The sun is shining bright (with evil intent, if you ask me!) and the mercury seems to be rising by the day. We know what that means – it’s time to ditch everything rich, and bring out the flavours of summer.
The Market, at the glitzy Ritz, is flagging off the season in some serious style. Their S3 menu (soups, salads and sorbets, for those of you who were wondering) is a refreshing departure from stodgy dishes – as we found out on a sunny Monday afternoon.
Our meal started off with two kinds of soup – a wholesome Pork and Barley Chowder which P loved, and the Inji Rasam, whose bold flavours really made my taste buds stand to attention. There’s Prawn Tom Yum and a yummy-sounding Cucumber Dill and Yogurt Soup too, which I fully intend to go back for.
The salad bar is a treat for the eyes, honestly. Leafy greens, dressings, cold meats, and mezzes jostle for space – colours burst, flavours beckon and different textures beg to be tried. It’s everything great about summer on three feet worth of space, minus the icky heat.
There’s plenty to try: you can rustle up your own creation from the selection, or help yourself to generous forkfuls of ready-made treats. I tried the Crispy Chicken Salad, and the Lamb Salad. Both great options, but the sweet, peppery flavours of the lamb made me go back for more. My personal favourite was the Prawn Salad, made pretty with oranges, bell peppers and onions. Asian-inspired, with a perfect balance of flavours.
Another dish that made quite the impression was the beetroot hummus. Before most of you wrinkle your noses at the mention of the ‘B’ word, let me assure you this is a stunner. It starts out sweet, and gradually builds to a full-bodied, tart flavour. Absolutely delicious. Still a sceptic? There’s regular hummus and mutable too.
Vegetarian options include a very nice Okra Salad, Potato Salad with beans and tomatoes, and some of the ripest, sweetest figs I’ve ever tasted. The best part is, most of these are grown in the hotel’s own organic garden. So yeah, it rarely gets fresher than this.
We also tried the Caesar Salad, minus the chicken, and topped with an adorable quail egg. Creamy, fresh and very satisfying. And if you’re a fan of tomatoes, you’ll love the last salad we sampled – made with three different varieties of the love apple, and topped off with some beautiful burrata. A dish that wows you with the sheer genius of its simplicity. Kudos to Executive Chef Anupam Banerjee for this one.
The salads certainly impress, and a certain benefit is the fact that you still have room for dessert – a collection of colourful sorbets. Flavours range from the familiar – chocolate, strawberry and the like – to the experimental – thyme, lemongrass, pumpkin and more. All served in cute little cones if you want them that way, a deliciously cute throwback to the summer holidays of yore, when happiness meant licking an ice-cream after a hard day’s work at the playground!
The S3 promotion is on till Feb 28 at The Market. Should you go? Most definitely, if you’re looking for a quick, delicious and light lunch in the middle of the work day.