My much awaited first visit to The Lantern @ The Ritz Carlton fructified last night. They have some very tempting fixed dinner menus which includes options for a solo diner (like me!!! YAY!!)
The Single Diner Meal consists of 4 courses including a Soup, 2 of their signature dimsums, Main Course whereby you can order either rice or noodles along with an accompaniment, and last but not the least, dessert.
The soup offered for the evening was Corn and Pumpkin Soup. With Kernels of sweet corn served in a thick broth made with pumpkin puree, this soup would qualify as ‘comfort food’. It had the naturally mild sweetness of red pumpkin and the more pronounced sweetness of the corn. I poured a few drops of their Soy sauce to add a slighly sour tinge. A good way to start the meal.
Next up were the Dimsums, I opted for Corn and Asparagus Triangles, and the very enticing Truffle Scented Edamame Money Pouches. Hey, I’m a broker and a gujju so the word money is like music to my ears 😀
First things first, the Dimsums here are large in size thereby making them quite filling. Among the two, my pick is the Money Pouch. Not only is it better when it comes to the taste, but also because the truffle scent is not overpowering. This subtlety allowed the flavours of the bean mixture to shine forth.
For the main course, I had the option of ordering any of their rice/noodles dishes from the main menu. I opted for The Lantern’s special Preserved Vegetables Fried Rice. Braised Eggplant and Wild Mushroom in Hot Bean Sauce seemed to be a perfect pairing as an accompaniment.
The rice was absolutely fantastic. It was perfectly sticky, with with little or no spice whatsoever allowing you to experience the the rich and contrasting flavours of the vegetables. Now, once you combine this with the more pungent accompaniment, you know you’re grinning with satisfaction.
The accompaniment had all my favourite ingredients namely shitake mushrooms, black fungus, shimeji mushrooms and of course, eggplant. The different varieties of mushrooms provided lovely ‘bites’ (shitake: fleshy; black fungus: crunchy; Shimeji: soft yet chewy) while the eggplant was braised to perfection and provided some good amount of weight to the dish. Another winner.
The preserved vegetables fried rice comes with some delicious stir-fried Chinese greens ( bakchoi, zucchini, Chinese cabbage, snow peas ). I had a field time munching these, pretty much, as a stand alone dish as I did not want to dilute the beautifully orchestrated symphony of the rice and the eggplant.
By now, I was full! And true to my reputation, I skipped the dessert. Yes, I did. Because I wanted the flavours of the main course to remain.
The Single Diner Meal costs Rs.2000 plus taxes and is more than sufficient for a good eater. For a Ritz Carlton experience, I’d gladly pay this much. The service was prompt and attentive. The staff has good knowledge of the dishes and are happy to recommend based on your palate preferences.
Being a restaurant that serves Cantonese style Chinese food, don’t expect over-the-top spice levels. I, personally, loved the entire experience and will surely go back repeatedly.