The Oberoi group of hotels made its first move into Mumbai’s suburbs last month with the launch of the Trident brand in the sprawling commercial district of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). Given BKC’s proximity to the airport, it was only a matter of time before the area got itself a hotel. There are a couple of others in the pipeline, but this tastefully designed hotel has the first-mover advantage. Also, the Oberoi brand of hospitality is hard to beat.
The hotel has 436 rooms and three restaurants—O22, the all-day dining restaurant, Botticino for Italian and Maya for Indian. The lack of good restaurants in the vicinity is going to benefit O22 the most. The bright, cheery restaurant with floor-to-ceiling glass windows was full when we visited. The hotel has a two-storey glass-encased wine display with 1,500 bottles. The cellar starts at O22 on the ground floor and goes up to Botticino on the first floor, which is the restaurant we decided to review for two reasons—it’s Italian food and because we miss Vetro. Arguably the city’s finest Italian restaurant, Vetro at the Oberoi, Nariman Point, hasn’t reopened since the 26/11 terror attack. Chef Emanuelle Lattanzi, who designed the menu at Vetro, worked on Botticino before leaving India.
The good stuff
Most of the dishes on the Vetro menu have been repeated here. The meal began with the Italian restaurant staple of Parma ham and melon and the beautiful meat deserved to be enjoyed in reverent silence. The pan-fried Tuscan goose liver with potato galette and Barolo wine sauce was perfect in the combined soft textures of the mashed potato and the goose liver. The risotto with porcini mushrooms and castelmagno cheese had combined flavours that were rich and thick enough to bite into.
The entree was the yellowfin tuna and prawns with lemon butter sauce and chargrilled tenderloin with porcini mushrooms and asparagus, both cooked medium rare. Lightly flavoured with lemon butter sauce is how the fresh fish should be eaten. The juicy tenderloin will pass any carnivore’s test. Herbivores won’t be disappointed with the spinach and ricotta crepes with bell pepper reduction and parmesan glaze. The tiramisu was just as fabulous as at Vetro. The dessert, creamy without being too rich, will help end your meal on a high note. If you still need something more, Botticino is promoting grappa, the traditional Italian drink, and has an impressive display of bottles; the potent, clear liquid is believed to aid digestion.
Beige and white with a touch of lavender, the decor is minimalistic but doesn’t match the chic Vetro. However, the overall experience with excellent food and a variety of wine definitely does. Although the service at Vetro tended to be slow, here the staff is attentive and prompt. Those who have been missing a fine-dining Italian space for a year now have something to look forward to.
When everything is going well, it’s the little things that make the difference. The meal at the restaurant started on a low note with a very average bread basket of multigrain baguette, a hard roll and tomato and basil roll. The calamarata pasta with prawns, clams and porcini mushrooms could have been the star of our meal but the pasta, shaped to resemble calamari rings, was chewy and disappointing.
The antipasti is priced from Rs550 to Rs1,050, pastas are between Rs675 and Rs850, entrees from Rs750 to Rs1,950 and desserts at Rs350, inclusive of taxes.