From the bylanes of Britain to the swanky Marina Walk, Indo-British fusion makes its way to Dubai, writes Sneha May Francis
There’s a curry house on almost every inconspicuous lane in Britain, each stirring up a delicious concoction of Indian and British cuisine. And it’s in these tiny kitchens that the popular Chicken Tikka Masala was created. The dish became the rage across the globe but for the robust Indian tastebuds it was a tad insipid. And this is probably why our gastronomic journey to The Rupee Room wasn’t excitingly flavourful.
Arriving at the bustling Marina Walk we find a neat outdoor eating area. The picture-postcard view of the anchored yachts was inviting, but the weather didn’t permit sitting outdoors that night. So we headed to the tastefully decorated interior and found a nice corner by the large glassed-off kitchen where the chefs entertained us with their acrobatics.
Once seated, our courteous waiter arrived with the menu. We skimmed through the neatly divided list to pick our favourites. Our hungry tummies made us act fast, rather too impulsively perhaps. I know gluttony is a sin, but it’s extremely tough to reason with a growling tummy.
We started our meal with a Tandoori platter, a lavish spread of assorted kebabs – Malai, Botti, Reshmi, Seekh – along with Tandoori Chicken and Rupee Room naan. We were taken aback by the pure monstrosity of the spread. The thought of the rest of the order that had yet to make it to our table had us worried! The collection of neatly arranged meat chunks worked wonders on our tastebuds. The spiced and succulent pieces of meat were cooked to perfection, each retaining its unique flavour. The spread of tantalising pickles complemented them well. Though we would have loved to clear the platter, we had to restrain ourselves from filling our tummies before the other dishes had arrived.
Thankfully we had enough time to sip on fresh orange juice and soothe our tastebuds before our waiter appeared with the steaming hot mains. Our seafood instincts had prompted us to pick the Jhinga Dum Masala, which didn’t deserve the slots we had reserved in our stomach. The large jumbo prawns didn’t quite blend in with the delicious dressing. The prawn meat needed to be marinated for longer in order to retain the spicy tang. The Rogan Josh also missed the mark. The meat tasted insipid, and we longed for a more zesty and tangy tomato base. The Indian bread accompaniments, however, were impressively soft and fluffy.
We talked ourselves into the Prawn Dum Biriyani, only because we’d heard rave reviews about it. But it failed to impress. The prawns weren’t flavoured enough to blend in with the spiced rice. I think the essence of a good biriyani is its spiciness, which was missing here.
It’s customary to finish a meal with a sweet dish. So, despite a rather stuffed stomach, we braved the Rasmallai and Gajjar Ka Halwa, and are glad we did. The sweet dishes truly made our meal burp-worthy! The milky cottage cheese bowl and the steaming hot carrot pudding were the best we’d ever tasted.
We sat a while longer at our table, and were weighed down by our stuffed tummies. In hindsight, we let our tummies rule our minds and perhaps we didn’t need to order so much food. Oh well, next time!
The rupee room
What Indian cuisine
Where Marina Walk, North Podium, 04 390 5755
Why For a nice kebab treat with a view over the spectacular Marina Walk
Cost Bill for two Dh490
(Published in e+, Gulf News, Dubai for April 9th issue)