Dine Like a Royal at Nirvana - Eats And Treats By Tania Rebello
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain, encompasses Nirvana, an award-winning, gourmet fine-dining restaurant that combines Indian flavours with culinary artistry to produce an abundant and delightful experience.
The palatial magnificence of this restaurant is quite apparent from the deep red and gold interiors and intricately carved woodwork defining the seating arrangement.
Arches adorn the space with memories reminiscent of palaces in North India, which predominantly outline the direction of its menu.
Indian cuisine is one of the most complex cuisines, requiring extensive knowledge of ingredients and spices to create mouth-watering delicacies.
Led by Executive Indian Chef Mahipal Singh, who has worked at the Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain, for over 20 years, the chefs have mastered the art of Indian cuisine.
Focused on North Indian recipes, you can expect plenty of lip-smacking tandoori delights, tantalising starters, and luscious gravies on the a la carte menu.
After a warm and friendly greeting from the Restaurant Manager- Mohamed Mohsen, I was seated and began my dining experience with chilled mango lassi served in a copper cup; the lassi was smooth and sweet from perfectly ripened mangoes that I gleefully relished while admiring the décor lined with framed photos of maharajas.
Soothing sitar tunes instantly relaxed my senses in preparation for the meal. My first course of aromatic grills arrived fresh and hot from the transparent tandoor kitchen: Jheenga-E-Angara (Tandoori prawns) and Hammour Tikka.
The prawns were large and juicy with alluring hues of sunset orange from the marinade. Fennel provided the prawns with a mild liquorice sweetness.
The perfectly cooked, chunky bites of hammour were fork-tender and elegantly enrobed in a delectable marinade prepared from a combination of yoghurt, exotic spices and cream cheese.
My fascination for potatoes had me ordering their Jeera Aloo or potatoes cooked with cumin seeds, and I was happy with my choice.
This simple preparation involves technique and minute details that can make or break the dish. Jeera aloo requires cooking the potatoes thoroughly until they are soft.
The pairing of cumin and potatoes is indescribable; however, here comes the twist that got my taste buds asking for more.
The chef tossed the potatoes in hot ghee along with cumin seeds, resulting in a subtle, creamy flavour that was matchless! It is worth mentioning that the selection of vegetarian items at Nirvana is impressive.
A journey to Nirvana would only be complete by indulging in some of their delectable curries. Lamb Roganjosh is a fiery red gravy with lamb and spices.
The curry was unique, and using selected herbs and red chillies in the right proportions made Dine Like a Royal at Nirvana it flavourful.
I also chose Chicken Tikka Masala , and since I h a v e tried it at various restaurants, I was curious about how it would taste at Nirvana.
As you may know, the beauty of chicken tikka masala lies in first marinating and then grilling the chicken.
These cooked chicken pieces are added to a rich, velvety gravy prepared from tomatoes, onions, spices, and cream.
I relished the piping hot Chicken Tikka Masala that was creamy and rich with succulent pieces of chicken thighs with crispy tandoori naan.
If you prefer a sweeter gravy, opt for the butter chicken, one of their best sellers.
They have a selection of biryanis, and since prawns are currently in season, prawn biryani seemed like the perfect choice.
The biryani pot arrived with an element of surprise- covered in a parda (curtain) made from roti.
The roti kept the dish hot, and the biryani was unveiled just before serving, revealing beautifully cooked, long, and fragrant grains of basmati rice.. The prawns were coated with a thick gravy prepared with onions, tomatoes, and spices.
The aromatic oil from the dressing seeped through the rice grains, imparting richness to the biryani. Raita with tomato, cumin and coriander was served alongside to cut through the spiciness of the biryani.
Each dish provided a glimpse of North India’s diverse heritage. After that rich and colourful feast, it was time for Kulfi Falooda.
Kulfi is an ice cream made by thickening sweetened milk infused with cardamom or saffron.
Nuts are often added for crunch. It is usually enjoyed with a garnish of rose syrup, noodles made from corn flour and sabja or basil seeds.
The resulting dessert is an opera of colours, tastes and textures that successfully concluded my meal at Nirvana.
Nirvana is great for intimate/ private events such as birthdays, anniversaries, and corporate gatherings.
With some planning with their team, you can also get a customised menu for your event.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 12 pm to 3 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm, with live traditional music from 7 pm to 10:30 pm. Call 17586418 for reservations.