New flavors in the capital: Tamba

Tamba Abu Dhabi

For the first time in a long time, I decided to skip researching a menu before dining at a venue.  Usually, I obsess check carefully and plan out exactly what I am going to try.

You know what?  I should play things by ear a bit more often.

As my previous visit to The Hub was a bit disappointing and the night was only saved by a sneak preview of Tamba, I was excited to return and see if the food matched the ambiance.  As per their website, Tamba is ‘an ingenious reinterpretation of the flavors of the subcontinent, with a contemporary twist. A stunning, loft-style setting designed to foster social interaction and culinary discovery.’  That’s a lot to live up to…  So, let’s see if the mission was accomplished, shall we?

Walking in, I was reminded of Hakkasan‘s striking decor (which feels like the set of a James Bond film, but I think that’s just me).  With dramatic features, metallic accents, and intimate lighting, the restaurant is a fantastic spot for a date night or anniversary.  As summer has not fully arrived, there would be some time to sit outside and enjoy a unique view of Abu Dhabi.  The outdoor tables are cozy and perfect for a catch up.  Should you be inclined, there are also private dining spaces that can be reserved.  The open kitchen concept is something I tend to like and I think it works well in this space.

Tamba Abu Dhabi

Tamba Abu Dhabi

Tamba Abu Dhabi
Someone got the mise-en-scène memo.

But perhaps you’re not here for the scenery?

The best way to enjoy the restaurant, as it was expertly explained to us, was to order a number of plates and share across the table.  As we are all good friends, that suited our plans just fine.  With a great list of cocktails specifically made for Tamba, I opted for the rum based HMS Ganges, my friend ordered a concoction which tasted similar to a Bloody Mary.  We decided hers was quite tasty, but perhaps not the best accompaniment to dinner.   A fairly extensive wine list is also available.

Tamba Abu Dhabi

For all the dishes we tried (which were many, as you will see), I was struck by how consistent the menu was.  For vegetarian choices to different proteins to the dessert, there was thoughtfulness and depth in each of the plates — high marks in texture, taste, and presentation for everything we tried.  If I had to pick, my standouts would include the seared salmon and prawns (in a delicious curry sauce), however, I wouldn’t hesitate to order any dish again — it would simply depend on my appetite.  While I have enough pictures to significantly slow the scrolling speed on your device, I’m going to post a selection of my favorites.  When you go to Tamba, I would encourage you to do as we did, have a look at the menu and work with your server to make sure you get to taste what suits your palate.  Fair warning, you might need to schedule a second visit to make sure you don’t miss out!

Tamba Abu Dhabi
A perfect bite of salmon.
Tamba Abu Dhabi
Fancy eggplant is fancy. (Officially, eggplant bharta with deccan spice and labeneh.)
Tamba Abu Dhabi
Sweet & sour pumpkin on spinach paratha topped with tomato salsa. #nom
Tamba Abu Dhabi
If it’s high end dining in the UAE, there *must* be black cod.
Tamba Abu Dhabi
Mushroom Khichdi with blackberry pickle – a thing of beauty.
Tamba Abu Dhabi
Desert aptly named ‘The Break Up.’  And in case you were wondering, there is another dessert that has pop rocks in it… #leaveroom #justsaying

As you might expect, this will not be the cheapest date in town, however, I’m usually happy to pay for quality when quality is delivered.  Points across the board for delicious dishes (not found elsewhere), an engaging and knowledageble staff, and a beautiful venue.  I’m so glad to see the Abu Dhabi food scene get a restaurant like Tamba!

A final note to the management, I would LOVE to see Tamba do a Friday brunch service.  As an ala carte offer, it would easily compete with Koi and BOA.

Have you been to The Hub yet?  What’s your favorite restaurant at the location?

A to Za’atar was a guest of Tamba for the evening.  Opinions are my own.  Just ask my husband.

Reservations can be made online via the website or either of the following:  +971 2 672 8888

Tamba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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Author. Expat. Saberer of champagne. You might also know me as Courtney Brandt.

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