Sat, 06 August 2022
The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain has always set a benchmark for culinary experiences in the Kingdom over the years. This month, Farah Baig had the pleasure of dining at their fine-dining Indian restaurant, Nirvana.
Fine dining experiences have always belonged in a class of their own; being able to savour a beautifully-plated dish in an opulent location while enjoying good service is truly special. It’s natural that The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain comes to mind when one thinks of fine dining in the Kingdom. So, the thought of enjoying Indian food at their restaurant Nirvana, this month, was truly exciting.
The first thing you notice when you walk into Nirvana is its palatial interiors - stunning red columns, beautiful woodwork, flickering candles and crystalware, woven tablecloths and artwork that brings to mind stories of royalty. It all sets the scene for the experience.
To whet our appetite, we were served three condiments – pickled onions, mint chutney and a sweet mango chutney, accompanied by the oh-so-addictive papad. Next, we were presented with the artistically plated Chowk Ki Tikki - a pan-fried potato and peas patty served with tamarind chutney. The tikki was a true treat for the eyes and palate; we enjoyed the light crunch of the tikki and medley of flavours with the tamarind chutney adding a wonderful zing.
What followed was the Jhinga Til Theenka – a deep-fried prawn with sesame seeds served with sweet chili sauce. The delicately spiced prawn and texture of the sesame seeds was truly special. Given that it was a hot summer day, and to refresh my palate before the mains, I decided to try one of Nirvana’s many refreshing drinks – the Rose petal lemonade.
Tandoori grills are one of the most popular offerings when it comes to Indian cuisine, and Nirvana’s tandoori platters were extremely memorable! The non-vegetarian platter is served sizzling, laden with succulent prawns, chicken and lamb which are just bursting with flavour and cooked to perfection – the perfect char, yet moist.
What would an Indian dining experience be without a good biriyani? Nirvana’s chicken biriyani is served Dum style, with the flavour and aroma of a myriad of spices sealed in. The biriyani is fragrant, filled with tender chicken pieces, flavourful long-grain rice and topped with a sprinkling of crisp onions. The raita, topped with roasted cumin seeds, adds another dimension of the flavour to the already fantastic dish with its cooling yogurt.
It’s fascinating how the Indian subcontinent has managed to perfect several types of curries – reinventing flavours through the use of different spices and bases. While there are plenty to choose from, a favourite for most diners is the rich Makhani. We relished the flavours of the Paneer and Dal Makhani which were creamy and had just about the right amount of spice to suit any palate.
Indian sweets are plentiful and creative. To end our experience, we enjoyed a trio of desserts – gulab jamun, rasmalai and kulfi. The gulab jamun was served traditionally warm with a drizzle of syrup, the cool kulfi on delicious vermicelli and the pillowy-soft rasmalai with crushed pistachios. So delicious!
Nirvana truly knowns how to charm your senses with its beautiful interiors and impeccable dishes. it’s more than a dining venue, it’s an experience that will ignite your desire to go back for more.