Otto Infinito – the recently opened Mediterranean restaurant from the people who brought you Hakkasan and Yauatcha – promises a menu that covers eight (otto) national cuisines. Open from 8:30 am, this bright, modern eatery has the added appeal of a full breakfast menu, freshly baked breads, and a quick pick-up section for lunches and dinners on the go. We dropped in last week for lunch and managed to sweet talk some special items off the the breakfast and dinner menus as well. Here’s our roundup.
Given that it was lunch time, we sampled just two items from the breakfast menu. The first, the Spanish Omelette, wasn’t quite what we were expecting, and was a little too dense for our liking. We didn’t really mind, however, as we were too busy tucking into the Berber Omlette – three eggs baked in a warm, fragrant tomato sauce that scooped up beautifully with pita bread (think of it as a sophisticated shakshuka). This is one breakfast item we could definitely turn into a regular habit.
Off the lunch menu we started with the Green Asparagus Soup, the Minestrone Toscano, the Horiatiki Greek Salad, and the Goat’s Cheese Salad. While the asparagus soup was a little heavy handed on the cream and light on asparagus, the Minestrone tasted fresh out of the garden, with crunchy bites of chickpeas, squash, zucchini, green beans and carrots happily swimming in a light tomato broth. Between the two salads, the goat’s cheese won our vote, with generous ripples of creamy cheese running through crisp greens, sundried tomatoes, chunks of orange and a sprinkling of pine nuts.
My personal favourite – possibly from the entire meal – was the Mezze Dip. It’s a rare thing to find a collection of 5 dips that not only shine individually, but complement each other so well. The Hummus was the star – simple and authentic (you can tell they use quality olive oil) – while the Moutabel, Labneh, Roasted Tomato and Harissa Dip were all deliberately spiced but expertly balanced.
Outside of the appetizers, we tried three sandwiches. The Falafel in Pita Pocket tasted better than it looked, but was noticeably smaller than our other choices. We also felt a little cheated by the large dollop of pink-ish sauce that came with the plate, which turned out to be primarily mayonnaise, both in flavor and constitution. The Parma Ham and Mozzarella Pesto in Croissant was much more filling. The wet mozzarella and delicate croissant made for a bit of a soggy affair, but we were willing to overlook this for the quality of the cheese. Our winning sandwich had to be the Scamorza and Chorizo panini, because let’s face it – it’s hard to screw up when you grill good quality meat, cheese and bread together. Crunchy on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside, this one’s a definite winner.
Our main disappointment off the lunch menu was the Margherita Con Rucola pizza. The thin crust tasted more like a flatbread while the irregular distribution of sauce left large areas of the pie dry and flavourless. Where sauce, cheese and arugula came together, however, the pizza did reveal some potential.
We tried four items off the dinner menu, two of which stood out. The Grilled Haloumi Cheese was nicely paired with fresh watermelon, but sadly the only signs of any actual grilling were the superficial burn marks on the cheese (instead of a nice golden crust with a slightly tender center). The Coriander Rubbed Pan Seared John Dory was equally undercooked and reminded us more of a South Asian preparation than a Mediterranean one. Meanwhile the Fettucine with Lobster straddled an awkward middle ground: if you’re adding tomato sauce to this dish (we wouldn’t) you might as well commit to it fully. Otherwise, let the garlic, parsley and white wine speak for themselves.
If you’re determined to eat pasta then we’d recommend the Mushroom Truffle Ravioli. Be warned, this one’s rich (but worth the extra calories). While the ravioli itself is fairly ordinary, the surrounding porcini mushroom cream sauce makes up for it. Rich in flavour with sliced mushrooms, lashes of olive oil and a satisfying hint of fresh parsley, this is what makes the dish hit the spot. Meat eaters will love a different kind of ravioli that’s not really ravioli at all. The Chorizo Ravioli is made of thin slices of chorizo folded over to hold a creamy filling and drizzled with a touch of sweet. Superb.
For dessert, we braved the Tiramisu, Hazelnut Cheesecake, Assorted French Macarons Platter, and the Signature Otto Chocolate and Passion Fruit Ganache. We wouldn’t necessarily call a bowl of two macarons an assortment or a “platter,” and the signature ganache didn’t really work on its own or in combination with its plated elements. The tiramisu, however, was spot on for flavour, if a little loose in consistency. The knock-out desert was definitely the cheesecake. It’s not often we find cheesecake that is not only authentically made (not gelatinous or mousse-y) but also flavoured with appropriate restraint. The cake was firm yet creamy, while the delicate hazelnut and hint of orange was refreshingly subtle. Don’t miss this one.
While we were too full to sample any of the main course dishes, based on our experience with the rest of the menu we’d be happy to return for a second run. Otto Inifinito combines fresh, quality ingredients with appropriate care to create a familiar yet inventive menu. Best of all, prices are easy on the wallet, unlike those of its pricier restaurant siblings. We only wish Otto were closer to home or office, given its satisfying and convenient range of salads and sandwiches – but for now, we’ll just have to find more excuses for strategically timed meetings in BKC.
Soups & Salads: Rs. 200 – 400
Appetizers: Rs. 300 – 800
Pizzas: Rs. 300 – 400
Pastas: Rs. 300 – 500
Main Courses: Rs. 350 – 500
Desserts: Rs. 200 – 400
Bandra Kurla Complex
Opposite Bank Of Baroda
Bandra East, MUMBAI – 400051