Food and Beverages · Hospitality · Lifestyle

Risotto Fare at Ottimo, ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru. 

Ottimo, the plush Italian kitchen at the ITC Gardenia in Bangalore is hosting a Risotto festival for it’s guests until the 19th of this month. 

The festival, named the Risotto Fare, showcases the culinary talent of Chef Zohair, the junior sous chef at the Cucina Italiana in creating Risottos from northern regions of Italy- namely Piedmont, Veneto and Lombardia. 

Chef Zohair implements techniques, skills and processes that form the backbone of Italian cooking and also makes way for the nouveau. 

Risotto, which basically translates to Rice,  forms the backbone of this festival; showcasing the most preferred comfort food for Italians worldwide. 

We were thrilled to witness the chef in action while he made us a spectacular Risotto Con Topinambur Salvia E Parmigiano ( Risotto with Jerusalem artichoke, sage butter and parmigiano from the Piedmont region ) and the Risotto Al Frutti Di Mare Con Morbidoni Di Calamari ( Black ink risotto with seafood and squid dumpling from the Veneto region). 

After being seated, we were served some fresh breads and wine. The first course was a Risotto Al Funghi Porcini (Porcini Mushroom Risotto from Piedmont ).  Rustic and minimalistic in preparation, this was a great start. 

Risotto Con Riduzione Di Gallina Pepe Verde, Niro Semidi Si Sesame E Semi Di Girasole ( Double Chicken Risotto with Sous Vide Spicy Crusted Chicken from Piedmont ). The crust on the succulent Chicken was crunchy and nutty and the risotto was cooked to optimum. 

Stinco D’agnello Alla Milanese Con Risotto Croccante E II Suo Midollo ( Saffron Risotto, with Lamb Shank, Marrow Crumble and Lemon Gremolata from Lombardia ).  I’d call this an Italian version of the Nalli Nihari and a luscious Khichdi. The meat was fork tender, with a velvety jus and the saffron infused rice was cooked to creamy perfection. 

The two desserts- the Banana Gelato with Caramel Sauce and the Torta Caprese were both decadent and delicious. Sacrilegious as this may sound to chocoholics, but I would choose the Banana gelato over the Torta Caprese for great balance of sweetness and nuttiness from the caramel. 

An added bonus for us was to have the chef prepare a classic Tiramisu for us, from scratch, sans the Amaretto or Marsala. 

Would like to thank Ms. Simonti Majumdar, Chef Zohair Bharmal and the entire team at Ottimo for a wonderful experience. 

The festival is on till Sunday, 19th February, 2017 and for dinner only. 

Reservations are recommended and can can be made on +91 80 4345 5000. 


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