The entire concept of a nicely packed lunch box, brings back a lot of memories and holds a lot of nostalgia. Every day was a surprise as to what Mom would have packed for lunch. It is not just simple food thrown into the box, but a lot of time and effort and whole lot of love goes into arranging the meal in a pleasing way.
A “Bento Box” has that exact same feeling. Only difference we are grownups and it’s more like a corporate meal for those workaholics on the go all the time, it is best for those who wish to eat right, and well proportioned, and not have time to go over the vast menu deciding what is good off the menu.
Did you know? – “Bento is a Japanese word for – Meal in a Box”
I was invited to the Ritz Carlton, to come and try out their brand new concept of “Indian Bento Box Lunch,” at their award winning Indian restaurant Riwaz. I was all geared up, to find out for myself, what the mysterious box offered. Riwaz, serves North West Frontier cuisine, known more for their grilled meats and assorted Indian Breads. The Menu has been carefully curated, and the right portion has been presented, after some experimenting with their last “Ayurvedic Bento Box”.
The Ritz is known to go all out, and ensure one is looked after, as I was shown to my table, I noticed how they had customized the menu. I felt really special.
What’s in my Glass?
I was served a 2011 Brancea Tre (limited edition)– a three grape varieties Sangiovese, Merlot and cabernet Sauvignon, it paired well with the Amtrisari Bento Box.
To begin the culinary tasting, first was the Elixer. This is a very popular drink among the Punjabi food recipes, and is a thick creamy, sweetened yogurt drink. This is a gem!
What’s on my Plate?
Before being served the Amritsari Bento Box, the Indian variant of the Amuse Bouche if you would like to call it, was served, roasted papad and various chutneys as condiments. Really tasty. I loved the mango chutney, in the middle!
Right now we get to the pièce de ré·sis·tance – “Amritsari Bento Box” – here is what is inside the Box (Either choice of Vegetarian or Non Vegetarian as you can see from the menu, I chose the Non Veg box)
Lamb Seekh Kebab- served with Basil seeds to balance the spices and give a soothing cool feel to the stomach, very balanced, not too dry and the meat was cooked to perfection
Methi Murg- tandoor roasted pulled chicken leg meat with chef’s garden-fresh fenugreek and homemade spices. This was just a melt-in-your mouth dish.
Bhuna Saag– Healthy preparation of fresh mustard leaves, creamed with corn meal and garlic – ceramy testure, again the right balance of spices, not too heavy.
Rajma– Indian kidney beans cooked to perfection with a light drizzle of yoghurt – this is a classic dish, I had licked off the box!
Biryani– Aromatic rice and paneer and vegetable cooked on ‘Dum’ – This was packed with flavour, the fried onions created a sweetness to the fluffy rice and the saffron gave a hint of soul food.
Served on the side are freshly baked Indian breads, straight out of the oven.
Kesari Rabri – This is a popular dessert made from sweetened milk, it holds layers of cream or malai and is flavoured with saffron, and topped with almonds, pistachios and cardamom.
Make no mistake the Bento Box seemed to look like the quantity was less, however, it was really filling and every bite was packed with flavours.
Chef Altamash Iqbal gets Candid
After my healthy, attractive and delicious meal, it was time to just unwind with a nice cuppa coffee. I had a tete-a tete with Chef Altamash Iqbal. He hails from Luknow and is very proud of his heritage. His love for cooking and spices transpired, when we moved to look at the Spice Table, which had some rare and selective spices he had bought with him.
He spoke with deep respect for each of the spices, and how they bring balance and flavours to the Indian cuisine. I tried to get a few ancient family recipes out from him. But alas, I would have to get a hold of those spices. it was a first for me and each of them had a distinct fragrance. Some I could gather were used to cook the succulent meats and rests for the tempting Biriyani. Here is a look at the precious roots and species used to conjure up some of the wholesome and delicious dishes the Riwaz.
About Riwaz – As mentioned earlier this is one of the Indian fine dining restaurants, housed at the Ritz Carlton, Bangalore on Level 4. It is an award wining restaurant that’s some of the most aromatic and wholesome North West Frontier Cuisine. The interiors has a very elegant yet sleek modern day look and feel, with a lot of light penetrating throughout the day. When you enter, you are drawn to the Spice Table on the right side. A whiskey table and Wine Enoteca. The airy – open Kitchen is takes the limelight. The eathen tandoori pots have been disguised by modern ovens. There are two private dining halls at the Riwaz, so you can take your pick. Here is a sneak peak into the restaurant.
The Menu has been carefully curated, however, if you wish to you could choose from their ale carte menu which offers choices to order from. The portion serves one easily. And is available for both lunch. For reservation, call +91 80 4914 8000
The Riwaz – Amritsari Bento Box is available all days of the week from Monday to Saturday.
Price: INR1500 Including Taxes
About The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore – The first Ritz Carlton hotel in India, the Ritz –Carlton, Bangalore is situated in the central business district providing expansive city views featuring 277 luxurious guest rooms and suites, 6 contemporary food and beverage venues, city’s only luxury roof top bar, unmatched and dedicated wellness floor, exceptional meeting rooms for large and medium sized events coupled with the legendary Ritz-Carlton personalized service. To learn more, visit their Website
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**Disclaimer: Even thou the invite was complimentary, all views expressed are my own.