Food that hits the spot

Sep 16, 2012, 11:14 IST | Moeena Halim

Original Gourmet, or Or-g as the owner likes to call it, is Bandra's latest haunt for gourmet and health junkies. Their huge menu is likely to please the fussiest palate

You have to try the Zucchini Rolls,” gushed Suved Lohia, owner of Or-g, soon after he seated us at one of the giant tables, which were covered with faux-crocodile leather. We nodded nonchalantly; too busy browsing through the non-vegetarian section of the menu, which was presented to us on an iPad.

But the Zucchini Rolls (Rs 330) had us at first bite (if we weren’t already sold at first look). Thin, crispy slices of yellow and green zucchini were filled with three different cheeses — goat’s cheese, feta and cottage cheese — and topped with a tomato and olive salsa. So simple, yet so beautifully flavoured — a great way to start a meal.

The Lobster Thermidor 

Their eggplant cousins, the Parmigiana Rolls (Rs 400) — a take on the Southern Italian parmigiana — were packed with flavour too. Both were concoctions devised by Lohia and his chef Vinay Karbhatkar, meant to get visitors to eat veggies they wouldn’t usually touch. That’s the idea behind most of the food served at Or-g. Lohia, who also owns the health-conscious Fella’s in Khar, has tried to keep this menu as healthy as possible.

Another of Lohia’s experiments is the Freekeh Salad, which combines broken wheat with feta cheese and slivers of fig. Although it looked a bit boring (“people will mistake it for couscous,” Lohia was sure), the combination of sweet and salty flavours was interesting. Our only wish for this dish was that it had a little more of that lemon dressing.

The Grilled Pestro Prawns at Or-g in Bandra. Pics/ Neha Parekh

Our favourite from the main course was the Lobster Thermidor (Rs 650). The meat from the lobster tail was perfectly cooked and served with just enough of the creamy, cheesy sauce (which didn’t overpower the taste of the seafood). The little bed of salad they served the lobster tail on was a definite miss, though.

Other seafood we tried was the Grilled Pesto Prawn Skewers (Rs 450) and two different types of fish. The skewers, served as an appetiser, had four jumbo prawns cooked to perfection. Of the Basa With Orange Butter Sauce (Rs 550) and the Paprika Crusted Fish With Red Bean Mash (Rs 500), the latter was the winner. We loved the bean mash — a refreshing change from mashed potatoes and perfect to balance the spiciness of the paprika fish.

Unfortunately, two items listed on the menu were unavailable. We were refused the grilled chicken with berries (no berries in the pantry) and the salmon sushi (no salmon available). Also slightly disturbing was the fact that they’d put Prawn Tempura under the Sushi section.

Although it felt like we’d tried everything on the menu (including the wish-we-hadn’t Gulab Jamun Cheesecake), all that we didn’t sample included their pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, wraps, and soups.

The overwhelmingly large menu could be cut down considerably. Or-g is trying too hard to please. Lohia might have been nervous about limiting his menu to their experiments, but those are the true winners. Or, perhaps, it is to accommodate patrons round-the-clock. Already, the restaurant turns into a pub post 11 pm — when the music gets louder and the lights are dimmed further. Monday onwards the joint will be open for lunch, too.  One thing’s certain — our food orgy had definitely left our stomachs (and souls) comforted, and that’s what counts.

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