Mediterranean to Mumbai, olive by olive

Sep 03, 2012, 07:47 IST | Yoshita Sengupta

The new fine dining restaurant in the city's business district is spacious, classy and safe; it'll leave you wanting more

Lurking somewhere in the middle of Otto Infinito’s menu is a dish that represents the simplicity and vibrancy of a cuisine that spans eight countries of the Mediterranean region, which this new fine dine space represents. It’s the Chorizo Ravioli (Rs 375) — thin slices of spicy Spanish Sausages stuffed with creamy, mild cheese, shaped like Agnolotti (half-moon shape) pasta, simply grilled to perfection and generously dressed with olive oil spiked with chilli flakes. Walk through a cluster of blue glass buildings reflecting the mild monsoon sun, and a boulevard lined with palm trees, and you step into a massive, bright and airy space. 

Maghrebi Assorted Platter (Rs 395)

The eatery is lined with French windows, low dark wood tables, comfortable private booths, orange leather couches, tall bar stools and brass and glass lamps. However, what’s important is the food. In the Maghrebi Assorted Platter (Rs 395), comes soft, delicately spiced, and grilled lamb and chicken kofte, crunchy falafel, thin, light and crusty sambousek filled with eggplant, mild and creamy Sambousek complimented with the signature Tunisian Harissa and the velvety Greek labneh.

The Spaghetti Aglio Olio Peperoncino (Rs 395) is cooked to perfection; each strand is firm but not underdone and coated with olive oil, chilli flakes and chopped garlic. The mushrooms are succulent, the black and green olive slices go well with the garlic and the naturally sweet, finely chopped, bell peppers compliment the chilli.

The interiors of Otto Infinito. Pics/ Anita Anand

The Coriander Rubbed Pan Seared John Dory fillets (Rs 675) come neatly stacked on a big portion of light garlic mash. The fillets are cooked beautifully and go well with the mash. But something was amiss, and the answer was in the beautiful bottle of olive oil on table and a zest of lime that the staff is happy to arrange for. A drizzle of the oil and a liberal squeeze of lime, and the fish hits the spot. What brings it together and surprises, is the Asparagus Cream. The sauce doesn’t have a violent hit of asparagus; instead there is a fresh and subtle flavour from the Mediterranean shores.

The desserts from the To Go section are inviting. The Lemon Meringue Tart (Rs 95) and Cranberry Cheese Cake (Rs 110) beside each other look like an Italian summer on a plate. The lemon filling is fresh but too little, the meringue is light but a tad too much and the pastry tastes pleasant but is heavy. The Cheese Cake, however, is silky, smooth and the lightest you’ll find in the city. The cranberries give it the perfect zing. What disappoints, however, is the Signature Otto Chocolate and Passion Fruit Ganache (Rs 190), it looks good, the texture is perfect, however, the passion fruit overpowers the rest.

Other stars on the menu are the pizzas, Tenderloin Carpaccio (Rs 1,200) and Rock Salt Fish (Rs 1,200), which takes 30 minutes to prepare and is expertly deboned on the table by the chef. The expectations from Otto Infinito were higher because it emerges from the same stable that blew the city away with Hakkasan and Yauatcha. However, Otto Infinito plays it safe. It claims to represent France, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Spain, Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco, but it largely has an Italian menu like most other restaurants that claim to be Mediterranean. The beauty of Otto Infinito is the simplicity of its food and the execution, and we’ll take that, any day.

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