FACT’s Elanur Sengel visist the masters of Indian cuisine located in The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain. She takes a seat at Nirvana and can’t get over the food – this isn’t your regular butter chicken, as she finds out with every bite…

As we enter Nirvana, we are welcomed by smiling staff and an elegant fine dining setting. With beautiful arches, intricately carved wood screens and jewel-toned fabrics, the interior is designed to provide a royal atmosphere, pertinent to the royal flavours that are about to grace our taste buds. And while we watch Chef Mahipal in the open kitchen preparing our plates, we lose ourselves in the splendid traditional music of the two talented and enthusiastic musicians.

Our Indian adventure begins with tandoor-made Dum Ki Kebab— skewered minced lamb kebab spiked with fresh and flavourful herbs. There is no end in sight when it comes to the taste of the soft meat, but we continue (to not be unfair to all the other worthy dishes) with the Erha Kari— crispy gulf prawns simmered in the creamiest coconut curry, tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Yum! Nirvana’s immensely popular Murgi Makhanwali is our next star of the show and fulfills our food dreams with its boneless pieces of tandoori cooked chicken, coated in a rich tomato buttery gravy – a definite winner at the table. We wash down the spices with a velvety mango lassi and continue with two plates that are SO delicious that they easily tie for the title of the best dish at Nirvana (in our opinion that is): Butter Chicken and the Lamb Biryani.. Both are special by being tastefully distinct without losing the integrity of the original ingredients of Indian cuisine. You can’t have enough of this, ever! And while it is very hard to describe the divinity of the Biryani, we still put the Butter Chicken on the very top, for this one isn’t your regular butter chicken. This dish is out-of-the-worldtasty. The chicken sits in the silkiest, creamiest sauce which we can’t express the delectable aromas of. Let’s just say, you would forget your name and cry and beg for more!

The fluffy and fragrant rice it comes with is so good, you can easily eat it alone without anything (but all you really need to know is it’s an exceptional accompaniment to an exceptional butter chicken). As we think that after THIS butter chicken nothing else can impress us anymore, the Dal Makhani follows on the table and proves us wrong. We are enjoying perfectly cooked black lentils and red beans, simmered overnight over charcoal with tomatoes and spices, finished with a luscious dollop of home-made churned butter. An impressive taste it is.

And because dessert makes everything even better, we’re not saying no to our final round: the Kulfi. This traditional pistachio flavoured ice cream comes with pristine vermicelli falooda on top and is dressed with delicious rose syrup. A combination you will crave again, and again. One of the best ways to get a taste of what Nirvana has to offer is with their divine Thali experience; nine plates filled with different flavours of Indian cuisine to combine the way your taste buds want it — this Thali experience is nothing less than a grand feast. Nirvana serves you its thali experience now for lunch and also dinner at only BD18 including two selected drinks.

From extraordinary food in an even more extraordinary atmosphere, paired with brilliant service, Nirvana truly brings an authentic Indian dining experience to Bahrain – and on a whole different level. If you are looking to immerse your palate in heavenly flavours, Nirvana is the place to go. ✤