That local food in a rustic setting thought? Kill it. Oota is in the same building as Windmills Craftworks (map) and run by the same folks, so while the cuisine is definitely what the name suggests – Karnataka – the setting is absolutely fine dining. The clincher is when they explain the non existence of cutlery with “should be eaten with hand for the complete experience” and let you know that if you do feel uncomfortable with that, they could get you cutlery. In fact, I did see a person at a table nearby wrestling with a Maddur Vade armed with a fork. Sigh.
The ambiance is absolutely classy, with lots of rich wood finish, bright cushions, show lamps hanging from the ceiling interspersed with actual lights, and an annapakshi vessel on the table.
The alcohol menu is interesting not just because of the actual unique concoctions, but for their names as well. Varathur Overflow, Attar Delight, Hogeynakkal all show the copywriter having a field day. I wanted a Mandya Sour, but it wasn’t available. I then chose a Kempu Cola (whiskey, lime juice, lemon tea syrup, ratafia, bergamot honey, aromatic bitters and cotton candy smoked in hickory wood) only for the name and the whiskey! The things we learn from cocktails! D ordered a Dalchini Bitter (mixed cinnamon rum , apple pie, lime jice, chocolate bitters, cherris and IPA foam) which almost looked like a beer. The drinks are costly, but they aren’t stingy with alcohol. I’d recommend both the drinks above. A variety of papads, fries and some delicious chutneys and chutney powders were complimentary, with a person explaining ingredients of each. D liked the tomato chutney so much that she got herself a couple of refills as well!
The menu is fairly exhaustive, and we had a tough time choosing. Kaima Unde had to be tried, and the lamb meatballs with onion and green chillies was a spicy delight. The texture of the meat was just amazing. When there’s Chicken Ghee Roast, it must be had. At Rs.500, this one must have been the costliest I ever had, but no complaints on the taste.
Choosing the mains was also a tough decision – we were nearly stuffed but there were many things we wanted to try! We skipped the standard Pandi Curry and instead asked for a Pork Indad – a sweet & sour Mangalorean Catholic preparation with a touch of spice. Sweet was dominant but thanks to the starters we were fine with that! Despite my best efforts, D ordered a Jolada Roti, which at least in terms of looks turned out to be a thinly disguised version of rotis at home (just as I had suspected) though this one was at Rs.75! I asked for a Kalathappam – thick rice pancakes with fried onions, apparently a specialty of the Beary Muslims in Mangalore. We really liked the taste and texture and for once, I got an opportunity to smirk at D’s dish choices. Our plan was to ask for sannas after this, but we were just too full. That also meant that we had to give desserts a pass.
All of this cost us around Rs.3100. The service was very good, and the food was delicious. We might not become regulars, but will definitely visit a couple more times because there are many, many things to try on the menu!
Oota, 331, 5B, EPIP Zone, Whitefield Ph: 49653460