On the occasion of the week-long Indian Food Festival, ending April 30th, the Abu Dhabi Hilton’s beachfront restaurant – Vasco’s – has put together a delightful journey for your palate!
Named after the intrepid explorer Vasco de Gama, you’ll find Vasco’s an exciting dining destination!
The decor goes from classic elegant indoors,
to the vibrant excitement of the outdoor terrace.
In the bubbly seawater tank, your lobster awaits.
Only to join you later at the table transformed into a culinary masterpiece!
But, let us start from the beginning!
A personalized welcome that shows professional attention to detail and individualized service.
Fresh juice mocktails, or just ask Mr Hari for his recommended beverage accompaniment – he ably matched a succulent lamb shank with an Argentinian Malbec, and a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand (Oyster Bay) for the lobster.
The Taste of India special menu is tight and efficient: covering most all tastes with four mains, a soup and two desserts – but of course there is also the regular a la carte menu!
We stick to the specials for the festival: Chicken Mulligatawny Soup – well-spiced, delightful, and served at a perfect temperature, with savoury croutons on the side.
The four main dishes on offer are Goan Style Pomfret (whole!), Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani, Nalli Nihari, which is a slow-cooked lamb shank in delicious curry sauce, and finally Lobster Lababdar.
The lamb shank arrives cooked to perfection, with the juicy meat slipping off the clean bone in large chunks – I only wish I had a faithful hound to throw that bone to!
I find the curry sauce to be light on the palate and refreshingly tasty. Oftentimes Indian food is connected with powerful spices, and it was wonderful to experience a well-balanced dish that allowed the lamb to stand out and carry its own while being accompanied by the curried sauce, rather than overpowered by it – excellent!
The lobster was Canadian in origin and flavoured with red chili paste, ginger, garlic, and Indian spices – so this is a lively dish! – and served with saffron rice, vegetable salad, and a yoghurt condiment called raita. The combination of the spices, chunks of lobster meat, and the cooling saffron/salad/raita was extraordinary: a tip-top dish fit for royalty.
For dessert, two very creative fusion offerings of traditional Indian Halwa, and Gulab Jamun – the first made with carrot and “masala chai” mascarpone cream, hazelnut crumble and vanilla cream; and the second presented as a creme brulle!
Both deserving of prizes for not only the innovation, but also in taste.
Overall, a fabulous dining experience at Vasco’s, in an exclusive setting, with both indoor and outdoor seating options, and a special menu of Indian creations certain to catch your fancy during the Indian Food Festival – and carrying over to surprises in the new upcoming menu!