Visiting gorgeous locations and reporting back to you all is without doubt, one of our favourite things. Blogging is a real labour of love though – some posts we write come together effortlessly whilst others take a little more time to craft. Then there’s this one – how do you write a post reviewing a restaurant when you’re left speechless?
I suppose, like anything, you start at the beginning… From the moment we stepped through the door of Tamba (until the minute we left) we were treated like royalty; not the uncomfortable level of attention that you get in some top-notch restaurants but like we were long lost friends, invited over for the most amazing of meals.
Tamba is a relative new-comer to the flourishing Abu Dhabi food scene, serving up Indian food with a unique twist. Each plate pulls on traditional Indian flavours but is combined with a wide range of ingredients from around the world – the result is an exciting and sometimes unexpected dining experience.
The restaurant itself is absolutely gorgeous and carefully designed to match its own name. In Hindi, ‘Tamba’ means copper and the warm metallic shades throughout the restaurant help to create a welcoming atmosphere. An exotic rooftop restaurant with a sophisticated club feel, Tamba was everything we look for in a date-night restaurant.
As we looked over the menu we were instantly taken by just how knowledgeable the Tamba staff are – they know their food inside out and their passion for the concept shines through. Trusting in the Tamba team, we shared some of our favourite foods and took them up on their offer to craft us a personal selection that we would love.
Did we love it? Undoubtedly!
Each course came out as it was ready but for the most part we worked steadily though the smaller sharing plates before the mains arrived. When you’re hungry, the idea of plates continually making their way out of the kitchen is great news!
From the mild but tasty ‘chicken 65’ entree to the memorable seafood starters that Nathan enjoyed, it was obvious to us that each and every ingredient at Tamba is carefully considered and then cooked by master chefs. We found out later that every dish passes through the head chef’s hands, ensuring perfection at all stages (and they are indeed capable hands, having just been awarded Abu Dhabi Chef of the Year).
One of the surprise stand-outs from the first part of the night, for both Nathan and I, was the sweet and sour pumpkin paratha, eaten taco-style. It is literally the first time I’ve eaten a vegetarian meal that hasn’t felt like an alternative to a meat based dish – this one stands on it’s own two feet, overflowing with perfect flavour.
Delicately flavoured chicken curry (their version of butter chicken, but shhhh we’re not meant to call it that), lamb chops marinated and cooked to perfection (how many times have I used that word?!), the biggest scallops we’ve ever seen; every dish that came out was tasty and a stand-out in its own right.
Thanks to the nature of Indian fusion, even those that aren’t huge fans of this style of cuisine will be happy; with so many different flavours finding their way into the dishes, some would almost trick you into forgetting their Indian roots.
No meal is complete without the addition of a refreshing drink and tasty dessert and fortunately, Tamba have both of these in abundance. Fresh, fruity and beautifully presented, Tamba has a wide range of beverages on offer with the same high level of ingredients found in their food – homemade syrups and creative garnishes, they’ve thought of every detail… let’s be honest though, a great drink is one thing but a remarkable dessert is a whole different beast (in the very best of ways).
India is not traditionally known for its dessert offerings but Tamba has managed to hit theirs out of the park. With five solid options on the menu (and a cute little story explaining how they were named), they’re large enough to share… though you won’t want to! My personal favourite was ‘the Break-Up’, an amazing dark chocolate mousse, peanut semifreddo, salted caramel, chocolate sauce concoction whilst Nathan loved the caramelised banana toffee cake which was served with pecan nut praline, fresh banana and homemade cardamon ice cream (known as the ‘Sticky Situation’). All three were delicious – to be honest, I really don’t think you could go wrong with dessert there!
It’s a good sign when even with three desserts between the two of you, you’ve already chosen what you’d like on your next visit (cheesecake with ginger snaps, passionfruit curd, whitechocolate and honey shards and popping candy – seriously dessert heaven!)
I know this review sounds unbelievably positive but honestly, we mean every word. If you’re currently living in Abu Dhabi or planning a visit, we’d recommend swinging by Tamba to see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
The Hub at The Mall,
World Trade Centre Abu Dhabi (Level 6)
+971 2 672 88 88
Weekdays 12:00pm – 01:00am
Weekends 12:00pm – 02:00am
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