Ottimo’s new menu is a journey through the various regions of Italy
Ottimo at ITC Gardenia is not just any Italian restaurant. While you can always depend on them
to get their staples right, their modern take on classics, when it comes to presentation or ingredients, sets them apart.
We went in to sample their new menu on a Monday, and chef Chirag Sehgal wowed us with an eight-course meal that was a tribute to the different regional nuances of the cuisine. “The idea was to incorporate ingredients from different regions of Italy into the dishes, but also at the same time, to try and adhere to the classics,” the chef explained as we sat down to dinner. This was clearly evident in our first course, the Burrata Pomodori Biologici E Pesto, which was an amalgamation of burrata, a specialty from the south eastern part of Italy, pesto from the north of the country and vine tomatoes from the west. We also tried
the Prosciutto E Melone — delicately aged Parma ham, from the north of the country, with musk melon and honey pearls.
Our next course was the Affumicata Barbabietola Carpaccio with Quinoa Insalata, a smoked beetroot carpaccio. The earthy flavours of the thinly sliced beetroot paired really well with the bright dressing on the salad. But our favourite dish on the menu was one where chef has pushed the envelope a little more than the others. The Zuppa di Cavolfiore E Cioccolato - a cream of cauliflower soup with chocolate. The peculiar combination of sharp dark chocolate flakes and the creamy soup worked well, and the hint of truffle tied the flavours together. Next we were served the Ravioli al Granchio Con La Sua Sala. The delectable homemade crab and mascarpone ravioli is tossed with a velvety tomato and crab bisque. After a short break of a citrusy sorbet that was a much needed palate cleanser, we moved on to Risotto Asparagi E Pomodoro, a rich asparagus risotto. While bright green in colour, the stand out notes on the dish were that of the sun dried tomatoes and dehydrated tomato that it was served with. Another recommendation is the Salmone Croccante Con Salsa, crispy skin salmon with a rum and orange dressing. The play on textures in this dish, especially because of the side of braised fennel and vegetables, made it a winner.
We ended this decadent meal with a flourish - the Tiramisu 2.0. A hunk of mascarpone and Savoiardi cookies (Italian sponge biscuits) all soaked in espresso. At Ottimo, chef personally comes to your table and serves you a spoonful of the desert. While a tad embarrassing, we appreciate the personal touch that is visible in the dish. With the use of fresh produce and excellent craftsmanship, Ottimo’s new menu showcases chef’s love for the cuisine and is a must try for gourmets.
Rs. 3,000 for two. AT ITC Gardenia, Residency Road