On our recent trip to India we spent our last few days at the Ritz-Carlton in Bangalore. The Ritz-Carlton is a beautiful hotel right in the centre of Bangalore with the friendliest staff. They have a number of restaurants within the hotel but The Lantern is where you’ll indulge in incredible Dim Sum and other Chinese delicacies.
About The Lantern
The Lantern at The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore offers an informal Chinese fine dining experience. The interior is stunning – think classy chic oriental – and with low lighting it has a romantic ambience.
What we ate at The Lantern
The Lantern has a vast menu with plenty of vegan friendly options. Although they weren’t labelled as vegan, the staff and chef himself were incredibly accommodating and talked us through the dishes and ingredients in detail. Here’s what we ate.
To start we had Sautéed Radish Cake (radish and carrot cake sauté with spring onion and garlic) and Crystal Vegetable Dumplings (translucent Asian vegetables in a wheat starch skin).
The Radish Cake was exceptional. The texture was in-between silk tofu and beancurd. The process to make these little cubes – which the chef took us through – was lengthy. It involved boiling, moulding and steaming, although i can’t remember the details. If you’re not a fan of the taste of radish then do not despair as it was very subtle. It took in the flavour of the onion and garlic. I just wish that i could have this dish on tap. It was like nothing i’ve ever tasted before.
The Crystal Vegetable Dumplings were also sensational. The staff at one of the other Ritz-Carlton restaurants had recommended these to us and they were right to do so. Look how beautiful they are. They’re a feast for the eyes and that’s before you’ve even tasted them.
For main we had Mapo Tofu (a classic preparation of tofu and preservative black bean), Clay Pot Seasonal Vegetables (seasonal vegetables tossed with garlic, dry chilli and soy sauce) and some Vegetable Hofan Noodles.
I really cannot fault a single one of these dishes. The Mapo Tofu had a bit of a spicy kick to it, but not enough that you couldn’t taste the food. The Clay Pot Seasonal Vegetables included water chestnuts and Chinese mushrooms, both of which I adore. The Vegetable Hofan Noodles were probably a bit overkill with the boiled rice, but I enjoyed them too. They had a slight sweetness to them and it made me think that I really need to consider using noodles in my cooking at home. All these dishes paired nicely together. The aromas, the spices and the flavours were perfection.
We would have loved to have had dessert, but we had stuffed ourselves silly on the starters and mains and so decided to give our tummies a rest.
The Lantern Experience
At the end of the meal the waiter brought over a red lantern and black marker pen and asked if we’d like to write a message on the lantern before going outside to light it and let it free. Coincidently this trip was for my Mum’s birthday so it was a great way to end a fabulous meal. Just to point out, we didn’t say anything about it being Mum’s birthday, it was just a kind gesture on the hotel staffs part. So we wrote our message and then set the lantern free into the night sky of Bangalore. Just wonderful.
I would give The Lantern 5 stars for hospitality and 5 stars for the quality of their food. I have eaten at many an Asian restaurant but there were dishes on this menu that i’d never tried before and that were quite frankly…fabulous.
One thing that I cannot finish this post without mentioning is the staff. I work in customer experience and this hotel have their customer service down to a tee. By the end of each iteraction, whether it’s with your waiter/waitress, the chef, your valet, the cleaner – it doesn’t matter – you feel like you’ve made a friend. The staff at The Lantern were no exception and made us feel right at home. So thank you.
If you’re in Bangalore and fancy a change to Indian food then most definitely make your way to The Lantern, you won’t regret it. You can find out more about the restaurant here.