Accredited with the highest in culinary regard in India, Ritu Dalmia brings Southern Italy’s quaint charm to Mumbai’s Entertainment Epicenter in the heart of BKC
The Indian Diva Chef Ritu Dalmia has already carved out an impressive career that has seen her hone her classic and modern culinary skills at some of the world’s most renowned restaurants, learning from some of the greatest culinary luminaries.
After stints at Vama in London and Diva in Delhi, her long-held fascination for Italian flair took her to open varied Italian restaurants across Delhi, discovering a more progressive style of cuisine alongside adding more cuisines like ‘Pan-Asian’ to her repertoire.
Her undeniable talent continues to open new doors at MOTODO in Mumbai, where she has experimented with new textures, flavors and cooking methods; whilst paying homage to traditional and irresistible charm of the olde worlde Italian Trattorias.
Motodo, is the perfect place to have a traditional hearty Italian fare. The food philosophy is to bring Italian food without all the fuss and frills that comforts the soul.
The restaurant drives inspiration from across regions in Italy where the cuisine differs as one moves from north to south. Each region has its own signature cooking style and hero ingredients not to be found anywhere else, transporting one on a journey from Lombardia to Sicilia.
On foraying into Mumbai’s dynamic culinary scene with MOTODO, Chef Ritu says: “I am tired of trying to impress, to show-off techniques, of spending hours to make a plate look pretty! As I get older, what matters to me is comfort, simple flavours and constituent ingredients all talking for themselves – all things classic Italian cuisine stands for. With MOTODO, this is what I intend to achieve. It is a merry combination of delectable Italian foods and traditions, brought together in a place that serves deliciousness with warmth, and transports you to Italy, all while you remain seated at your table” asserts the culinary maestro.
Signatures off the Menu
The slow cooked prawns marinated with star anise, orange zests, thyme and salt pepper olive oil, vacuum and sous vide at 65 degree, sit to rest overnight. This wonder comes out tender and is served with avocado smash, orange segments and citrus herb dressing poured at the top. The citrus herb dressing adds the punch with reduced Valencia oranges, thyme and salt pepper lemon juice.
The lamb chops are succulent to say the least, marinated with garlic, salt pepper, olive oil and rosemary, sous-vide at 65 degree, sliced and served with pumpkin mash and balsamic jus.
There are a total of nine varieties of pasta on the menu covering the regions of Campania, Puglia, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmonte, Lombardia, Toscano and Veneto! The signature is the handmade tagliolini in tomato and basil sauce. It is the simplest and most comforting bowl of pasta and the other is pumpkin gnocchi – light fluffy pillows packed with the richness of pumpkin, a true northern Italian and a DIVA classic.
Focaccia di recco is another signature hailing from the village of recco near Genoa in Liguria. A Ligurian specialty, it is a cheesy variation of focaccia that is made with thin pastry and stracchino cheese stuffed in the middle. Fresh mozzarella, Pelati tomatoes, hand crafted dough – form the perfect trifecta of an authentic Neapolitan pizza. A traditional stone brick oven sets the stage for theatrics and an eclectic bar program with an Aperitivo Negroni program brings to life an inviting and unpretentious dining experience from the bi-lanes of Italy.
Ending on a sweet note is the undisputed favorite – Venetian Tiramisu. This classic is made from lady finger biscuits and mascarpone that come from Italy. Rum is spritzed into the espresso shot and the biscuits are soaked in it. Ready to be served, heaven.
The Art of Aperitivo
Their Beverage program has been curated to becoming one of India’s first signature Aperitivo bars. Having worked hand in hand with Bacardi Martini India the menu boasts of cocktails synonymous with northern Italian bars; trattorias, the mainstay for all locals and tourists before heading home from work.
Martini Fiero, an aperitif along with other vermouths and spirits like gin are the backbone of the bar menu and the star of the menu is the undoubted Negroni collection served in a unique pre batched bottle.
The Aesthetic Approach to MOTODO
The design of MOTODO takes cues from Italy’s traditional pizzerias and provides an immersive dining experience. The eatery’s name is a fitting acronym of the three key ingredients that make the base of nearly all Italian fare – MOzzarella, TOmato, and DOugh.
Designed by Studio Lotus, the heart of the pizzeria is a live kitchen conceptualised as a collage of the fragments of a trattoria giving varying lines of sight. Seating clusters arranged around it, including a cocoon-like C-shaped booth nestled within the kitchen counter heightens the immersive, multi-sensory culinary experience.
The interiors feature a material palette rooted in Italy’s rich epicurean legacy with marble, timber, leather and wrought iron furniture by Lap and Dado. Terracotta tiles form the backdrop of the live kitchen, complemented by glazed blue tiles and timber panelling along the elevation of the counter. Above, a handcrafted, stained-glass installation resembling a floating lightbox cloaks the stainless-steel hob. An interplay of proportions is visible in the installation with mosaic tiling and brickwork adding a sophisticated playfulness to the space—yet another nod to Italian design sensibilities.
The facade is a composition of grillwork, frosted, and clear glass, establishing a connection with the mall while screening the interiors to afford guests varying degrees of privacy. A combination of terracotta, hand-glazed, and mosaic tiles as well as the use of timber lends itself to the playful ambience.
The design team also carved out an alfresco dining area that is outfitted with patio-style furniture woven with outdoor-grade yarn animated by a collection of plants.
The place is a celebration of familiar patterns and details that cohere into a veritable portrait of Italy’s intimate relationship with food. It is an ode to the conviviality that the country is renowned for and speaks of nostalgia for a largely bygone era amidst the hustle and bustle of the 21st-century culinary landscape. Prepare to be amused by flavours that truly tickle the palate.
Where: G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400098