Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Last year, I heard about the Frugal Gourmet through some friends that were staying at the Ooty club. Frugal Gourmet is a private kitchen in Ootacamund (Ooty) hosted by a lady named, Sharmila in her beautiful home, past Lovedale. She hosts guests in her home for lunch ,about 2 - 3 times a week. The entire operation is mostly run by just her and sometimes her son accompanies in serving the meal while he is visiting. I tried to book my family a lunch at the Frugal Gourmet last summer but Sharmila couldn't fit us in her busy schedule. Yes, she is very busy during the summer with all the travelers that go up the hills to get away from the heat in the plains. So this summer, a lunch at the Frugal Gourmet was one of the top priorities on my Ooty list.
I managed to secure a reservation at the Frugal Gourmet at the end of April. The Frugal Gourmet is a good 10 kilometers from the Charring Cross junction in Ooty. I received an sms with the directions to Frugal Gourmet and they were fairly easy to follow. If anyone is familiar with the Light and Life Academy in Ooty, Frugal Gourmet is right across from that.
We were greeted on our arrival and led in to a beautiful house. Not only is Sharmila a great cook but she is also a gifted painter. The walls of her home are adorned with beautiful canvases of her own artwork. The dining room is fairly large and seats 6 people comfortably. We were served Iced tea while we waited for the various courses to arrive. Taking one's own bottle of wine would be a good idea. There was also a menu placed on the table with details of our 5 course lunch.
Our first course was Flash fried Prawns on a bed of Rosti Potatoes. The quality of the prawns was fresh and good and I also liked the marinade used. The potato rosti was crisp and golden brown. This particular dish was a hit with the two young diners that were a part of our group.
The second course was a warm aromatic bowl of Pumpkin Soup with roasted garlic. The soup was velvetty smooth and flavours and seasoning were just right.
The third and main course was Grilled Bhasa fish in a herb butter sauce served on a bed of Tagliatelle tossed with red chillies and herbs. On the side we were served some fresh home-made Rosemary Foccacia along with crunchy Greek Salad and Batter-fried Courgettes. The fish was cooked just right and the sauce was mild and flavourful which went perfectly well with the pasta that had a bit of kick in it, from the red chillies. She was thoughtful enough to avoid red chillies in the pasta that were served to the children in our group. There was also some pickled onion and mustard that was served on the side that went well with the fish and the rosemary foccacia. I must add that the pasta was hand-rolled. In all the excitement, I forgot to take a picture of our main course!!! The fourth course was a platter of desserts. The chef specialises in home-made ice creams and gelato. So there was a scoop of Guava ice cream and a scoop of Plum Gelato. Along with it, there was also the Dark Chocolate Slice and Strawberry Mousse. The ice cream and gelato were both excellent, not too sweet. I enjoy cold desserts on a warm sunny afternoon in Ooty.
Finally, we were served coffee and green tea along with some Dates soaked in Grand Marnier and Mocha Cupcakes. I had a top quality Peach-flavoured French green tea which was a perfect end to a very fine and satisfying lunch.
I recommended a stop at the Frugal Gourmet to most of my friends and family who traveled up the hills this summer. Some of them managed to get a reservation but many of them were turned down before they were fully booked and could not be accommodated. So next time you plan a visit to the Frugal Gourmet, make sure you call well ahead. Sharmila cannot be reached very often on her mobile phone due to poor mobile network in her neighbourhood. It is best to send her an sms and wait for a reply or to e-mail her. Frugal Gourmet, un'acre, Lovedale , Nilgiris, below light and life academy, Ooty, Tamil nadu 643003 Hours of operation: 12 noon to 7pm Phone - +919487487250 Email address -,


  1. A foods also fantastic taste i like it then the very beautiful restaurant on the home delivery foods as.Home Delivery Restaurants in Bangalore

  2. Looks delicious. Would love to taste