Bangalore is a gourmet city, one that has a plethora of Chinese restaurants, from a swank stand alone to destination-worthy restaurants in five star hotels. For all those who enjoy all things spicy, authentic and Oriental, the popular Asian restaurant Lantern at the Ritz-Carlton Bangalore is a great place to dine at.
The Lantern is a remarkable amalgam of casual fine dining and cutting-edge nightlife designed by international avant garde designers Super Potato. When I visited this upscale restaurant on invite by Amitabh Rai, General Manager-The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore, I noticed that a lot of thought has been put in designing a place which makes you feel fantastic the moment you are seated. Lanterns in ancient China were made of silk, paper, or animal skin with frames made of bamboo or wood. The name comes from the architecture of the building which looks like a lantern from the main porch of the hotel. Further drawing inspiration from the ‘Les Unexplored’ Guangdong also referred to as Canton is the largest province in mainland China. Known for its extensive trade from the city port during the 16th century and cultural heritage the interiors are inspired by textile trade, Cantonese linguistic and extensive use of porcelain vessels used throughout the country.
These are the features that have been incorporated as an integral part of the restaurant design with walls stacked with fabric, accumulated with books, display walls with porcelain and pottery on the lower deck and finished with glass walls and rustic wooden flooring. The use of antique Indian bookshelves and porcelain brings in the classic home bound touch to the contemporary Chinese design. The Lantern is expansive, opulent and is dramatically outfitted with Travertine, Black & Mannari Granite, solid black walnut and monster oak flooring illuminated with lights that wrap around the perimeter of the entire dining space. Focus lighting on tables in the recessed ceiling gives the diner a feeling of personal space. Planters add to the natural scenography of the alfresco seating as the sound of the trickling water from the fountain becomes background music to the onlooker. The upscale yet informal service revolves around the structure which is a rustic yet modern living space.
Authentic Dim Sum creations created by expert chefs explore the complex interplay of flavor, color, aroma and texture while regional specialties from across China such as hot and sour chicken soup and ‘ma po’ tofu celebrate the time-honored classics of China’s distinguished culinary history. I tried a variety of dimsums such as the crystal vegetable dumpling, seabass dumpling, corn and asparagus dumpling and the crystal prawn dumpling. The waiting staff very efficiently suggests preparations such as the Crispy Prawn Cheung Fun (rice pancake roll, prawns) and the Lobster Money Pouch, Caviar that one should ideally order from the menu especially if you visit this restaurant for the first time. So whether you order a simple hot and sour chicken soup, mapo tofu, lamb chop or even the copious dim sum options, everything is cooked to perfection here and served in style.
Fragrant masterpieces from across the Chinese culinary tradition, ample indoor and outdoor restaurant seating, an evocative Oriental décor, a stylish lifestyle bar and distinctive Asian spirits and mixed drinks make The Lantern at The Ritz Carlton Bangalore one of the best places to spend a great evening with friends or family when in Bangalore. Definitely worth several visits!