Rangoli is an art form, originating in the Indian subcontinent, in which patterns are created on the floor or the ground using materials such as coloured rice, dry flour, coloured sand or flower petals. The art of Rangoli is the spirit of Indian lifestyle and expression of creativity through colours. According to a legend recorded in Chitra Lakshana, the earliest treaties on Indian paintings, the King and his kingdom were stepped into sorrows at the demise of high priest’s son. Every day the King prayed to the Lord Bramha who moved by the prayer and asked the King to paint a portrait of the body on the floor so that he could breathe life into it. The picture on the floor coined the art of floor painting, and the concept of Rangoli originated. The characteristics of Rangoli are that it is passed from generation to generation, it is adopted by commoners, and there are no specialised training institutes that teach this art. Rangoli is the innate nature of Indians, art lovers, and the artists. With such artistic impression and creativity of Rangoli, Rotana Group is running the Fine Dine restaurant with the ancient art of India- Rangoli, the modern Indian restaurant on the gated community of the Capital – Yas Island.
Fantastic location, enchanting vibes, delicious food, and extraordinary hospitality are features of Rangoli by Rotana. Yas Island is the place which caters to all tastes and ages from a dose of adrenaline to unwinding the peaceful sanctuary; Rangoli aligns completely with its location on Yas Island since the restaurant caters to all types of palates. Each dish and drink is as carefully crafted and presented as artist fill colours with bare hands in patterns drawn in Rangoli. Minimalistic yet artistic platting, the right proportion of ingredients, and due diligence in serving them reflect the restaurant’s ultimate expression of passion for art and food.
A beautiful collage of Indian deities at the reception area, a colourful emblem of ‘Rangoli’, and modern classical Indian music set the right tone of dining for the guests and customers. Opulent interiors and adequately arranged space make you feel comfortable and alive at the restaurant. You need a private space to dine? Rangoli has private dining area; you need a good (poolside) view? Rangoli has special seating arrangement for that as well. A look of the kitchen through glass shows the transparency of the Management for food, service, and intent; you can see the chefs and cook making food for you.
Restaurant Manager – Mr Anurag with mixologist Suraj understand the need of the customer for drinks; let it be cocktail or mocktail, they know the right proportion of liquids and solids into the glasses. East India, a gin infused with mint is a perfect choice of cocktail to start summer evening; those who prefer non-alcoholic beverage – mocktail, Masala Frost (a drink with bubbles of soda and flavours of spices) is recommended.
There are many Indian fine-dine restaurants in the Capital, and Indian cuisines make each of them unique and competitive; a little twist in the recipe sets the restaurant out from the crowd, courtesy: Indian spices and gastronomy. With such high competition and need to provide with exclusive experience, each eatery thrives on being the best. What distinguishes them is hospitality and service than just-food. You may get an almost as similar taste of Indian curry in a food truck or ordinary restaurant as that in fine-dine, but not quality. You may observe the excellent welcome and attention in the cafe, but not the subjective approach towards customers in fine-dine restaurants. Rangoli sets the benchmark for the quality of food and extraordinary hospitality for all the fine-dine restaurants in Abu Dhabi. The servers like Zain in Rangoli never let you miss any detail of the food with elaborated information of dish as well as the recommendation of the right dish suitable to your palate.
To stimulate your appetite, Rangoli has got you covered with varieties of appetisers. Mouth-filling Palak Patta Chat with mint chutney dip and sweet yoghurt garnishing is a tangy treat to street food lovers. Kozi Varuval, a Chettinad chicken with southern Indian spices and garlic-tomato chutney, is drool-worthy because of fresh aroma of cooked chicken with nicely infused flavours of spices. Soft inside and crispy outside, Hariyali Tikki is a melt-in-mouth appetiser and highly recommended.
After setting the tone for the main course with tasty appetisers, you may ask the shisha-maker to make you a Rangoli’s signature shisha with a fruity twist – Pineapple. The concept of hookah is thought to have originated in medieval India. Once the province of the wealthy, it was tremendously popular, especially during Mughal rule. The hookah has since become less popular; however, it is once again garnering the attention of the masses, and cafes and restaurants that offer it as a consumable are famous. Rangoli serves the varieties of hookah, but the flavours of fresh fruit are recommended to experience a light effect of hookah during meals. Mr Gaber, with knowledge of 15 years, makes the best hookah in the Capital; with his extensive experience, he knows the details of hookah meticulously and understands your choice correctly.
