Restaurant Review: Avatara's 16-course Michelin star experience celebrates India's culinary wisdom

Nestled in the heart of Dubai, relish an unmatched gastronomic experience with exquisite vegetarian cuisine


Somya Mehta

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Published: Tue 9 Jan 2024, 6:17 PM

Last updated: Tue 9 Jan 2024, 6:20 PM

Having made a significant impact with its launch at the voco Hotel in 2022, Avatara opened the doors to its sophisticated new establishment in Dubai Hills towards the end of last year. Led by Chef Rahul Rana, the restaurant is the world's first and only Indian vegetarian fine dining Michelin-starred restaurant, inviting patrons to relish an unmatched gastronomic experience with exquisite vegetarian cuisine.

Where each dish tells a story

Nestled in the heart of Dubai, Avatara stands as a testament to the artistry and innovation of vegetarian fine dining. Led by the visionary chef, the culinary team at Avatara seems to have mastered the delicate balance of blending ancient wisdom with contemporary flavours, where each dish tells a story.

The term ‘Avatara’ can be broadly translated as ‘incarnation’ or ‘embodiment’ and in the context of the restaurant, it suggests a connection to the idea of a unique and special manifestation in the culinary world.

From the moment you step inside, the ambiance transports you to a serene retreat, a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The all-green pastel decor is elegantly minimalist, allowing the focus to remain on the star of the show – the exquisite vegetarian cuisine.

A crash-course into India's diverse culinary scene

Dining at Avatara is not just a curated food-tasting journey but a deeply enriching educational experience in India’s rich culinary diversity and history, encapsulating flavours from different corners of the Indian Subcontinent. From Uttarakhand's horsegram curry to southern India’s ghee roast and everything in between, the dishes retain the raw, original flavours of the ingredients, allowing for a sensory, authentic dining experience, which takes you close to the source.

A journey of flavours that dance on your palate, the menu comprises a symphony of colours and textures, which is not just a feast for the taste buds but a holistic experience that nourishes the soul. The attention to detail is evident in every course, showcasing the chef's dedication to creating a harmonious dining experience.

Chakra-infused menu

The 16-course culinary odyssey takes you on a journey through the Chakras, with each dish thoughtfully designed to resonate with and restore balance to these vital energy centres. Whether you're drawn to the grounding influence of the Muladhara Chakra or the elevated experience of the Sahasrara Chakra, Avatara's menu has something extraordinary for every palate.

The service is impeccable, with a knowledgeable and attentive staff that enhances the overall dining experience. The staff's passion for the cuisine and their willingness to guide diners through the menu adds a personal touch that elevates the entire meal. From the origins of the ingredients to how the dish is best consumed, the staff hand-holds you through the entire culinary journey.

Creativity at its finest

Each course is meticulously prepared and served as soon as you’re done with the previous meal, with clock-work service. If diners want a break in between the courses, they can inform the staff one course prior. Few dishes that stand out are okra chilli thecha, corn & tomato shorba, raw banana chaat, ghee roast karela, achari broccolini and horsegram curry paired with ragi bhatura.

What’s particularly interesting is that all dishes are prepared without onion and garlic and there's no paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or mushroom used in any of the courses, as those are the most commonly found veg meal options in most vegetarian restaurants. Seems like the chef was definitely up for a challenge!

Avatara is not just a restaurant; it's a culinary sanctuary for those seeking a unique and memorable vegetarian dining experience. Whether you're a devoted vegetarian or a curious food enthusiast, Avatara is a must-visit destination.

Food menu priced at Dh595 per person. Open all days, between 6pm-11pm. WHERE: Dubai Hills Estate, Business Park 1, Dubai.

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