I stumbled across Osha totally by accident whilst browsing through a Bangkok lifestyle magazine in my hotel lobby. Three photos of the impressive looking food they were cooking there was enough for me to book in for lunch the next day. The company started trading in San Francisco in 1997 and has now expanded to 7 branches there. Osha Bangkok is their first venture out into the big world. The restaurant is situated on Wireless road in the Lumpini area of the city. Taxi drivers might be a bit confused so if you`re eating there then just head for the American embassy and you`ll find it 100m further down the road.
The décor in Osha just oozes pure luxury , no expense spared here and it`s simply the pinnacle of modern restaurant style and design. Brushed Golds , jet Blacks , vivid reds , basically every colour on the spectrum make up this fantastic restaurant…..but does the food match the style ? …… Of course it does.
Ok , so on the the food . The food presentation here is very much “WOW”. Authentic Thai cuisine transformed into something very unique and quirky. It`s billed as “The best Thai food with a Molecular Thai twist ” but for me , a bit of dry ice is a long way from anything experimental. I wondered if it was a bit of `style over substance` but oh no…..Chef has nailed the flavours `almost` bang on the head.
There`s 3 menus to choose from at Osha . There is the “street food menu” , a really cheap way to experience the food here.(approximately 1000 baht / $28 / £19 for 3 courses ).Then there`s the a la carte at around 1500 baht ( $42 / £28 ) for 3 courses. The Chefs tasting menu is called “The Floral set” and currently consists of 6 courses based on flowers. That’s the expensive tasting menu. Chef Purida Teerapong (Thailands celebrity TV Iron chef ) apparently wants to create food like something the diner has never eaten before.
We dined at Osha twice during our stay in the city. On both visits we went there for the set `street food` menu and both times ended up going alc . It really didn’t break the bank. Cocktails and `chefs specials` will elevate your final bill but at the end of the day , look at where you`re dining and the food you`re eating and it certainly is an experience well worth going for. My advice would be to head there for lunch and you`ll have the place to yourself and also the full attention of the kitchen team. My food was stunning on both visits and with only two other tables occupied with diners the service was very attentive. Apparently it gets very busy in the evenings. So here`s the food –
Beef Wasabi rolls – Seared Australian Beef striploin , marble score 8. Asian pickles with Wasabi Citrus vinaigrette ( 750 baht / $21 / £14.50 ) – Nice combination with a flavour explosion from the Wasabi. ( This is one of the `specials`)
Crispy Pigs Ear – Crispy Five Spice Pigs Ear , Coconut , Peanut and spicy Sambal Aioli. This one was very different and make sure you don’t order this one if you have delicate teeth ( 200 baht / $5.50 / £3.50 )
Salt and Pepper Calamari – Calamari Tempura , Spring onion , Salt and Szechuan Pepper ( 200 baht / $5.50 / £3.50 ) If I could cook Squid like this at home then I would be a very happy guy.
Papaya Salad – Locally grown Green Papaya , Heirloom Tomatoes , Salted Duck Egg , Crushed Peanuts and Tamarind dressing. ( 350 Baht / $9.80 / £6.50 ). Chef Teerapongs twist on a Thai classic….Which worked nicely. Plenty of flavour but no heat.
Chicken Satay , Cucumber Salsa with Curried Peanut Butter dip. ( 200 baht / $5.50 /£3.50 ) – Satay , as good as it ever gets.
“Sous vide” Egg – A 60 minute free range Egg cooked at 63 degrees. Topped with Salmon Caviar and White Truffle oil. This starter is a bit of an Osha signature dish. Unfortunately for me this was probably the weakest dish on the menu that we had. It just didn’t work at all and I was left wondering what it was all about. The “Salmon” caviar was a lot smaller than any Salmon eggs that i`ve ever eaten so I have my doubts on that one ( probably Trout eggs ). There was “zero” truffle flavour so next time i`ll take chef a bottle of proper Truffle oil from ***. This dish needed dramatic changes to make it work…..looked totally stunning though.
Pad Thai “Chai Ya” – Chantaburi Rice Noodles , River King Prawns , Pork rind , “Chai Ya” salted Egg , Peanuts with Banana blossom ( 450 Baht / $12.50 / £8.60 ) Awesome twist and chefs interpretation of this national dish of Thailand….Loved it.
Chilli Lamb – Wok fried “Opar valley” Lamb , Jungle style hot Basil Chilli relish with Pearl Garlic ( 490 baht / $13.50 / £9.50 ). Not impressed with this one. It basically tasted of a stir fry that anyone could cook at home. It badly need a punch of powerful flavour with something added like a sticky sweet and spicy Chilli relish or paste.
Kurobuta (Black Hog) Pork Belly – Braised Pork belly with Taro Rice and Secret five spice reduction ( 550 Baht ) Beautiful dish , looked stunning and the Pork just melted “BUT” it would have been improved and taken to another level if it had been finished off in a sauté pan to give the Pork a caramelised crispy skin. ( 550 Baht / $15.50 / £10.50 )
Grilled Chilean Snowfish glazed with fermented Red Soyabean curd and Bok choy ( 750 baht / $22 / £14 ). Looked really pretty but the fish had very little flavour. The glaze carried the dish when everything was eaten together.
Assorted Spicy Eggplant with Garlic , Basil sauce. Strangely enough this was my favourite dish on the whole menu….Simple food which was full of beautiful Thai flavours. 120 Baht ($3 / £ 2.30)
Khao Klong – Steamed Organic Brown Rice with Smoked Coconut Water 120 Baht ($3 / £ 2.30)
Chef`s version of Khao Soi , the classic noodle dish of Northern Thailand.
Coconut Crème Brulee scented with toasted Coconut , Ginger and a hot crispy caramelised Sugar. 280 Baht ($7.50 / £5.50)
Chefs Special for a sweet tooth – An Auspicious Thai dessert. I had to order this mystery dish and the impressive presentation of fruit arrived complete with the theatrics of the dry ice display…..Healthy stuff. 280 Baht ($7.50 / £5.50)
Honey and Lemon Posset with fresh Berries and Melon. A simple schoolboy dessert taken to a higher level with beautiful but very simple presentation…. A Log , some ice and a few Melon balls…..so pretty. 280 Baht ($7.50 / £5.50)
Mango sticky Rice – A ripe “Nam Doc Mai” Mango with sticky Rice pudding. Oh how I love Mango and sticky Rice , I eat it on the street for 50 baht ( £1 / $1.50 ) and I eat in Osha , prepared by a talented chef for just a little more. 280 Baht ($7.50 / £5.50)
As you can see , between the two of us we sampled quite a bit of the menu at Osha , Bangkok. It`s a place that I will definitely recommend and also return to. The food is fun , very different , it`s well cooked , beautifully presented and as you can see, very well priced. We`re talking about a restaurant which is right up there with the best in Bangkok so make the most of it before they tweak the prices up. San Pellegrino`s Asia`s Top 50 restaurants 2016 will be out in a few weeks time. I`ll be watching closely to see if Osha makes the list….. I really hope so.
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