New menu at Riwaz - Ritz Carlton

When I entered Riwaz, the beautiful Mughal inspired yet modern interiors were what struck me first. Warm lighting, carefully chosen silver artefacts used in the decor and soothing music were the other things I mentally ticked off.
The cutlery and the menu were in total sync with the jaali-work inte

New menu at Riwaz - Ritz Carlton

When I entered Riwaz, the beautiful Mughal inspired yet modern interiors were what struck me first. Warm lighting, carefully chosen silver artefacts used in the decor and soothing music were the other things I mentally ticked off.

The cutlery and the menu were in total sync with the jaali-work interiors and reminiscent of the royalty from the Mughal era. While admiring the beautiful silverware on the table, we were told that it was specially designed for the restaurant by La Cuppola.

Riwaz is one of the restaurants at the Ritz Carlton, Bangalore, which serves selected recipes from the North Western Frontier Province curated by Chef Ramandeep. Our dinner was to experience some of the highlight dishes from the new menu.

My post will give you a vegetarian's perspective of dining at Riwaz. For the meat lovers, you can follow my fellow blogger and diner, Swapna's post here

The meal started with an amuse-bouche version of a dahi vada, replete with a bracelet like tuile. While I liked the creative presentation and thought behind the deconstruction, apart from the visual wow effect, taste-wise I wasn't surprised. 

Besides, the sweet tuile wasn't in anyway complementing the dish and it lost its crispness while floating around in yogurt.

New menu at Riwaz - Ritz Carlton

From the appetizers, something that I found memorable was Subz aur Gucchi di Galoti - which was the vegetarian's version of the Galoti Kabab, made using Kashmiri morrels, a signature dish in Riwaz.

It had a definite flavour and was truly melt in mouth. It was served along with some spinach and lady-finger tempura to give an interplay of textures-the melt in mouth with the very crispy.

New menu at Riwaz - Ritz Carlton

Appetizers with the tempura

The other vegetarian appetiser of interest was the Tandoori Malai Broccoli in which big florets of broccoli were marinated in cream and yogurt with a strong flavour of green cardamom or elaichi. We usually associate broccoli with western foods and pairing it with a classically Indian spice like elaichi makes for a nice surprise for the tastebuds.

The yogurt marination also gave it a tangy note. I'm not a big fan of potato appetizers, especially because in most NWF restaurants, too much is done to the potato - parboiled, fried, grilled in tandoor.

Being a conscious vegetarian, I like vegetables to be treated with a little more respect than subjecting them to every mode of cooking that's available in the culinary textbooks.

And then no matter what lovely ingredients they are stuffed with, like in this case, the Bharwan Tandoori Aloo was stuffed with raisins and green peas and flavoured with caraway seeds, I come away somewhat unimpressed.

The other appetizer was the Tehdar Paneer Tikka, which was a two layers of paneer with the mint-garlic marinade failed to pass my paneer-softness test. The flavours were bold and interesting but there's not much that can be done to a somewhat stodgy paneer to lift it from being completely ho-hum to something a vegetarian will savour and remember.

The one thing I noticed was the pairing of the appetizers with the chutneys / tempura etc. was done with a lot of thought going into flavours and textures and I did appreciate that effort taken by the chef.

New menu at Riwaz - Ritz Carlton

To give you a gist of the vegetable main courses, the Masala Tawa Subz was a medley of seasonal vegetables and bell peppers in standard spices like caraway, cloves and cardamom. I'm of the opinion that such veggie medleys are reminiscent of regular Punjabi or multicuisine restaurants and don't have the desired impact when served in a restaurant of the calibre of Riwaz.

I'd say the same for the Sindhi Aloo Bhindi. I love Sindhi food, it's simplicity and absolutely delicious flavours, but somehow it's too homey and daily-life kinda dish to feature here

New menu at Riwaz - Ritz Carlton

Now, Kandahari Bharwan Gucchi Subz was a dish worthy of this menu - stuffed morrels in a slightly sweetish saffron flavoured gravy - this paired with a slightly strong flavoured pudina paratha was the best of the veg main course.

I love tandoori food as it turns out to be one of the healthier alternatives when eating out in a restaurant. I find it pointless when a tandoori bread has been smeared with tons of butter. It's always better to give some butter on the side for people who'd like extra butter on their rotis.

The black dal was rich and full of soul, and with each addictive spoonful, the tastebuds sent out messages that the chef has been very generous with the cream - we even joked that there was more cream than dal in the dish- but a dish like that, you have a few spoonfuls and you feel content about having eaten some great food. 

Among the rotis served, the 'Bakarkhani' was the most noteworthy.

I did a bit of reading on the origins of this one, and according to Wikipedia, "Bakarkhani is popular in Bangladesh as well as in parts of India andKashmir, and is also found in the Muhajir cuisine of Pakistan."

This bread is crisp and biscuit like in texture. It's amazing how many varieties of breads there exist in all of India! While the regular version has cardamom, sugar and salt, the Ritz version had raisins, almond and saffron, slightly sweet with the fragrance of saffron.

Motia Pulao was the rice served as a part of the vegetarian main course - the motia or fried dumplings were made of paneer. I found this somewhat lacking in flavour and not a very memorable dish.

The yakhni pulao served to the meat eaters seemed to have packed more of a punch than the vegetarian version.

New menu at Riwaz - Ritz Carlton

Warm Belgian Milk Chocolate and Mango Pudding, Anise cake rose ice cream - this dessert plate made a stunning entry on the table. The microthin layers of the anise cake showed flawless execution.

The flavour combination of anise and chocolate was new to me and they did hit off quite well together. The pudding which was like a chocolava cake with a completely gooey center hit the spot along with the bit of rose ice cream for a cleansing effect.

New menu at Riwaz - Ritz Carlton

Saffron Baked Yoghurt with Frosted Nuts and Fresh Fruits

My favourite that evening was this fruit overload dessert with flavours of saffron in the baked yogurt and a crusty saffron caramel separating the yogurt from the fruits. Both the presentation and flavours were most unique!

There was also some soan-papdi kulfi, that's the first time I've heard of this innovation, but not a soan papdi fan. Also, I was too happy with the fruit dessert to eat something more after that.

To summarise the dinner at Riwaz, it's high luxury dining with extremely attentive and knowledgable service, but I do feel that meat eaters have a better chance of being wooed and wowed than the vegetarians.

It's an excellent place for a romantic special occasion dinner or to take clients from outside of India to showcase a bit of Indian cuisine - the Ritz-Carlton service and attention to detail will make it worth it.


The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore,

99, Residency Road

Bangalore - 560025

Phone: 080-49148000

Meal for two ~INR3800

(c) Nandita Iyer 2006-2015

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