We could not find a better way to kick-start the week than stopping by to sample the Soup, Salad and Sorbet spread at The Market, an all-day buffet restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore. The restaurant has a light and open feel to it – over-sized windows and a complimenting colour-scheme of navy and silver, with bunches of red carnations providing splashes of colour.
There were four soups on the buffet to choose from that day. The pork and barley chowder was warm and wholesome, with carrots and celery providing the veggie quotient. Right after that we tasted the spiced Inji or ginger rasam. Since it was served as a soup the rasam had been homogenised into a soupy smooth consistency, with a pleasant sourness and a kick from the ginger.
There was also a cold gazpacho on offer, this seemed mild and something one could sip on along with the salads too. Rounding up the quartet was a wonton soup with prawns from the Asian counter. This was a clear soup and the broth seemed to lack flavour though the vegetables and dumplings were perfectly cooked.
Beckoning us invitingly to the next course was the elaborate salad bar with its array of crisp veggies, meats, dressings and add-on goodies, to concoct one’s own bowl of fresh, crunchy goodness. There were also several prepared salads, the onerous work of pairing and tossing the ingredients having been done by the chefs behind the scenes. We enjoyed quite a few of these, and appreciated the fact that there were no heavy, cream-swamped calorie bombs here.
The salad options included a choice of crispy chicken, lamb and marinated prawns and it was the latter that we relished the most, the prawns, having absorbed a ton of the light dressing had become really juicy and flavour-packed.
One can also enjoy a selection of mezze on the side – a scarlet beetroot hummus was on offer that day along with marinated figs, olives and more, with crispy lavash and grissini to scoop these up.
The highlight of the meal for us was the two salads served at the table – a rocking Caesar with shards of Parmesan and a beautiful quail’s egg on top. The egg, sadly was a mite overcooked but the salad itself was lovely and had us finishing every single bite. The other stunner was a simple plate showcasing fresh tomatoes – halved red and yellow cherry varieties with a single slice of a purple beauty. With nothing but a smear of the creamy cheese to dress them, they tasted like summer on a plate.
There’s no denying that the Sorbet part of the trio was what had drawn us to The Market that day. We tried all of the six sorbets on offer. The vibrantly coloured beetroot-cumin sorbet tasted quite like raw beets and could perhaps have worked as a savoury offering since it was very marginally sweetened. It was definitely not dessert. Texture-wise the sunny yellow pumpkin sorbet nailed it for us, and is perfect if you like..well, pumpkin. The pineapple flavour was delicious, as was the green apple-mint, though this one had an icy texture, reminding us of a granita. The plum with brandy rounded off the sorbet tray nicely, again with a more grainy texture.
There are also myriad options to pump up your cup of sorbet, including fresh fruit, candy, wafers, ice-cream cones, marshmallows and such. Though we do love to pile on the toppings on our ice cream sundaes, the lightness of sorbets is something we like to savour on its own. At our request the chef plated the six sorbets beautifully, and we enjoyed photographing these.
Overall, the Soup, Salad and Sorbet meal at The Market is great for a light working lunch. With summer-like weather hitting Bangalore mid-February it also seems a fitting way to welcome the hot months lying ahead. We do wish that the chef would add some more interesting and perhaps slightly out of the ordinary soups to the buffet. The lightly dressed salads with their just-picked quality of vegetables are definitely an attraction. The sorbets did leave us craving something a little more for dessert. Some of these could be sweetened a tad more, at least to suit our tastebuds, and perhaps prepared with a smoother texture, since they are serving as dessert here.Address: The Market, The Ritz-Carlton, No. 99, Residency Road, Bangalore 560025 Phone: +91 80 4914 8000 Hours of operation: 6:30 am to 12:30 am Valet parking, Credit cards accepted Soup, Salad and Sorbet: 1200/- plus taxes, not including beverages or other items on the buffet Available: 17 – 21 February and 24 – 28 February 2014 with a break over the weekend.