From Goat cheese desserts to fall-off-the-bone spare ribs, ITC Grand Chola's Ottimo chalks out a new menu
The Italian language is the 20th most widely spoken language in the world with almost 61 million speakers, but their food is a language unto itself. ITC Grand Chola’s pioneering Italian restaurant Ottimo has a new menu that doesn’t just spark innovation, but also has their culinary mastery firmly rooted in the traditions and culture of Italian soil. A riveting mix of modern and classical Italian recipes, these renditions echo the true flavours of an Italian hearth. Chef Zubin Yezad has not just changed about 65 per cent of the menu, but he also has bespoke dishes up his sleeve, in case a guest wants something different. “The whole idea is to give a fresh approach to the menu, so we’ve about 35 new dishes. We have classics that we don’t want to mess with, but at the same time we are giving a whole new twist,” he tells us.
Tuticorin to Tuscany
What’s a better way to start a meal than with a boozy salad? Insalata Di Misticanza, Gin, Mandorle E Carciofi Di Gerusalemme, is a medley of Mesclun greens and Jerusalem artichokes that are tossed with toasted almonds, sage and a gin dressing, and makes for the perfect appetiser to a huge Tuscan meal. Chef Zubin follows that up with Asparagi Con Noci Del Brasile Mayonese Alle More Arancia, which is a poached Peruvian white asparagus number, flanked by blueberry mayo, coated with pecan nut crumble and oranges — the acid from the oranges smoothly cutting into the creaminess of the almonds. No Italian meal is complete without a glass of vino, so we go for the Man Family chardonnay, and later changed to a Solazzo red wine when the meat dishes were presented.
What followed was an interplay of flavours with their Tortelli stuffed with Asparagi E Burro Acideo Al Tartufo which are delicate tortellis stuffed with a subtle asparagus creme and tossed in truffle-scented white butter from Tuticorin — you can smell this dish as soon as it is set down in front of you — that’s how rich that truffle white butter is. For pescetarians, Trancio Di Branzino Al Cartoccio, is a gentle stack of sea bass, cooked in papillote along with bell peppers and potato. If there’s one dish that really livened up our evening, it was their Rognone Di Agnelle Scotatto, Servito Con Salsa Di Gin E Risotto Alla Parmigiana which has a pan seared lamb kidney, with gin sauce and Parmesan risotto. It’s nothing short of a burst of flavours!
Rock, pannacotta, biscuit
Dibs on the ribs, with their fall-of-the-bone Costolette Di Maiale Con Asparagi E Vino Rosso, which is a herb-marinated Italian BBQ pork spare ribs, with a red wine glaze. With this, we were ready to call it a night, but Chef Zubin, was not done with his Italian invasion! For dessert, we are presented with Pannacotta Alla Fragola, a citrus-scented vanilla cooked cream with a thin layer of strawberry consomme, and a strawberry salad and sorbet on top. Between fruity and creamy, this dish really hit the spot. Don’t miss the Bonnet Piemontese, an authentic blend of chocolate from Northern Italy, Amaretti biscuit and salted almond rocks. Buon Appetito!
From today. Meal for two `5,600.