Commercial districts around the world- New York to Hong Kong, London to Sydney with demographics of late twenties and thirty something investment bankers having knee deep pockets tend to flock a certain kind of bistros. These places are dimly lit with minimalistic interiors; have celebrity chefs creating wonders in the kitchen and yes, the prices inversely proportional to the portion of the food served. Welcome to the restaurants where you get to hear about start-ups, big ideas and international trade over glasses of fine wine and food that gets treated to perfection at molecular level! Our own Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, has Yauatcha and Hakkasan, both world famous restaurant chains (where I couldn’t go with shallow pockets) , are such places.
Being a fan of Mediterranean food, I decided to go to a not so expensive and uptight restaurant in the same area, Otto Infinito (by the same hospitality group- KA hospitality after reading in the latest BBC Good Food magazine). They provide a large number of options to choose from, North African esp. Moroccan to Greek, Tunisian to selective Middle Eastern. Also the reason why I am writing about this restaurant is because the experience I went through! In terms of interiors I found it confusing as I didn’t feel like I was sitting in a restaurant, it felt like a mix of airport lounge, café and a restaurant so I wasn’t very happy while stepping in (BKC anyway seems like an abandoned part of the city in the night).
I found myself a place and turned over the huge menu to decide what would go well for a midweek dinner. Being a seafood fan, the lobster salad caught my attention and I went ahead and ordered.
Court Bouillon poached lobster salad was quite good, warm chunks of lobster dressed with buttermilk ranch, lettuce and onions coupled with Verano Amarga (which I found a bit too minty) The presentation was fantastic, the food created a perfect contrast with the white plate and this raised my expectations. This was followed by some decent looking mushroom truffle ravioli which was a big disappointment as I found the ravioli to be undercooked and it tasted bland whereas the grilled aubergine rolls as recommended by a friend was really good, the aubergine was pulpy and it went well with the Greek styled rice. I liked the texture of the eggplant, with the nuts and frothy rice. The infinite fizz having an infused tasted of ginger and vanilla seemed magical with it. I couldn’t have asked for better meal even though the ravioli was a big disappointment.
To end it well and safe I ordered a moist Belgium chocolate cake, which tasted funny and was utter crap. I didn’t eat it! It was a big disappointment in the end.
Despite all the recommendations and the Good food review, I felt the soggy dessert and the undercooked ravioli ruined my dining experience. Nevertheless the brilliant eggplant main course and the lobster salad made me think how restaurants which dishes out such brilliant food also serve something crap like the dessert. Well the late service could still be forgiven.
So if you are planning to go there don’t get your hopes too high and definitely don’t compare it with Yauatcha as you will come back disappointed. But I somehow believe the restaurant which is way cheaper than Yauatcha and Hakkasan could well turn out to be a game changer if they can dish out better pastas and desserts.
The place opens at 8 in the morning and stays open till midnight. You can choose to have a 10 course meal with a bottle of wine if you are not very sure what to order.
Rating: 2.5 stars.
Cost for 2: Rs. 4000 incl. taxes and alcohol
Photo: Otto Infinito Website