NAMAK BY KUNAL KAPUR
Dusit Thani is a gold mine of hidden gems: Benjarong, Urban Kitchen brunch and now, Namak by Kunal Kapur. Earning the reputation as one of the Best Chefs in India, Chef Kunal Kapur has brought serious competition to the Abu Dhabi market of high end Indian restaurants, combining traditional comfort foods and dining experiences of India with international influences.
The amuse bouche, a vegetable fritter served with 6 sauces, and the bread crackers accompanied by four delicious flavours of butter (lime & chilli, saffron, cumin, and curry flavour) were an indication of how the rest of the starters were going to be: spectacular!
True to its name, the slow braised tandoori lamb chops were to die for and literally ‘Fall off the bone.’ The large portion came with 5 pieces and we were (politely) fighting over the last one! Recommended by our wonderful server, the large grilled butter prawns were excellent, served on a bed of black garlic sauce and topped with malai foam. The K.F.C (aka Kerala Fried Chicken) - chicken lollipops coated with 3 types of flour served on a bed of yoghurt and cocktailed onion – were finger-lickingly good 😉 Filled with 6 kinds of cheese and fried in a charcoal batter to give the blackened appearance, the bread pakoras were soft and gooey on the inside and perfectly fit with the tamarind chutney and a passionfruit sauce.
After adventuring out with our starter choices, we chose to stick to our Indian favourites for mains. Why? “Because I love it!” (Aka the butter chicken!) The butter chicken was exactly what you’d expect - a silky, buttery tomato curry packed with tender chicken and smoothed over with a touch of cream. We also shared a portion of the dahl makhani which was rich and indulgent. The vegetable Desi Khao Suey, a dish inspired by a Nepalese dish as our waitress informed us, was a light broth mixed with popadoms and an assortments of condiments that you could add as you wished. We all agreed that the taste was great but the texture was not for us. Honestly, try the items you wouldn’t normally think to - they have really put thought and time into creating some amazing dishes!
The bartender whipped us up three amazing cocktails: Deccan Deal, Chaai It and Mumtaz. The flavours and presentation of all were fantastic – I would come back just to enjoy one of these at the bar.
Top tip: the glass fronted kitchen gives you a glimpse at the busy kitchen and you can watch the chefs using the tandoors so ask for a table near the bar!
For bookings, please call 02-698 8888 #invited