Dimsum Expensive

The Lantern - Ritz Carlton

Sunday, February 09, 2014Me! In words

Ritz Carlton is a stone's throw from Anoushka's school - so the plans have always been around to visit the property and the restaurants here. For reasons best known to destiny alone, we had not made it happen - till we received an invitation to try the offerings at The Lantern - the Chinese Dimsum restaurant. 

The Lantern has a 3 floored space dedicated entirely to the restaurant - each floor has a different ambiance - and you can take your pick from any. We sat at the elegant library-like setting which also opens out to the outdoor seating section. 

While one side of the space is done up with blue Chinese porcelain vases for that touch of antiquity, you have another that is closer to the sun (and better for my photos) at the glass wall that overlooks the outdoor space. Partitions have been created with ceiling to wall shelves of colored glass bottles and the setting is a nice blend of formal and semi-informal, depending on what mood you step in with. 

The section we could see from our table

The beautiful glass bottle partition

The elegant table setting and the lovely magnetic chopsticks. Both of us were nursing the nagging effects of a cold and were offered green tea in copious amounts. There was even a ginger and lemon version that filled these little cups in the end.

Seeing as this was a restaurant review, we were served a large menu, but all in tasting in portions. What I am going to do now is a picto-review of all that stood out brilliantly for us through the meal. 

Two steaming baskets of dimsums arrived first - The basket on top is vegetarian and clockwise has the white vegetable and chive dumpling, the orange Corn and Asparagus Dumpling and the Shimeji dumpling. The fillings in each of these dumplings were neatly held together by the wrapping that was as unobtrusive as it could get. The vegetables were beautifully blanched, ideally diced and crunched together in the mouth bringing together a wonderful melange of tastes. For a fussy vegetarian eater like me, I was hooked. The Shimeji dumpling especially, with waterchestnuts and pomegranate seeds won my love

The non-vegetarian dumplings included one of the signatures of the Lantern - the Lobster Money Pouch with Caviar, the round Crystal Prawn Dumpling and the green Prawn and Chive Dumpling - The lobster stands to attention in its cover, though it is the Crystal Prawn dumpling that I loved the most - the prawn ensconced inside had very little done to it, at least from the visible perspective, but sometimes its the minimalism that scores high. The Prawn and Chive dumpling was a mouthful of goodness. 

Next came this platter which painted a really pretty picture on the plate - Crispy Prawn Toast - a jumbo prawn, blanketed in sesame seeds, served with crackling spinach. One of the those dishes that you will willingly stab your partner with a fork to get all the pieces. 

And just when we called a truce and put our forks away - The Char Siu Bao came to the table. I am not too much for sweet exteriors and spicy fillings, but this steamed Cantonese wonder changed that opinion to an extent and the forks were held up again. It was beautiful to look at and even more exquisite when split open and savored. 

Two more dishes served brought our appetizer round to the end - the Lamb Rolls in Pepper Sauce (above) and the Chicken Cheung Fun (Below). While it was the Lamb rolls that did it for me, Sudhakar enjoyed the chicken wraps. I must add here that the chicken was tender to the point of melting, not a distinction many places can claim to achieve

We were offered 2009 Chateau Du Corneau during our meal. While discussing wines and pairing with Oriental cuisines, whites will do better than reds, though there are a few reds, on the drier side that will make oriental food a pleasure to have. Chenin Blancs too will work well.

2009 Chateau Du Corneau

If you are not satiated with the dimsums, and I suggest you do make room for the mains, here are some on the menu that stood out to attention and in what way -

The Hofan noodles - partly flat, partly rounded, completely home made and tossed with sprouts, spring onions and julienned vegetables is exceptionally good.

What will make you stand up and doff your hat to the chef in respect is the Braised Pork Belly with Chinese vegetables. The slices are treated so well that the fattiness of the dish is well masked in a shawl of spices and a sweet and hot sauce. The bokchoy on the side serves as a brilliant crunch. This was served with a steamed bread - an oriental take on pita bread perhaps which requires you to stuff the bread with the pork and bite into it. The softness is best described by the fact that you need only your lips to tease a bite into your mouth.

The stir-fried greens made my day too - something I know my daughter, with her love for all vegetables that other people don't like will love - broccoli, bokchoy flat beans, green beans and zucchini with a final garnish of garlic flakes

Also served to us was the Kung Pao Chicken (above) and the Mapo Tofu (below) 

I just wanted to take this picture and so I did :-)

The Chinese are not for desserts but that doesn't mean we rule them out completely. We were served two delightful ones. The first you see below is a Jasmine and Green Tea Eclair - for a Jasmine Green tea addict like me, this one nailed it - but do keep in mind that the green tea is strong in this one and if you are not a fan of the drink, the taste may be an acquired one. Of course the chocolate helps a great deal as does the berry glaze.

The Custard Bao - steamed dumplings stuffed with custard and served up with a Vanilla Five Spice Anglaise is a delightful way of ending the meal. The Anglaise I would love to recreate. Split your bao open, pour a few teaspoonfuls down and enjoy the end of your meal.

The Lantern is a great place for a date, for a business meeting, for a catch up, just about any reason you can think of. A meal for two is around Rs 3500 without alcohol. Choose a mix from the dimsums and the mains and you will have a memorable meal when you go back home. 

Address: #99, Residency Road
Phone: 080-4914 8000
Cuisine: Chinese Dimsum
Cards Accepted: Yes
Wallet factor: Rs 3500 for two on average 
Parking: Valet

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