The Spring Asparagus Sojourn at Ottimo, ITC Gardenia


Inspired by the Spring weather in Italy, Chefs Vittorio and Sasha from Ottimo, ITC Gardenia have come up with a set of unique dishes that showcase all the best qualities of the asparagus – both green and white versions.

And of course K and I had to visit and try out their delectable creations.

We started out with a fresh and crunchy salad consisting of asparagus, lettuce, sesame seeds, and pine nuts, with a light sauce drizzled over them.

I really loved the combination of the ingredients that went into this salad, and I think I’m going to try recreating this one at home.

I guarantee though that it will not come out so pretty as the one we ate 🙂 .

Insalata di asparagi - an asparagus salad with sun-dried tomatoes, sesame seeds, and pine nuts

Insalata di asparagi – an asparagus salad with sundried tomatoes, sesame seeds, and pinenuts

We then moved on to the tartara asparagi, pomdori, sechi e burratta.

This consisted of an asparagus tartare layered on top of sun-dried tomatoes on top of the creamiest, richest burratta cheese I have met.

Tartara Asparagi, Pomodori secchi e burrata

Tartara Asparagi, Pomodori secchi e burrata

For a dish that was so cheese heavy, this one was surprisingly light and easy.

And now we come to my favorite of the day!

The tortelli di asparagi con crema al parmigiano was simply mind-blowing. It looked very simple, even plain, but boy, did it pack a punch.

Tortelli di asparagi con crema al parmigiano

Tortelli di asparagi con crema al parmigiano

The tortelli was stuffed with ricotta, and was presented to us with sticks of asparagus, and floating in a parmesan cheese broth.

Heaven! A must have delight for cheese lovers!

Next was the asparagi gratinati alla milanese – an asparagus gratinated with saffron, parmesan, and truffle oil.

This one I liked but didn’t quite love. It’s not the dish, it’s me. I just don’t care for saffron much, and in a dish with asparagus, cheese, and truffle oil, I felt that the saffron dominated the taste a bit too much. That said, the asparagus was really fresh and snappy, just the way I like it.

Asparagi gratinati alla milanese

Asparagi gratinati alla milanese

For dessert, we tried the White Asparagus and Ricotta tarte with Green Asparagus foam, and this was the next best dish on the menu. I started it a little apprehensively because who likes veggies in a dessert?

White Asparagus and Ricotta tarte with Green Asparagus foam

White Asparagus and Ricotta tarte with Green Asparagus foam

But this one was A-mazing. I was already stuffed to the brim, but I somehow made some extra space in my tummy and got this one in.

This is another must-try dish. You will definitely not be disappointed!

For the meat and seafood lovers

Here is a crumb fried crab on a bed of polenta (asparagi moleche e polenta) to whet your appetite.

Crab on a bed of polenta with an asparagus aside

Crab on a bed of polenta with an asparagus aside

K dug into a chicken tagliolini in white sauce, and this was his star dish, he licked every scrap off the plate. This was also probably the most conventional option on the menu.

Tagliolini con ragu bianco di pollo e asparagi

Tagliolini con ragu bianco di pollo e asparagi

And to drink

The sommelier recommended a sparkling white wine from Tuscany, and I think it was the perfect choice. A red wine would have overwhelmed the delicate flavors of the dishes.

Our lovely sparkling white wine from Tuscany

Our lovely sparkling white wine from Tuscany

A truly great culinary evening!


The Spring Asparagus Sojourn is on at Ottimo from the 10th to the 20th of May. Prices for the limited edition menu are from INR 600 – 2550, exclusive of taxes.


ITC Gardenia,

1 Residency Road, Bangalore 560025.

Call for reservations. Open only for Dinner.

Cost: Rs. 4500/++ for a meal for two with drinks.

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  • Everything sounds so good. I love asparagus!

  • Diane La Rue

    All of these dishes sound wonderful. I think the salad is my favorite, although the totrelli is a close second.

  • BethFishReads

    Some awesome ideas here — one thing I loved is that thinly sliced asparagus with polenta. I won’t be frying crabs (we don’t live near the ocean), but I have never thought of slicing asparagus into discs. I might make a chicken version of that dish … hummmm. And that wine looks like a perfect match for your dishes.

  • Ca4ole

    That food is just fab! Cheers from Carole’s Chatter!

  • claudialynn

    How terrific to have such an excellent restaurant in your city. I’d like to try making some of those dishes myself, since it’s not likely we can go there. They all looked delicious.

    • Nishita

      @claudialynn:disqus I would be too intimidated to try any of them. Most of those ingredients are exorbitantly priced over here, and if I mess up, I would feel terrible. That salad though is definitely on my must-try list.

  • debinhawaii

    Mmm… I love asparagus and this dinner and tasting excursion would make me very happy. That dessert looks especially unique and like a must-try dish. 😉

    • Nishita

      @debinhawaii:disqusThe dessert really was tops 🙂

  • Stacie

    Mouth is watering. Looks delicious!

  • Mae Sander

    Everywhere that spring has come asparagus is on the mind of chefs. I’ve heard of dinners where asparagus featured in every dish, but this is the most interesting approach ever. I posted on asparagus dishes last week:

    best… mae at

    • Nishita

      @maesander:disqus The dessert made from asparagus was a real surprise, and I was stunned at how good it tasted 🙂

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