Meen Moilley, pan-seared sea bass with onion, tomato, turmeric, coconut curry, is a unique experience in Rangoli that stays for long with you. Sea bass with the crisp top layer and nicely cooked subsequent layers placed on mildly spiced and mashed potato is a delight. The right flavour profile gives the right taste to the recipe; the compatibility and suitability of ingredients are crucial for the right flavour profile. Crisp Mutton Dosa is a classic example of the right flavour profile. Dosa cooked in Ghee and stuffed with mutton masala is naturally artistic preparation by Rangoli; this dish is not in the menu but available upon request. Fats and satiation of lamb go really well with Dosa cooked in Ghee. They serve the Dosa on a wooden wedge, this is just compatible with the woody appearance of Dosa. Do try this particular recipe in Rangoli.
The main courses are served with basmati rice in Rangoli. All the vegetarian preparations are available in Jain option (without garlic and onion) too. Chana Masala with tadka of ajwain (carrom seeds) is decent preparation to try with rice. Kurkuri Bhindi – crisp fried okras tossed in onion, tomatoes, and mango powder needs slight improvement to avoid excessive sourness due to presence of both tomatoes and mango powder. Perhaps, opt for other vegetarian preparations instead of Kurkuri Bhindi. Manglorean style chicken thigh curry – Kori Gassi is delectable preparation.
Fisherman catches the fishes & other aquatic animals, sell them to the supplier, and they are bought by many customers in the market; these customers cook them in varieties of dishes. A journey from sea to plate causes a loss of fishy and the oceanic smell of animal; however, treatment while cooking too decides the flavour of these sea creatures. Jumbo shrimps barbequed with spices in Tandoor and cooked in onion-tomato masala produces Tandori Jhinga Masala. A long journey of the Jumbo Shrimp from sea to plate through Tandoor is worth eating and tasty. The nuttiness of Tandoori shrimps, creamy onion-tomato based gravy, and umami of Kasturi methi make this dish a must-try. Indian bread in Rangoli – Roti, Naan, and Paratha are fresh and nicely textured.
Aromatic Subji Biryani and Murgh Dum Biryani are gratifying servings by Rangoli. India and Biryani are inseparable. All four corners of India has a distinct taste of Biryanis bound by a common thread of spices. The biryanis served in Rangoli is a representation of Biryani from northern and central parts of India, i.e. cooking Basmati Rice with Dum. These biryanis are inclined towards the use of Ghee and the freshness of Basmati rice but devoid of the robustness of spices. However, you cannot afford to miss the holistic take on Biryani by Rangoli, do eat and appreciate the art of Biryani making.
Home-made Sorbets and Ice-creams from the ‘Sweet Moments of Rangoli’ are equally scrumptious and gratifying. Available in various flavours, the sorbets and Ice-creams are prepared in the kitchen of Rangoli, and they are of superior quality. The sweetest moment of Rangoli is after eating Rasmalai and enjoying its elevating effect on the body. Soft milk dumplings soaked in saffron milk reduction and pistachio are incredible; this is probably best dessert out of fine-dine restaurants in Abu Dhabi. Consistent and rich milk dumplings, the right consistency, and adequate sweetness is sheer art of perfection and class. Do not bid adieu Rangoli without eating their Rasmalai.
Wall paintings of Rangoli, colourful curtains, spherical and elliptical chandeliers and traditional wooden swing at private dining areas with shisha pot aside makes the Rangoli a modern Indian Restaurant of the Capital. Kitchen headed by Chef Laxmikanth with excellent experience in culinary arts is well-equipped and of best hygiene. The one thing you can keep in your bucket-list of things to explore in Abu Dhabi is Rangoli – the modern Indian restaurant.
Average Cost: AED 295 for two people (approx.)
Location: Yas Island Rotana, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
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