It’s like entering a millionaire’s dining room when you step into Osha. A huge gold Thai headdress greets you when you enter the dining hall. Lift your head up and you see ceiling gilded in gold leaf. And the gleaming gold leaf doesn’t stop there, the murals on the second floor are also painted on gold gilded walls too. The opulent and over-the-top interior decoration would probably leave many of us dumbfounded. And I couldn’t help but to think whether I’ve stepped into one of those decadent aristocrat’s homes.
Just a few days before my partner and my arrival, the Thai celebrity chef Thanintom Tannawan, who set up this restaurant has resigned… just eight months after he opened the restaurant with much fanfare. From what we understand, the restaurant belongs to a surgeon. Whether or not, it’s a clash of personality or management style, I don’t know. I just hope that the food quality doesn’t deteriorate.
The over-the-top thai headdress
Osha serves standard Thai cuisine with a fusion twist. And of course, the presentation and choice of ingredients are also much fancier. As usual, a simple meal at such a fanciful restaurant doesn’t come cheap. The meal, which includes two drinks, costs almost more than THB3,500 for two persons. Although the overall dining experience is excellent, I still think it’s a little overpriced for Thai food. Having said that, certain dishes were so well executed that I was prepared to part with more cash for the gastronomic experience.
the opulent wall murals
We began our dinner with the Squids & Salted Egg (THB220) appetiser, which are squid fritters tossed with “Chai-Ya” salted duck egg aioli. It was nothing exciting about it considering that in Singapore, we fried crabs, prawns and other seafood with salted duck eggs. But the catch is these squid fritters are infused with coconut smoke. How you supposed to eat this dish is that the fritters are presented on top of a layer of cling wrap over a small coconut. The plastic wrap has a small puncture which allows the faint coconut smoke to infuse the squids. Much as the idea is quite innovative, unfortunately, none of us could taste any hint of the coconut smoke. Nevertheless, the squids still tasted good.
Squids & Salted Egg
Just when you thought the food presentation couldn’t get any more elaborate, the Tom Yum (THB 400) soup decides to upstage the humble appetiser. The Thai herbal hot and spicy soup is presented separately from the cooked river king prawns and assorted mushrooms. The waiter actually heated up the soup, which was contained in a coffee distiller, with a torch. I must say it’s quite a good experience knowing that your soup is served piping hot. And it’s a pretty good show. When the soup was ready, the waiter poured the hot liquid over the crustaceans and reheating them up with it. Unlike the Tom Yum soup you get in other restaurants, which is basically infused with lots of chilli and lime, the chef actually uses the prawn heads to brew the thick seafood broth before adding the herbs and spices to give it more taste. The end product is an aromatic and rich seafood soup that is packed with flavour.
Heating the Thai herbal hot and spicy soup with a torch
On the other hand, the Tom Kha, a Thai coconut chowder with lotus seed, beef jerky and Cilantro oil pales in comparison, both in taste and presentation. I just find that the caviar topping comes across as a little pretentious and its purpose is to justify its THB400 price tag. Although the creamy soup was sumptuous, I just feel that it wasn’t spectacular at all.
The main course, Gai Go Lek (THB490), a roasted chicken breast with southern style spice, tasted much better than the chicken dish I had at Namsaah Bottling Trust. First, I like the paper thin and crispy chicken skin. But most importantly, the breast meat was not overcooked and it was juicy and succulent. The red curry sauce was equally good and added so much more flavourful to it.
Gai Go Lek
The Grilled Chilean Seabass (THB650) was glazed with fermented red soya bean curd and served with Bak Choy, seriously, it didn’t impress me at all. First, the fish was not super fresh and it was a tad too sweet. I’ve tasted similar but better ones at Tangerine at ESPA, Resorts World Sentosa.
Grilled Chilean Seabass
Thank goodness, the Seasonal Vegetables stirred fried with Abalone Sauce (THB120), has a lot of ‘wok hei’ or heat from the wok. Even though it’s simple, it was delicious.
The Coconut Crème Brulee (THB 280) is very good. The chef gave the classic crème brulee a Thai personality. I really enjoyed the creamy custard that has a right amount of coconut and ginger flavour. The dessert definitely made the dinner so much more enjoyable.
Coconut Crème Brulee
The food quality at Osha is pretty good. However, at the prices that it is charging, pretty good is not going to keep the business sustainable. On that Saturday which we visited the restaurant, less than 15% of the tables were occupied. I wonder how long more can Osha manage with this number of diners. And with the departure of the celebrity chef, I can only wish Osha best of luck. Hopefully, when the next time (in a couple of months’ time), they are still around.
99 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan,
Bangkok. 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 02 256 6555