There’s a brand new restaurant in Marylebone, taking inspiration from a small town in Tamil Nadu, serving up flavours and ingredients that hail from southern India with a stylish twist. We dined there recently on date night and here are my musings.
Ooty transcends over three floors, with a stunning basement bar, fine dining area accessed from the entrance on Baker Street as well as a more casual offering due to open in April this year.
The decor is stylish, pretty and contemporary with on trend dusky pink velvet chairs, green banquettes, white marble top tables and stunning wallpaper garnishing the walls, as well as a stand out feature wall made from foliage. Giving me lots of inspiration for my new home!
First impressions were excellent and we were warmly welcomed as we walked in and taken to our corner table, which was lovely, and had been a last minute booking and request and so I was pleased to find that they could accommodate it.
To start off with a mix of poppadoms with the perfect crunch arrived presented on a wooden tray with a decadent selection of mango chutney,which was made from scratch, and a mint and coriander chutney, in beautiful copper vats to accompany them.
A warming shot glass of Rasam was very much welcomed as well for it was a blustery day in London. It was delightful with the spice and flavours being a real comfort.
The menu is unique with interesting flavour combinations, which sets it slightly apart from other Indian restaurants. At the helm of the restaurant is Head Chef Manmeet Singh Bali, who was previously head chef at Vineet Bhatia London, who popped over to say hi and was ever so lovely.
To start with upon recommendation from the staff we tried the Telicherry Crab Fry, which was served with a zesty coconut crab relish, tomato chutney, and it was excellent. I found the staff to be very well versed with the menu and confident with their recommendations, which is always re-assuring.
With compliments of the chef we also tried Garlic Chilli Scallops on a bed of puy lentil cashew nut koshimbir and rasam tubes. This was my favourite starter from the ones we had and the salad was absolutely the right texture to accompany the scallops. This would be my top recommendation to order, as I am still dreaming about it now.
Because I always associate Southern Indian food with one of my favourites, Dosas, from the Griddle we tried the Chettinad Dosa, served in a thali tray, and filled with slow cooked venison dosa, which was succulent. I particularly liked the accompanying coconut chutney. Also served with the dosa was a tangy tomato chutney and sambal.
For mains we opted for the Lamb Shank Koora served with lemon pine nut rice, coconut foam and plantain crisps, which was an unusual selection but it worked so well, and the lamb was cooked to perfection. I do feel at the price (£24) the portion size was slightly on the smaller size though.
Dessert was a tough decision as everything sounded incredible, with unusual and creative offerings. Eventually we settled for the Meetha Pan Kulfi, served with chocolate soil, rose caviar, crystallised roses and candied popcorn. It was a treat for the taste buds and the perfect sweet ending to the meal, especially if you are a Pan lover! The presentation of it was stunning too and the Meetha Pan flavour just right and not too intense.
Overall I thought the food was excellent, with an impressive menu and innovative concepts bringing something different to the table, setting it apart from other Indian restaurants. The staff, service and ambience were all fantastic, with lots of smiles and warm hospitality experienced throughout the evening.
I did feel it was slightly on the dearer side when it comes to pricing, so perhaps more suited for special date nights or special occasions in their fine dining space. However, they are due to open a more casual dining aspect to add to their offering in the near future, which will have slightly different menu options, and so I would love to go back and try that once it is open.
For more information visit their website: https://ooty.co.uk/
Ooty, 66 Baker Street, London, W1U 7DJ