If it’s a quiet, even romantic, dinner you’re aiming for, then the new Ozaa at Oakwood Premier Prestige, UB City, is the ideal spot. Set atop the building on the 14th floor, mood lighting and candle-lit tables welcome you, and a gentle breeze over the pool keeps you cool. Reminiscent of a Greek café, with tables meant for cosy dining under little olive trees, it is a respite from the bumble of EDM music and banter at the Piazza downstairs — all conceptualised to bring together the elements of sky, wind and water, to blend with the earthiness of the grills.
Sticking to the subtle and sophisticated format, the menu is no-fuss, offering Mediterranean cuisine and grills with a smattering of Asian. Helming the open kitchen, chef Ashutosh Nerlekar explains, “There are few steak houses in the city with a vast offering of meats. And we offer quite a range of niche cuts,” adding that the Angus steak, rib-eye and T-bone are well appreciated. The starters too are concise, and on the chef’s suggestion, we started with Harissa meatballs and feta cheese. Tangy, thanks to the dominant tomato base, it worked better with the bread which came to the table, to soak up the flavours. Chicken satay, authentically Thai in flavour and texture (not over-cooked like a tikka), appeared with a thick peanut sauce. We particularly loved the falafel. Crunchy and not the usual masala vada version, it hit all the right spots, especially when had with tahini sauce – the proper yoghurt one, not just dollops of mayo. You could also opt for a mezze platter, calamari rings or prawn cocktail.
Acting as a palate cleanser, an olive platter arrived offering olives stuffed with jalapenos, almonds and gerkins. We loved the Mediterranean feel and flavour of this one, and would have believed we’d reached Santorini, had it not been for the dominating yet twinkling Bangalore skyline.
Skipping the already famous beef stakes in favour of fish and chicken, we hoped we hadn’t made a faux pas. We hadn’t. Packing quite the punch was shawarma style chicken. Not your usual off-the-grills plating, the meat was succulent and tender, with a smoked flavour adding an extra zing. Plus, delicious hummus and pita bread to cut the heaviness of the meat. What stole the show however was the salmon. Fresh Atlantic salmon, grilled to a brown on the outside yet perfectly pink inside, it was just how we like it. The Buerre blanc sauce (emulsified butter with a white wine reduction), it came with only intensified the flavours, adding a classic French appeal.
While they do have desserts such as creme brulee and cheese cake, the mains are large enough to leave you satisfied minus a sweet end.
Dinner only, Tuesday – Sunday.
At Vittal Mallya Road.
— Aakanksha Devi