Ushna, Abu Dhabi
Reviewing Ushna, a multi award winning Indian restaurant in Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
It is no wonder that the foodie scene in UAE is intense. It is serious business, taken to the pinnacle of finesse with hordes of Michelin-starred restaurants, five-star gourmet joints and so on. Dubai has a prominent place when it comes to gastronomy, but interestingly the scene in the capital city is no less fervent. On a quest to discover the culinary scene in Abu Dhabi, we happened to descry a location that is simply set, far away from the maddening crowd- Qaryat Al Beri! A developing suburb, that overbrims with the essential charm of the Capital city Abu-Dhabi, the subtle movements, the silent bustle and the tepid weather… No matter what happens in Abu- Dhabi, there always is a smart elegance to its demure ambiance. On just such a day infused with the quintessential sanguine cadences of Abu Dhabi, we made our way to Ushna, located at Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi.
The word ‘Ushna’ comes from Sanskrit meaning warm, and the restaurant endeavors to translate that warmth, from the décor to the food and ultimately into the service and experience. The hospitable welcoming congeniality is the first thing you feel instantly as you step into the main dining area, an archetypical Indian cordiality that is all welcoming and always obliging… The main dining area exudes warmth from beautiful gold chandeliers, whereas a separate dining area dedicated to families has swinging chairs that are charming and delightful. We were welcomed in, with a friendly smile and a beautifully handwritten chocolate note to welcome us… at our table.
The real deal in any restaurant is how the starters work to set the mood. In the case of Ushna, it started off delightfully. Immediately, as soon as we were seated comfortably, the starters started pouring in.
From complimentary Pakoras with mashed caramelized onions to the classic Poppadum, our palate was truly tempted for more, slowly picking up pace. Like the tremendously colorful Indian festival of Holi, Makhni, the main course divulged the deluge of flavors the Indian subcontinent is famous for… Starting with delicious delights from the Tandoor (clay oven) the Tandoori Jhinga and Murgh Tikka, which were a perfect blend of marinade and smoke, juicy tender protein immersed in spices. Followed by the curry concoctions, the Andra Mutton Curry, Murgh Makhni Makhni, Dal which were the choices for the evening, along with Gosht Dum Biryani. The succulent curries with tender meat portions, the steamy whiffs of the aromatic biryani and the lingering taste of dal was exactly what Ushna symbolizes, the soft feeling of joy and satisfaction that comes after a fulfilling, well prepared, delicious meal.
To accentuate our savory expedition, the dessert we had our eyes set on was an absolute love. With a new take on the traditional Ras Malai, the Chef stuffed the milk dumpling with ‘Gajar ka Halwa’ combining two of the traditional flavors into one perfectly sweet hankering! With the sweet aftertaste of saffron and the crunchy nuts, the dessert is simply delicious and probably one of the highlights of the whole experience.
The multi-award winning Indian restaurant Ushna is located in Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, it also boasts a beautiful terrace with immaculate views of the marina and the Grand Mosque. The view at night is particularly breathtaking when the warm Arabian zephyrs wrap you up and the distinct Sheikh Zayed Mosque seems to serenade mystic lore in silence. The staff is also very pleasant, attentive and friendly. The restaurants’ atmosphere includes both the exclusivity required for business meetings and the intimacy desired for a romantic dinner.