Riwaz, in The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore, serves authentic cuisine from the North-West Frontier Region
Upon entering The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore, it feels as though we have entered a world of royalty. A cool breeze greets us on a pleasant evening and the architecture is splendid and sophisticated.
We are here for dinner at Riwaz, a restaurant that serves authentic cuisine from the North-West Frontier Region. As we walk past a brilliant display of fine wine from all over the world in a brightly-lit wine repository into Riwaz, we are warmly welcomed by the staff. Riwaz has an air of sophistication to it. The classic, yet modern décor, in keeping with the theme of the restaurant, is inspired by jaali artwork. As we seat ourselves in one of the many exquisitely-decorated tables, we are greeted by aromas wafting from the live kitchen and by soft Indian instrumental music in the background. The ambience relaxes us into savouring the carefully-planned fare.
Chef Ramandeep Kukreja has designed the menu with absolute care, ensuring that each dish is authentic. We are served an assortment of vegetarian and non-vegetarian kebabs. The bhatti da kukkad, a signature dish, was originally prepared, as Chef Ramandeep informs, by warriors and rediscovered 40 years ago in the bylanes of Amritsar. The kebab is succulent and spicy in the right proportions. We next sample the turra kebab, chicken marinated with coriander and chillies that is soft and spicy. The sunehari jhinga, prawns marinated with yogurt and saffron, is unique for the play of flavours and tehdaar paneer tikka, layered with cottage cheese marinated with mint and garlic, is delectable.
The most exquisite surprise comes in the form of subzaur gucchi di galoti, pan seared seasonal vegetables made to a fine consistency that melts in your mouth. It is the vegetarian variant of the galoti kebab. The kebab even has a story to it. As chef Ramandeep recounts, legend has it that the khansama (cook) of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah prepared galoti kebab for the ageing Nawab who loved meat but could not eat it because he had lost his teeth, so that it would melt in his mouth.
The main course is one meant for the kings. The khaibari pulao, a signature dish, is a preparation of saffron-flavoured Basmati rice with lamb is delectable while the chef’s bread basket, including bakarkhani, peshawarikulcha and roganinaan, adds to the authenticity of the menu. The bakarkhani in particular is a must try. We are served an array of dishes to go with the pulao, biryani and breads: Baluchi raan, nalli gosht, bharwan kofta, sarson ka saag—which is incredibly tasty, lobster masala made with lobster coriander, chillies and tomatoes will leave you craving for more.
We end the meal with desserts. The Riwaz Belgian chocolate and cardamom pudding is made of hot chocolate and cardamom with caramel ice cream. This desert stands out for combining the flavours of the East with the West. The paan kulfi follows soon after, and proves to be a satisfying end to a most glorious meal.
Riwaz is located on level 4 in The Ritz-Carlton, 99, Residency Road, Riwaz opens only for dinner. For reservations call 49148000.