Ten-Second Takeaway

Tucked away in Ketti, The Culinarium serves up a mix of European, English and American food. Plus, dreamy fresh bread and a view to break Instagram. You have to eat here when in Ooty.

Slice Of Europe

Ooty doesn’t have a dearth of places to eat at, but it sure has lost most of the old favourite that served up European food. So it was a delight when The Culinarium opened up in the valleys between Ooty and Coonoor, hardly two years ago. Perched on a bend at the cute little Ketti village, the building overlooks the valley, and you can gaze all you like through the large glass windows.

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We settled into the hearth of the place, quite literally with a fireplace at the centre of the table, and started with a cold coffee {sinfully drizzled with chocolate sauce} and a cappuccino done right. The freshly-baked breads are stellar too. From croissants, mini baguettes and brioche, it’s easy to fill up on just this, and homemade butter.

Take A Break

Hors d’oeuvres were Chicken And Leek Vol Au Vents — oh-so-flaky and nicely stuffed, and Fondue and Pesto Croquettes — rather sinful, but you’ll be walking plenty in Ooty, yes? To let these courses settle, pop over to Pony Industries’ quaint shop {in the same building}. No, not horses; the world-famous handicraft store. At the colourful shop, you’ll get knitting and crochet pins, hooks, eyes, spinning thread, needles {of sizes you thought was a myth}, stainless steel safety pins in colours to match the rainbow and everything a person who’s into thread-craft will ever need. There’s even a Sue London boutique on the restaurant floor — the only one in India, with luxe shoes, apparel and accessories on the shelves. Then head back for mains.

Making A Signature

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Two words: Pot Pies. They are simply delicious. The Classic Chicken And Mushroom takes top spot for us thanks to the béchamel sauce that is enclosed in the pastry. That said, the Fish In White Wine gets our love and praise. The vegetarians at our table made Broccoli Quiche, Cheddar Cheese Sandwich and lasagne their bae. Oh! And leave room for the divine Chocolate Eclairs, Paris-Brest and Mille Feuille {the best we’ve had in a long while}. Thank us later.

#LBBTip

Go here for lunch but stay on till at least post sunset. The twinkling lights come on in the valley and turn the whole place into a fairy town. Plus, there are cakes, sausage rolls, macaroons {try the coffee one} and plenty more from the patisserie to make it a high-tea party.

Price: INR 2,000 for two

Photos: The Culinarium