Drink & DineReviews

The Insider Reviews: The Crossing Dubai

Indian cuisine is renowned for its unique and delectable flavours, which are derived from the use of a wide range of spices and curries. This quintessentially Indian style of cooking and the aroma of Indian spices is irresistible, as we found out at H Hotel’s The Crossing.

At The Crossing, they take pride in upholding traditional Indian cuisine while also showcasing a more unconventional side. Alongside the classic dishes, they also highlight foreign influences that have historically found their way into Indian cuisine. The name itself reflects their approach to culinary exploration, where cultural boundaries are crossed and culinary practices are shared. And we were fortunate enough to experience guest Chef Mohammad Ashfaque Quereshi – who has been trained by his father, the Grand Master of Indian culinary traditions, Padma Shri Grand Master Chef Imtiaz Qureshi and like him is a master in the unique and historic Awadhi cuisine. Grand Master Qureshi was also a former mentor and good friend to The Crossing’s executive chef and founder Ankur Chakraborty. 

Originating from the region of Awadh in North India, Awadhi cuisine is renowned for its careful blend of spices, which is its most distinctive feature. The cuisine is celebrated for its subtle and delicate flavours, with a nuanced use of spices. The recipes were meticulously crafted and closely guarded by the families of royal cooks, and were passed down from generation to generation with utmost care.

To start, we enjoyed a diverse selection of kebabs. One of note was the Hara Kabab Awadhi, which had a delicate flavor and was made with spinach and chana dal stuffed with cottage cheese. It was pan-grilled in butter and sprinkled with fenugreek, resulting in an interesting and delicious dish. Another classic kebab was the Galawati kebab, originating from the infamous by-lanes of Lucknow. It consisted of fine minced lamb meat blended with spices, cashew, and brown onions, and was flavored with saffron. The mixture was then rolled into patties and shallow-fried, creating a kebab that required minimal chewing and melted in the mouth. My personal favorite of the three was the Murgh Balai Imtiazi, which featured tender chicken tikka dipped in an aromatic royal cumin marinade. It was grilled perfectly in the tandoor before being finished on Dum.

For our main course, we indulged in the Mahi Kofta Kaliyan – fresh grouper marbles cooked in a mustard oil gravy that was enhanced with fenugreek seeds and garnished with coriander and juliennes of ginger soaked in lemon juice. This dish had a unique taste that was definitely worth acquiring. Another main course we enjoyed was the Dum Khusk Pardah – a resplendent boneless chicken cured in a star anise-scented marinade, grilled in a tandoor, and then cooked with an assortment of vegetables and sealed with puff pastry. It was comfort food at its finest. The Dum Gosht Lucknow Biryani was another highlight, featuring basmati rice and tender lamb simmered with mace, attar, and kewar before being finished on Dum in a sealed handi. This hearty and flavorful Awadhi Dum Biryani is a rice dish in which rice and meat are cooked separately and then layered and cooked again for several hours in a sealed vessel over a low fire. All of these dishes were accompanied by the best Dal Qureshi Bukhara – a harmonious combination of black lentils, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic simmered overnight on a slow charcoal fire and finished with cream, served with a dollop of unsalted butter. We greedily mopped up every last bit of it with aromatic and assorted fluffy garlic naan.

While I tend to prefer savory flavours, I must say that the desserts we enjoyed were quite impressive. The Phirni was a light and delicate dish made with mild reduced pounded basmati that was flavored with saffron and cardamom. We also indulged in the Malaiyu, which was whipped saffron milk served on honey brittle and sprinkled with pistachio and edible flattened silver leaves. Both desserts were beautifully presented and truly delicious.

With a contemporary design featuring clean lines and minimalist decor, the restaurant boasts a beautiful outdoor terrace seating area surrounded by lush foliage, perfect for enjoying during the winter months. The indoor seating is also comfortable and ideal for hosting intimate gatherings of both small and large groups of family and friends. A must try for an ideal authentic experience.
For more information please visit https://crossingtherestaurant.com/ or Instagram @thecrossingdubai

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