Restaurant Review: Otto Infinito
On paper, at least, Otto Infinito appears to have done everything right. It’s an all-day eatery in a business district that can easily accommodate the addition to the present count of coffee shops at the Trident and Sofitel, and Le Pain Quotidien. The menu is commendably trim, with a smattering of dishes representing the best of the Middle East, Greece, Italy and North Africa; the pricing is within reasonable means; and some of the staff is formerly from The Oberoi, a hotel which has set the benchmark for customer service.
The folks behind Otto Infinito, KA Hospitality, are no newbie restaurateurs—they’ve cut their teeth establishing trendy London eateries Hakkasan and Yauatcha in Mumbai. In the case of the latter, they’ve successfully brought people to the Bandra Kurla Complex at night, always a taxing proposition when you consider how ghostly the district is after office-hours. With Otto Infinito, housed in the same building as Yauatcha, they face the same challenge, namely luring customers to what we imagine will become largely a business lunch place for BKC’s choice-strapped captive audience. Unfortunately, they have complicated the task, with both decor and food that doesn’t rise above the ordinary.
At night, the restaurant, awash in a dim fluorescent pall, appeared, as one companion noted, like a cross between a hotel lobby coffee shop and an airport lounge. There are small flourishes such as hanging brass lights and a pastry and deli counter to pep up the tedium, but the overall look is characterless.
Despite an eye-catching dinner menu composed of hard-to-find options like burrata and truffle souffle, most of the dishes we tried fell short on flavour or execution. Of the appetisers, only the sweetish ricotta-filled chorizo ravioli was a nimble innovation (the chorizo acted as the ingenious encasement). The truffle souffle was as tasteless as an egg-white omelette; the burrata more akin to a hunk of mozzarella, perplexingly balanced on a heap of shredded lettuce; and the grilled haloumi with watermelon overcooked and rubbery. The thin crust pizzas were, at best, inoffensive, and in the case of the beetroot and parmesan one, quite good.
The main courses suffered from a similar inconsistency. Two portions of a Moroccan roast chicken hinted at a kitchen that may not have perfected technique. The first, two skin-coated legs, sealed with a flavourful mixture of tomato and onions, was succulent; the second portion, with no skin, was so utterly parched of juice that even the delicious gravy couldn’t salvage it. The mash as described by the menu to have feta and onion, tasted of neither. The coriander-rubbed John Dory was cooked well; but the braised lamb stew with a serving of polenta, was a gloppy concoction that was terribly over-salted. The sides of grilled vegetables and mushrooms were either oily or blasted with herbs. The whole rock-salt fish was, however, seasoned just right, which is to say very lightly, its saltiness working with rather than against the lemon-infused olive oil emulsion. The desserts scored two out of three. The signature ganache chocolate cake and the tiramisu were ably executed. However, we’d suggest giving the mushy hazelnut cheesecake, which came with a soggy base and topping of peeled orange slices, a skip.
Currently, the most attractive thing about Otto Infinito is its pricing; you can eat comfortably for about Rs1,000 a head (no alcohol licence yet means your tipple selection is restricted to virgin varieties). That said, there’s potential for improvement; a firm handling of the kitchen might result in food of greater consistency, while a few cosmetic changes to the lighting (at least at night) and the bare walls could brighten its insipid appearance.
A meal for two costs approximately Rs2,500. This review was conducted anonymously.Tags: Ka Hospitality, Otto Infinito, Restaurants
Bandra Kurla Complex
Take a right at the signal at the ILFS Building
Phone022 2656 7777
HoursDaily, 8am to 12.30am