Lantern in Ritz Carlton is undoubtedly one of the best places for Chinese Cuisine in Bangalore. At a time when most Chinese restaurants are re-evolving themselves into Pan Asian; Lantern holds the lantern to traditional Chinese fare.
It was sometime close to Christmas when we dropped by to celebrate an anniversary in the family. Lantern was an obvious choice since everyone was feeling decidedly Chinese and Ritz Carlton with all the festive decor and lights had the perfect ambiance. This restaurant is located in a separate ante building from the main building and sometimes the entrance can get confusing. The restaurant has a bright vibrant look with all the red and green glass vases and the blue pottery donning the walls. I actually felt like I was inside a Lantern, all warm and cosy. We sat inside since we were quite a large group and the alfresco area is suitable for twosomes or solo diner.
We had the Chicken Shumai and Corn Dumpling for starters followed by Veg Cheung Fun.
The Shumai and Corn Dumpling were perfect in their own way but Veg Cheung Fun turned out to be the star of the evening. In Cheung Fun, wafer thin but broad rice noodle sheets were tightly rolled with lightly fried and toasted vegetables. The rolls were cut into 3 pieces for ease of eating and sprayed with soy and oyster sauce. One bite into these delicate delicious pieces and a burst of flavors that bowled over a hard core chicken eater into a veggie fan. Its a different matter that the dish originating in Hong Kong owes its name to Pig Intestine (Cheung Fun) given its appearance 🙂
Sichuan Delights for Main Course
We moved on to the Sichuan favourite Mapo Tofu and the Chinese Drunken chicken along with a ligh fried rice. The rice items in Lantern are always a delight; perfectly cooked rice grains is an art by itself. Mapo Tofu appeared red hot and spicy and quite lived up to its Sichuan origin in spiciness. The tofu was very tender and melted on the tongue. I could not sense the presence of any kind of fermented ingredients so I guess the dish was modified to suit the average Indian palate.
I relished the drunken chicken bit by bit, the marination in rice wine just tenders the chicken so soft that it tends to come off in layers. There was a time several years ago I was under the impression that I would surely get drunk if I had a portion of this dish.
The service was warm and top notch. We had to postpone the desserts for another day since we were happily full to the brim. They willingly modified a chicken dish to suit my 5 year old niece and also entertained all her curious questions about the decor, the food and their names. Though a part of a 5 star hotel, the pricing is pretty reasonable and high value for money.