Looks can be deceptive and I am a classic example. I might look like they starve me back home and I cant claim to survive on fresh air in the city of Mumbai either. But the secret coming straight from the kitchen onto your plate is that there is a lot of food that hides comfortably behind this petite frame! My close friends call me “bhukku” and half my Twitter matter is about the yummy things I binge on! My Twitter friends and DNA After Hrs were the unique ones who spotted the foodie in me and encouraged me to write and review a food column. As a staunch vegetarian myself, I hope to share some great recommendations to my veggie folks and hope to tempt the taste buds of those from the non-vegetarian religion too!
I begin my first food column with Out of the Blue on Pali hill, a restaurant Ive been frequenting since school days, when it was exclusively a sizzler place. I have memories settled in different corners of this place — whether of birthdays, Christmas luncheons, farewell dinners, friendly get-togethers and, of course, a whole lot of official meetings and photo shoots!
The restaurant is perhaps one of the rare combinations of ambience and mouthwatering food. Its USP is the space and the efficient utility of each and every corner. The indoor arrangement has proximity to the bar and the outdoor seating is close to the live barbeque counter. Today, along with their famous sizzlers, the restaurant serves the citys finest Italian cuisine, along with their original and innovative variety of fondues such as the desi fondue, Chetinad fondue, pizza fondue and so on. My personal favourite? Its olives dipped in desi fondue.
The kitchen is a bunch of creative madness with chefs who believe that food can be fun if you want to invent new things. This place serves the most unique cold cheese bruschetta, which was a discovery by default by one of the young enthusiastic chefs, who forgot to heat the bruschettas before serving them. However, this slapstick version has now become the restaurants running cold favourite. Their Caribbean chef Michelle Fourniller is the latest flavour of the kitchen and specialises in Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisine.
And for all of you who, like me, believe that the company of the right choice of drink can make all the difference to the entire dining experience, try out the Jaljeera Mojito, which is the restaurants farm grown recipe and an instant mood-pepping refresher.
Let me now, with a musically loud announcement, introduce to you, ladies and gentlemen, my crush on the menu that ensures I come for it again and again — the Vegetable Exotica. Its basically vegetables in cheese, aptly true to its name with its exotic taste. Each time Im at Out of the Blue, I order for this particular dish… to an extent that when the restaurant was revamping its menu, it retained this dish on the menu, specially for me! I think in the years to come, it shall be called Rao Exotica! If you havent tasted the Vegetable Exotica, you havent been to Out of the Blue. Just a reminder… its on Pali hill. See you there!
Amrita Rao is an actor and foodie.