The team behind Ooty, the south Indian restaurant which opened in Marylebone earlier this year, have announced that the next phase of the venture will launch next month.
Ooty Station, a café and cocktail bar more casual than its sister Ooty restaurant, will open on Monday 7th June. With an off-street outdoor terrace and counter bar dining inside, Ooty Station will serve a menu of Indian-inspired bar snacks through to more substantial mains, alongside an extensive cocktail list and bottled beer selection.
Ooty’s Head Chef Manmeet Singh-Bali, alongside Sous Chef Niru Palakonda, has created a varied menu of contemporary dishes inspired by south Indian street food classics, alongside more traditional British bar snacks with an Indian twist, with plans to launch a breakfast menu later this year.
Bar snacks will include Malli chicken wings, Mutton methi samosa and Goat’s cheese with jalapeño, ghatti masala bun and apple chutney. The bar bowl menu includes meaty options such as Keralan lamb stew with coconut rice and Lime tomato prawns with mini idli and coriander copra chutney.
Vegetarians will be well catered for with the likes of Spinach and Indian cottage cheese parcels with coriander and garlic dip, and a Pearl barley, smoked cashew nut and puy lentil koshimbir salad.
From the griddle, guests will also be able to choose from a selection of light homemade dosas, filled with the likes of Garlic-tempered soya spinach and Lime and curry leaf lamb.
From the bar, guests will be able to choose from a selection of bottled beers, including Kingfisher lager and Bombay Bicycle, and quality spirits alongside Ooty’s house-made cocktails designed to take visitors on a journey through India.
These will include the Rose Garden (Hendrick’s gin with cold-infused Indian rose petals, goji berry liqueur, egg white and bitters), which pays homage to the mountain district of Nilgiri, and Frivolity (vodka, poppy liqueur, passion fruit purée and burlesque bitters), which is inspired by the dramatic views of the Kalka-shimla railway station.
Ooty Station is situated next to sister site Ooty restaurant on Baker Street, opened earlier this year by the entrepreneurial duo, Aseela Goenka and Pooja Nayak, who have also overseen the design of the new cafe/bar.
Accessed by its own off-street entrance on Dorset Street, Ooty Station is brought to life with industrial design touches inspired by its namesake station in Ooty in the hills of Tamil Nadu in southern India. Statement crittal-style windows flood the restaurant with light, complementing the navy blue corrugated metal wall coverings, deep red and mustard tiling, leather seating and dark wood tables.
With seating for up to 40 people inside, the cafe also comprises an outside terrace with a further 15 covers where guests can enjoy drinks and food in the summer sun. Back inside, a wide screen TV will also show the Cricket World Cup and Wimbledon tournament throughout the summer for guests to enjoy over drinks, and the bar snack food menu.
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 away the afternoon with friends and family, or start your Friday night after work with us.”