, modern Indian dining experience, even though it is tucked away in the collection at St. Regis on Saadiyat. Make the drive, you won’t regret it.