Friday, April 29, 2016

Avasa {Indian Fusion on Saadiyat}



On the evening that we arrived back from our whirlwind trip to Lebanon (check it out on Instagram), I had to be at the relaunch of one of the few high-end Indian Fusion restaurants here in Abu Dhabi...well technically on the chi chi island of Saadiyat. I am always excited to try a new menu, so the jet lag had to be put on hold. While Saadiyat Island is only minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi, it feels like a world apart. It is peaceful and elegant, and Avasa is exactly that, as it sits amid a few other outdoor eateries at the St. Regis. While there is no beach view from the restaurant, you can sit out in the large stone courtyard and people watch.

Most importantly for me, however, is the food. As I have mentioned many times before I am not a true lover of high-end cuisine...I just need my meal to be cooked perfectly and taste magnificently...is that too much to ask? I am not really into presentation. Yet, Avasa is really into presentation...but, they do also seem to know what they are doing when it comes to taste.

We started the evening with a perfectly ripe mango salad with mustard seed and curry leaves, which was refreshing and appetizing. We then quickly moved on to an array of small plates from succulent pieces of Charcoal-Grilled Salmon, Tandoor Grilled Prawns (I highly recommend) and finished with lamb sliders. Yes, lamb sliders (!) are very fusion, but were surprisingly well executed. The bun was very soft and slightly sweet, the patty was hot and flavorful, and even the fries were salty and crispy.
For the main dishes we moved on to the more traditional fare of biryani, fish curry, grilled chicken, dal, and creamed spinach.  All were delicious and...all presented so beautifully modern.

Avasa relaunched with this more modern focus, in effort to stand out from the masses. And they are. They even have a great wine list with quality wines from Italy, France and, yes, India! When the temps start rising in the coming months, sit outside and enjoy Indian tapas while sipping a crisp white wine, what a perfect relaxing night spot.





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