The Season is Changing.
Ritu Indian Soul Food is the newest venture from restaurateur and chef Rupam Bhagat. Ritu, which means “seasons” in Hindi, honors the rich and colorful flavors of India’s diverse regions in innovative ways that harmonize with seasonal, greenmarket-sourced ingredients. Though the flavors are comforting and classic, dishes are designed to challenge diners’ perceptions of traditional Indian fare. The restaurant feels right at home in the eclectic melting pot of the Mission District — its warm, inviting space and “soul-satisfying” cuisine the essence of true Indian hospitality.
Ritu Indian Soul Food is not your daada’s Indian restaurant.
Chef/owner Rupam Bhagat opened Ritu Indian Soul Food in June 2018 to bring his signature innovative and playful approach to Indian cuisine to San Francisco. Formerly known as Dum Indian Soul Food (the expansion and elevation of his wildly popular food truck Dum), Ritu Indian Soul Food embodies Chef Bhagat’s desire to elevate his menu and concept while serving up an atmosphere that’s fun, casual and soulful.
The Hindi word Ritu translates to “seasons,” and India enjoys six: Spring, Summer, Monsoon, Autumn, Pre-winter and Winter. The Indian seasons range from subtle to dramatic, cool to fiery, comforting to audacious — a cyclical celebration of food notable for an unabashed indulgence in cuisine and hospitality, one that revels in company and atmosphere.
At Ritu, we bring this gregarious, spirited dining attitude to our guests. The food at Ritu Indian Soul Food applies modern reinterpretations to the flavors and dishes from Chef Bhagat’s childhood in Mumbai. It’s made from seasonal ingredients, locally sourced from farmer’s markets, earnestly prepared and offered in a considered and regularly changing menu that spans Indian street food, cross-regional curries and tandoori delights. The beverage selection includes select wines, refreshing craft beer, low-proof cocktails and various seasonal flavors of lassi, the traditional Indian yogurt-based drink.
Chef Bhagat brings to Ritu Indian Soul Food more than a decade of global kitchen leadership experience with luxury hospitality brands such as The Ritz-Carlton, and a degree from The Culinary Institute of America. He grew up in a humble Mumbai kitchen where his love of cooking for others emerged. Now, his roots happily extend to San Francisco.
“At Ritu, I want guests to enjoy a delicious, Indian meal rooted in traditional recipes from my family, combined with the global influences I have had in my culinary journey over the last decade,” said Bhagat. “While I may be using non-traditional ingredients and modern techniques, the soul of my food is still 100 percent Indian.”
Come to Ritu Indian Soul Food ready to have fun — and to feed your belly and soul.
Chef’s Bio: Chef and owner Rupam Bhagat
Rupam Bhagat is the chef and owner of Ritu, an Indian soul food restaurant nestled in San Francisco’s bustling and diverse Mission District.
Chef Bhagat creates “soul-satisfying cuisine” with primarily organic and locally-sourced ingredients, and employs the seasonal offerings at area farmers’ markets to shape daily specials that earn their way to the menu.
“I believe in the spirit of Indian soul food,” says Chef Bhagat. “Food that makes you feel happy, that makes you feel satisfied, a joyful experience that you might not have expected when you walked through the door. That’s the experience our customers speak of most often, and in which I take the most pride.”
A native of Mumbai, Chef Bhagat is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, with a degree in culinary arts. He began his culinary career a decade ago as a member of kitchen staff of The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, FL. From there, he traveled to Portugal, Bahrain, Reynolds Plantation, GA, and Half Moon Bay, CA, all via The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, ascending to sous chef. At The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC, Chef Rupam was honored to cook for the 2010 Presidential Inauguration. A move to the Terranea Resort properties in Los Angeles allowed him to sharpen his skills as a chef de cuisine. Following a role as executive sous chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, AZ, Chef Rupam returned to the Bay Area in 2014 to start Dum, his wildly popular food truck offering interpretations of the beloved Indian food on which he was raised, and on which his 2016 brick-and-mortar venture, Dum Indian Soul Food, was based. Dum expanded its concept to become Ritu Indian Soul Food in June of 2018.
“I want guests to come in, to have a great meal and a wonderful time, and to approach their food with an open mind,” says Chef Bhagat. “The vision of Ritu is to experience Indian flavors using seasonal ingredients found in the Bay Area. Dishes like Kale Chaat and Tandoori Fried Chicken embody the story of Ritu – dishes that have evolved to satisfy the palate of the melting pot of the Bay area without losing their identity.”