Named for the bucolic, otherworldly green hill station village in Tamil Nadu, Ooty specialises in the cuisine ranging from the southern tip of Kerala to the beachy shores of Goa. With Manmeet Singh Bali of the Michelin-starred Rasoi and Vineet Bhatia heading up the kitchens, guests are assuredly in good hands. For their site they‘ve chosen a swank 80-cover space in the heart of Marylebone, with three distinct spaces.
Upon arrival we decamped to the basement bar downstairs - a quiet, quite luxurious boite that‘s perfect for pre-dinner refreshment replete with artefacts of the explorer, particularly vintage prints and maps. Upstairs in ‘Ooty Station‘, they‘ve created an all-day venue perfect for dropping in, and next door at ‘Ooty Club‘ you‘ll find a more formal setting with gorgeous faux-foliage wallpaper, dark wood floors, copper accents and hunter green banquettes.
We tucked into a piquant Telicherry crab fry - the deep fried crustacean immersed in spices and served aside a zesty coconut relish and tomato chutney. Kid goat sukka was served atop a spinach and artichoke uttapam (rice pancake) with lentil sambhar and pepper duck egg. For mains, we were blown away by a Malabar jhinga biryani, the basmati rice luxuriantly soft, imbued with tiger prawn, egg salan, cucumber yoghurt and pachadi. A hearty lamb shank koora arrived with lemon pinenut rice, coconut foam and plantain crisps. We wrapped up the meal with a couple glasses of exceptional Alphonso mango wine, which paired beautifully with a jaggery pineapple bake, smoked cardamom rice and black sesame ice cream.
Ooty adds another to notch to London‘s belt as one of the best cities in the world to eat Indian cuisine. As one that homes in on the southern regions of the county, we expect it to vie with Michelin-starred Trishna and Quilon.
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