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Brunch Fit For Superheroes

Superhero Brunch at Mazina
Superhero Brunch at Mazina

My friend asked, “Why is this brunch on a Saturday?”

“Because all other brunches in Dubai happen on a Friday.”

The Bat behind the Bar
The Bat behind the Bar

And with this attitude, Mazina, the multi-cuisine restaurant at Address Dubai Marina hosted the first Superhero Brunch on a Saturday. Lovely meeting Spidergirl, who greeted us and deposited us in the safe hands of Ironman who welcomed us in. Spiderman was stuck to a corner as he wished us a healthy appetite. Man of Steel whizzed past with a serving tray as Batman smiled making a drink behind the bar! This is like having a lavish brunch while in Comicon!

Make Your Own Salad
Make Your Own Salad

Our smiling hostess took us from counter-to-counter, highlighting various cuisines and taste profiles. Started out healthy from the salad corner, where you could tuck into prepared salads or make your own with greens and condiments provided. The basil pesto and horseradish relish was to my liking.

The seafood counter had fresh prawns, mussels and king crabs that sat next to the sushi counter.

I moved on the “Jamon Jamon” counter – loading up on parma ham and smoked ham along. Went beautifully with creamy and hard cheese, walnuts, pine nuts, date compote and crackers.

Ideally I should have stopped after this. But Supergirl flew along and chatted us up. I headed to the South Asian counter. The chef prepared a simple Peking Duck roll with shredded cucumbers and leeks over a sweet sauce. Those that want to bunk the duck could have mushrooms and bokchoy, dimsums of all varieties and satays of choice. Try the mango fish with a melon ball on top. One could marry it!

Story in Pictures
Story in Pictures

I had to skip the roast counter that had smoked turkey and made a beeline for the dessert. Fondant fountains welcomes us but I went straight for the toffee pudding. Must confess that I have had better, but the mango chocolate mousse and other desserts could heal up a love-lorn heart.

#BurpAndBelch meter : 5 buuuurps

#5WordFoodReview : You Need A Superhero Appetite!

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TheCalmDev and a friend were invited for the Superhero Brunch at Mazina in Dubai Address Marina.

Mazina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Très Chic Trèsind!

Tresind Interiors
Tresind Interiors

It’s an art exhibition. Tresind is. Only difference is that you can eat the art exhibits. That makes Tresind a must-visit place for culinary art lovers. Nestled in Radisson Hotel, on Sheikh Zayed Road, Tresind rustles up some superlative Indian dishes in a progressive, modernist fine dine approach.

Zaatar Pav and Hummos
Zaatar Pav and Hummos

Let me explain what I mean, when I said ‘superlative’. It is not an adjective I use because the food on my plate was so good-looking that I made peace with the taste. No. It is superlative because of the strong loyalty towards the right taste of the Indian dish. And superlative plating style that could have you suspecting a Monet’ signed on the plate. The sign that one doesn’t see is that of Executive Head Chef Himanshu Saini who has developed the wonderful menu.

My wife and I tried the recommended Chef’s Tasting Menu. It is good to submit to the chef and see what taste route they want you to take. We sat by the window, enjoying some hand-picked English retro music when the handsome chef Angad walked in to take us through the sapid journey.

Then on, it was almost like a scene out of Satyajit Ray’s “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne” where food appears, relentlessly, on the table and food so delicious that you could eat your finger and not miss it (until you sign your credit card slip).

Here’s my highlights from the Chef Tasting Menu:

Deconstructed GolGappa: burst of flavours
Deconstructed GolGappa: burst of flavours

The deconstructed Gol Gappe: the true deconstruct of this street food favourite, it was served in a china ladle with ‘boondi’ or chickpea flour globules. Those sat around a sci-fi looking roundel of green mint chutney and red tamarind chutney, together. So when you slide in the entire spoonful in your mouth, you get the exact flavour burst of “Gol Gappe” like you would expect.

Brewing creativity: Mushroom 'Tea'
Brewing creativity: Mushroom ‘Tea’

The Mushroom ‘Tea’: Now that would be out-of-the-box. I couldn’t, for the life of me, comprehend what it would taste like. Now that is part of the ‘building anticipation’ game. A mushroom soup came in a transparent tea-pot along with some fancy tea china ware. A few thin slices of dehydrated mushrooms were thrown into the cup, with a small spoon of truffle powder and the hot mushroom broth filled up to the brim. The hot liquid hydrated the mushrooms and the truffle added to the taste. A sip of it and I was sitting as gleefully as a child with his favourite toy in hand.

Chaat Art
Chaat Art

The Chaat Trolley: A dapper, young Chef Tarun wheeled in a trolley with a huge tray covered with butter paper. It is like a personalised cooking demo of a ‘chaat’. The crumbly crisps were laid out and the special chutneys and yoghurt artistically spilled over. The ‘dhokla’ was lowered into the sinister looking liquid nitrogen chamber; taken out after sometime and crushed over the chaat. It felt like the famous scene from Terminator 2 Judgement Day when where James Patrick freezes and crumbles after being dunked in liquid nitrogen. The crushed ‘dhokla’ was hydrated with some curry leaves butter milk. Seeds of pomegranate were sprinkled on and voila! Like a canvas soaking up fresh paint, our street chaat was ready. You will notice it to have the same taste that you get from your local street vendor but in a funky new packaging!

Signature dish: Aam Papad Lamb Chop
Signature dish: Aam Papad Lamb Chop

This preparation took my breath away. ‘Aam-papad’ Lamb Chops! Mango fruit leather melted down into a gooey, Indian BBQ sauce-like coating, stuck to the juicy lamb chops. It was a delight to my taste buds. While I was surprised at how beautifully Chef Himanshu used a sweet condiment as a marinade for lamb chops, I was also admiring the taste profile of both ingredients. By golly, it was a non-vegetarian lolly!

Special mention of the palette cleanser ‘dahi-bhalley’ ice cream that out-did my wildest culinary dream! If that is one flavour that my local grocery store would stock, I’d buy a tub every week!

We had to ask the service to stop feeding us. The plates never stop coming and the food doesn’t stop surprising you. I strongly recommend the Chef Tasting Menu if you don’t want the hassle of reading a menu and ordering a dish.

The gorgeous Tresind Interior
The gorgeous Tresind Interior

Going double or in a party, Tresind will get you going with its immaculate service and fine flavours. I guarantee the food will get your liking for Indian cuisine hiked up; not so sure about the French though.

Get fed like a bull!

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Dev J Haldar is the program director of South Asian radio station Suno1024, an academic and a food critic. Follow his weekly column on Masala.com.