Kick started the Restaurant Week India with our visit to Ottimo – Cucina Italia in ITC Gardenia for an early dinner. The property is gorgeous, and has six restaurants in house. We had opted for the first dinner slot (7:30 pm) and were ushered in by their Sous Chef Sasha Fernandes, who seated us in front of the large open kitchen. She laughingly said, ‘You can see what we make, and we can see how you’re enjoying your meal!’ She wasn’t kidding as I later found out! They have separate menu options for vegetarian and non-vegetarians; my husband and I being staunch meat eaters were going to opt accordingly. Chef Greco Vittorio came ambling to our table with recommendations and sharing his favorites from the RWI menu. Without much ado we set course for the appetizers and mains.
I got a citrus flavored chicken with tuna and garlic dressing, presented most delectably with a thinly sliced brioche crisp balanced between the meats. The chicken was amazingly well cooked, well balanced with the creamy tuna in flavor, perfect as an antipasti. It served to whet the appetite and not overwhelm it. My partner ordered the signature RWI appetizer – a warm prawn salad with burrata cheese and pink tomato dressing. The prawns were large and crispy, amazingly juicy too, with a burrata layer at the bottom?? Definitely a must try! I also got a fresh cranberry and lemon martini, a mocktail.
Moving slowly onto the main course, I ordered the lamb shanks, the Signature Main Course dish – a Milanese styled preparation of slow cooked lamb served with risotto. Having attended eaten Milanese food earlier, I knew what to expect, and it absolutely lived up to my expectation! As the dish was being plated by Chef Sasha, I watched and couldn’t resist a few shots! The presentation was really nice, and the lamb meat was so well cooked and soft that it was practically falling off the bone. The risotto was held in a crisp batter, a creative rendition. My partner’s dish was also something I wanted to try, and hence made him order it! It was the rabbit ravioli served with balsamic vinegar and wild thyme. I have been craving for some interesting ravioli, aside from the usual options available in the city. This was a farm rabbit, the Chef informed us, so the meat was quite tender and the dish was quite filling as well.
The dessert selection was a bit limited. We decided to opt for the Tiramisu (obviously!) and the Fruit Pannacotta. The pannacotta was served in a plate as a deconstructed dessert with a vanilla cream layer in the bottom, and homemade jam toppings of mango, kiwi and pineapple on it. Personally I would have preferred a chocolate dessert. The tiramisu, served in glass, was a generous helping, but as I reached the bottom of the glass, the bitter coffee flavor was a sharp hit, probably why I am awake at this hour writing my review!
Priced at Rs.1000 per person, and the signature appetizer charged at an additional Rs.100, and the signature main dish at Rs.200, and the mocktail, the meal including taxes costed around 3000. For bookings, log on to http://restaurantweekindia.com/