by Giles Platel - Sunday September 1, 2019 4:09 pm
Brunches have never been so popular and are fast becoming a weapon in the armoury of many restaurants, but that’s not to say all restaurants should serve them.
Outside the population made up of half-drunk weekenders like myself, pizza for brunch, is not something I’d wager will catch on anytime soon.
Curry, with its traditionally generous servings, rich sauces and heady spices, would no doubt fall into a similar category.
Which is why, when my friend and I entered Ootys at 11AM on a sweltering Saturday morning on Baker Street, we entered with jovial trepidation.
The brunch menu at Ooty’s offers 5 courses for a princely sum of £35, or £30 for the vegetarian menu, with the option of adding bottomless prosecco or mimosas for £15.
To kick things off, a sharing basket of pastries freshly baked in house by Ooty’s pastry chef, Reggie Fernandes.
Notable elements included a jeera croissant, spiked with cumin and served with squeezy-tubey-things of clotted cream and strawberry jam – perhaps a little unnecessary but fun nonetheless – and a house granola with a wispy light palm yogurt and berry compote.
With our prosecco glasses recharged, a masala egg dosa with tender Chettinad duck and a keema mattar pao, which is spiced lamb mince served with Indian bread rolls, came swooping in next.
Our minds at ease, we took in our surroundings. It’s necessary to point out that Ooty’s isn’t your typical curry house.
The restaurant is draped in Beverly Hills Martinique wallpaper and seating comes in the form of pink oyster chairs and olive-green benches, the all of which giving off the air of 50’s Hollywood glamour.
Head chef Manmeet trained with the prestigious Taj group of hotels in India where he worked for 6 years. More recently he rose to the position of Head Chef at Vineet Bhatia’s Michelin starred Rasoi & VBL, so opulence in the décor comes as no surprise.
Glasses brimming, pastel tiffin boxes soon arrived hiding delights such as a succulent Andhra mutton koora, a potato, edamame and sugar pea stir-fry and caraway rice flecked with crispy brown onion. We devoured the mutton as if it were the starter.
Barely catching our breath, we moved onto the finale. An angelified Strawberry cake and chocolate counterpart accompanied some fresh fruit. The fruit would have been enough for us alone: cake after such a rich meal was probably undeserved.
I take great pleasure eating menus where the character of the chef comes through on the plate.
At Ootys, I think Manmeet is reading us the cookbook of his life, taking us on a journey of breakfasts he has eaten from both his time spent training in India and working more recently in Europe.
The generosity of these dishes is far flung from the haute cuisine of Ooty’s neighbours, they are a big hug with a chilli smooch for good measure and worth every penny.
Jovial trepidation? I don’t know what we were worried about.
Ooty’s brunch menu runs 11:30-3:30 every Saturday. Guests can choose to sit in Ooty or its sister restaurant Ooty Station, bookings are recommended. Reservations are now open online at ooty.co.uk or via email firstname.lastname@example.org