Temple architecture-inspired pillars, brass bells hanging from the roof and bronze cutlery — Ohri’s Uppu is an ode to all things South Indian. Similar to other outlets, this newly launched restaurant of the Ohri’s chain celebrates five states of South India, right from its décor.
Sipping on Sundari (an orange-based refreshing mocktail with mint leaves), we take a quick tour of the diner. One of the first attractions is the welcoming sandalwood fragrance — reminding you of a countryside home. Although dimly lit, the 90-seater is spacious and fortunately has lights situated above each table. Apart from the regular seating, which has comfortable cushion sofas, there’s a private section for 16. This space is a lot brighter, thanks to the lovely roof design — a picture of green leaves and the sky.
Getting us started on the spicy Telangana Kodi Roast, corporate chef Vikram Simha gives us a background of the outlet. “We have so many different themed-restaurants in our chain but South Indian wasn’t one of them. We have been planning this for a while and finally, it’s here, dedicated to South India. After a few months of research, travel and planning, we have put together a range of delicacies from the states with special focus on vegetarian options,” he says.
The menu is rather elaborate with vegetarian and non-vegetarian sections dedicated to each state, covering not just the popular ones but the lesser-known dishes as well. As an ode to the name, each table has a collection of salts in tiny jars — sea salt, black salt and pink salt, among others. As we finish off the well-cooked Kodi Roast, a plate of Paneer Varuval makes its way to the table. This deep-fried paneer starter is soft with a minty flavour and generous garnish of curry leaves and black pepper. We recommend Andhra Chapa Vepudu (fish fry) and Yera Varuval (prawns fry) for seafood lovers.
The main course offers a range of regional favourites like appam and ulavacharu. So, we suggest you request the chef to help you choose the right combinations, especially if you are not familiar with the cuisines. We take a break from Tamil Nadu and home state and move to Kerala. We dig into a bowl of hot Kozhi Malliperlan with Malabar Parotta — perfect pairing of flavourful roast chicken and soft parotta. We follow it up with wholesome appam and delicious stew.
If you happen to drop by during lunch hours, do try their thali — a mix of best of the menu with pappu, kuzhambu and avial with sweet and lot of appadam and vadiyalu. Andhra Kodi Pulao, Kotthu Parotta and Bisi Bele Bath are a few must-try options for those who like their rice staple.
When it’s time for desserts, our curiosity is piqued looking at the menu that offers fusion and global dishes.
Overlooking tiramisu and badam halwa, we opt for Filter Coffee Mousse with Ganache. Served in a typical coffee tumbler set, this dessert deserves to be documented on your Instagram. Apart from the aroma of the coffee, what really catches our attention is the froth that towers the glass. After tasting a spoonful of the dessert, we declare this the clear winner of the meal. The right balance of coffee decoction and ice cream with chocolate sauce, this fluffy mousse is what we’re coming back for!
Price for two: INR 1,500.
Pics: S Senbagapandiyan.