In the foodhall at Selfridges there are so many great places to eat, but my new favourite is Ooty Station that I was invited to try last week. South Indian, fine dining restaurant Ooty (London), have launced Ooty Station as there relaxed dining concept. The menu features delicacies from various regions of South India and have been developed by head chef, Manmeet Singh Bali (former Head Chef at Michelin-starred restaurants – Rasoi and Vineet Bhatia London (VBL)) alongside Sous Chef, Niru Palakonda. The aim is to provide a creative selection of dishes and sensational aromas and flavours will provide an authentic experience of South Indian cuisine.
Head Chef Manmeet Singh-Bali said: “Since the opening of Ooty earlier this year I’ve been working hard with Niru on developing the Ooty Station food menu. We loved creating the more refined and experimental dishes at Ooty, but with the station menu we’ve been able to be more playful, with the same fidelity to traditional South Indian flavours.
We’ve taken inspiration from the street food of our childhoods growing up in India, and the comforting pub food we know here in the UK, to create a unique offering which is perfect whether you want to drop in for drinks and a few light bites, while spending the afternoon with friends and family, or starting your Friday night after work with us.”
There’s a great selection of starters available in the street food section of the menu. We picked out the Malli Chicken Wings and Shammi Shikampur to try. The Malli Chicken Wings are crispy chicken wings flavoured with coriander and then tossed in OOTY’s special sauce. This was our favourite of the two as the spices gave the chicken a great depth of flavour. The Shammi Shikampur are garam masala-spiced lamb kebabs scented with mint, coriander and onions. I’ve eaten shammi kebabs many times in Indian restaurants, but these had a subtleness and a delicacy that they usually lack, but they still pack a powerful flavour punch.
For the main course I picked out the Kasoori Murgh which is an Ooty twist on one of India’s most popular dishes: Chicken Tikka Masala. I like the tikka flavours, but found the dish a touch on the oily side for my taste, on the up side it flavoured the rice well and there were generously sized chicken pieces in the sauce. My companion went for the Matka Lamb which is billed as a tender lamb stew flavored with chilli and tellicherry peppers. This was our favourite of the two main as it had everything you hope for in a curry: a deep and complex flavour which complements the meat well. I’d certainly order the Matka Lamb again on a return visit. Both our dishes came with rice included.
To go with our meal we chose a couple of sides: Cucumber Raita and a Paratha. The Cucumber Raita was the perfect complement to the spicy Matka Lamb: cool and cleansing on the palette. The Paratha, a thin flat bread, was a great way of scooping up some of that curry goodness and cleaning the plate and the dish. I liked that it wasn’t too filling (like a naan can be) and it was just about the right size.
For dessert we picked out Chocolate Torte for me and Ice Cream for my guest. These dishes obviously aren’t particularly Indian, but they were well executed. The Chocolate Torte was very smooth and there was a strong, intense chocolate flavour.
Ooty Station is a great place to grab a bite to eat either when you are shopping or maybe as an early evening treat. A couple of items from the street food part of the menu would make a perfect light lunch and there are the main meals if you want something a bit more substantial.
Disclosure: I was provided with a complementary meal for the purposes of this review.