Me and a couple of other food bloggers from the city were invited to a chef’s table at Ottimo, ITC Gardenia. It was an all new menu, with a modern twist to the classic Italian dishes. On that eventful evening, Chef Chirag Sehgal would don the mantle of ensuring every dish’s story was conveyed to us, so much so that they we could feel the passion that went into creating the recipe. The aromas permeated the air around the table we were seated at, which was just about 10m away from where all the magic was happening! They have a few set menus if you’d not want to do the hard job of picking what you’d like to eat. Let’s look at what our menu looked like.
Prosciutto E Melone Con Perle Al Miele
As with most Antipasti choices, we started with a cured meat dish. Prosciutto crudo that was super thin, served with musk melon. What a perfect start to the evening 🙂
Gravad lax or grave salmon, is cured salmon, where the curing process would ensure the meat absorbs a lot of salt. The salmon was served with jerusalem artichoke puree and avocado puree and to top it off, a gin cured zucchini. This dish also had caviar 😉 Supremo!
The next dish that came to our table was rather intriguing, just a generous serving of caviar and that’s it. I was unsure what that was as the caviar sizes looked inexplicable.
Then came Chirag and his team of chefs to explain that this was an innovation they tried and it was a lemon & saffron scented chicken caviar. Still doesn’t qualify as a soup 😛 I was still missing something, may be we all were.
But then came what looked like the beetroot soup, oh wait, it was red cabbage soup. I thought the wines had started to make their presence known by now!
Tortelli al Granchio con la sua salsa
This was by far my favourite dish of the evening. I think I have a thing for Ravioli. The surprise element it comes with is probably what excites me. A lot of people over the course of the last decade have developed a ravioli tooth! Most restaurants make shapes that are circular or semi-circular, but the traditional form of ravioli is square. So, when I saw that the ravioli being served here was of the square form, I knew they had done it the way it was most authentic. The ravioli we tried had a filling of homemade crab and mascarpone It was served with just a minute dressing of the crab bisque and chamomile tea.
A palette cleanser is essential to remove the food residue from the tongue to help us move onto the next course of the meal, without which assessing the next dish would be inaccurate. What was served to us was a watermelon sorbet enhanced with Sauvignon blanc. This slush was taken to another level with the addition of fresh mint.
Almond Crusted lamb loin with truffle scented potato puree, pan jus and purple potato chips. The lamb was medium rare and just about perfect. But, if you’re someone who hasn’t had an experience with rare or medium rare meats, please be sure to ask for a well cooked meat. The crunchy almond crusting on the lamb was the hero of the dish and it went just spectacularly well with the red meat. A very simple dish from the looks of it, but the technique used on this one is far from simple!
Legend has it that, there is a tradition that’s followed at Ottimo, ITC, that the first bite of the dessert is spoon fed by the chef. I was ever so eagerly waiting for this moment to arrive. The dish we were presented is one of the most popular Italian desserts in the world, the Tiramisu. The version 2.0 of this was a deconstructed Tiramisu. One would need an actual chef to be able to have the right amount of all the elements in a spoon to be able to enjoy it at it’s best! And boy was it an absolutely eccellente dish.
I had a great experience trying out a 5 course meal from the new menu at Ottimo, ITC Gardenia. Please check it out and do let me know about your experience 🙂
For reservations, pls contact Raghav Wanchoo at +91-80-43455000