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“Rasoi translates to the kitchen in Hindi, the heart of a home where happy memories are created around comforting meals.”
Next time you fancy Indian food with a modern twist and wish to try something new, you should consider the newly opened Rasoi by Vineet restaurant in Abu Dhabi. The new restaurant is located next to Tori No Su and facing the entrance of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers hotel (where Brasserie Angélique used to be for the ‘veterans’ of Abu Dhabi).
If this name doesn’t ring a bell, the Mumbai-born Chef Vineet Bhatia is quite famous and has already opened more than a dozen restaurants around the world. He was awarded a Michelin star for Rasoi restaurant in London. He also was one the Chef pioneers opening Indigo restaurant in Dubai Marina at Grosvernor House Hotel when the development was just at its very beginning.
Since then, Chef Vineet has opened a second casual street food style restaurant in Dubai in 2019 that we reviewed on Dubai Confidential (more details here). After searching to open an outlet in Abu Dhabi for years, he now has his first Rasoi by Vineet in Abu Dhabi.
Fond of Indian cuisine (especially when it combines traditional flavors with a twist), we were therefore very excited to visit this new venue, and the cherry on the top was the presence of Chef Vineet himself to welcome diners the night we visited for a Chef’s Table dinner.
By the way, this guy is so busy he boarded a plane to Mumbai right after the dinner as he is one of the six judges of the TV show MasterChef India.
For those who appreciate good interior design, colorful and comfy ambiances, you are in for a treat as the restaurant design is definitely appealing with many trinkets, plants, and fancy decor on the walls.
You cannot miss the portrait of Chef Vineet on one of the walls with his signature beard in the first main room that sets the scene. Several rooms, several ambiances ranging from a center-stage round table in the first room, many cozy alcoves or brasserie-style tables and sofas, a long communal table close to the open kitchen at the back of the restaurant and an intimate and glamorous bar on the side, the layout and overall interior won us over.
Do stop by the bar before heading to your table…
Don’t hesitate to stop by the bar as the bartenders prepare delightful Indian inspired mocktails and cocktails with appealing and funky labels such as the “Berry-Berry good” or “Summer Arabian”. During the aperitif, we were offered few snacks that were very yummy especially the Chicken Snowballs, Koila Prawns (prepared with charcoal). Be aware that the beetroot pani puri is not only cute but can be tricky. Make sure you swallow the whole nibble and not bite inside as it has a liquid consistency inside!
Invited by Chef Vineet to experience his cuisine at a Chef’s Table Dinner to celebrate the official opening of the restaurant, the team had prepared a bespoke menu featuring some of the restaurant’s signature dishes.
First came an amouse bouche called Tamataridal soup with potato bonda coming separately which had a powerful spicy taste. The Dilli Tikki Chaat was refreshing thanks to the sweetened yogurt. Prepared with almond crusted vegetable cutlet, Punjabi chickpeas, it was topped with sprinkles and paired well with the tamarind chutney. Just mix it all, grab a full spoon and enjoy!
We then experienced a mix of hot starters. The most surprising probably was the black butter chicken samosa as given the black color, you cannot guess what’s inside! The banana leaf sea bass is prepared in pollichathu masala of coconut and tomatoes. We actually were not used to pairing cooked seabass with coconut flavors but it works well.
Mains came in a sharing style manner to the table and we loved picking the many tantalizing options. Our three favorites were the coastal prawn stew with coconut, lemongrass kaffir lime and red chilies – and we probably overindulged by scooping the sauce with warm butter and garlic naans), the butter chicken and the encrusted chicken biryani layered with dry fruits and fresh mint.
After a much needed pause, we ended on a sweet touch with a variety of signature mini desserts to experience. The plate was visually appealing and reflected the dramatic colorful decor. The black and white chocolate samosa is a signature dessert by Chef Vineet that we were delighted to try. This indulging bite was worth it! The pink Rose Kulfi icecream was also delicious. A chocolate Chikki delice was topped with Saffron jalebi.
A new place worth visiting for Indian food lovers giving you the opportunity to try the cuisine of a renowned Michelin-starred Chef in the heart of Abu Dhabi. As the menu offers a large range of plates and bowls designed for sharing, just order a mix to get a taste of the Chef’s inventive cuisine and make the most of your visit.
Starters on the menu -warm and cold – range from 50 AED to 110AED with a large variety around 80AED -. Byrianis range between 115 and 145AED. Most of the mains are priced between 110 and 140AED.
The restaurant is open daily from 12.30 pm to 11 pm.
RASOI BY VINEET | Podium Level, next to Tori No Su and opposite the Jumeirah Etihad Towers Hotel entrance
Tel: +971 02 447 4848
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