‘So' is a name that keeps you guessing if there's something more. When the core team was brainstorming and whetting out different names, a few phrases were bounced off each other repeatedly: ‘So what's cooking?' ‘So what's next?' Ultimately, they decided to call their new dining venture ‘So. Food and more.'
Coming from the group that runs the hugely popular Little Italy, So is the kind of place where you can be your laidback self. The staff won't glance at your plate to guess when you'd finish your meal and the next customer can be ushered in. chill out with a group of friends, read a book, listen to music, try new apps on your iPad or simply do some monsoon watching as you await your order. The place tries to recreate the atmosphere of a café in a resort with its simple but peppy interiors and the great view from the rooftop.
The cuisine on offer is a mix of French, Mediterranean, Thai and Italian and has something for everyone, whether you are health conscious or indulgent. So offers plenty of bite-sized delicacies and a few generous servings for the main course as well.
French chef Gregory Bazaire has been at the helm, partaking in the designing of the menu and culinary preparations. He hates to use imported, frozen ingredients and prefers using local produce, herbs and spices to give an edge to European cuisine.
The chef suggests a chilled frappe and we hesitate. When the frappe arrives, we are pleasantly surprised at the French take on the frappe with subtle flavours, minus the overpowering sugar and cream that are common in many cafés.
The beverages section has plenty more to offer — from organic tea and coffee to fizzy colas, and fruit-vegetable smoothies to unusual ones like the spirulina-guacamole smoothie. The cold coups section is a refreshing and welcome addition to the menu.
The salad section is inviting and exhaustive. The humble raw papaya salad is to be tasted to be believed. With a hint of Thai spices, the salad whets your appetite for more. For short eats, there are club sandwiches and burgers made with multigrain bread. The sandwich with succulent aubergines, cheeses, olives and herb roasted veggies scored on the taste-o-meter. Want something different? Try the savoury pancakes made from organic atta flour with your choice of topping, the quiches, veg/chicken wraps.
For a filling main course, choose from chicken lasagne, chicken bolognaise with whole wheat penna pasta, choice of sea food, eggs on order, or veg/ chicken Thai green curries served with organic rice or rotis.
Forget counting calories and indulge in desserts. Poached pears served with coconut and white chocolate brownie is a must try and so is the Crème Brule. The other sinful choices include dark chocolate brownies, sponge cakes served with cream and fresh fruit, apple and plum crumble, carrot and ginger cakes. Soon, the restaurant will also stock muffins and cakes for takeaways.
On Sundays, wake up to a continental breakfast platter as the restaurant opens early, at 8 a.m.
Where: So, above Little Italy, Road no. 12, Banjara Hills. Ph: 23558001/02/04
What: Serves French, Thai, Meditteranean and Italian cuisine
USP: From short eats to indulgent main courses, the menu has a lot to offer.
Valet parking: Available
Meal for two: Rs. 500 to 1000
Keywords: Italian cuisine