New offerings underline the ever-expanding ambitions of the regional food scene in Bangkok.
by Thomas Sturrock.
Osha (99 Witthayu/Wireless Rd; 02 256 6555; www.facebook.com/oshabangkok) certainly knows how to create a lasting first impression. A majestic foyer leads into a cavernous main dining room, where the tables are laid out as circular booths. The effect is stunning and, without doubt, makes Osha one of the most attractive recent openings.
Osha was first born 17 years ago in San Francisco, where two Thai sisters identified a gap in the market for top-drawer Thai food. It’s now pitched in Bangkok, offering a menu of mostly familiar Thai dishes but with modern, molecular twists.
Start with the sous vide egg (THB 280) topped with white truffle oil and caviar, elegantly plated to emphasize the different components.
Then, move on to the poached Andaman oyster (THB 250) with Mha-Noi leaf jelly and kaffir lime foam. In molecular restaurants foams and infusions can be overused, but in this instance, the extra flavors are delivered o the real effect, offsetting the natural taste of the seafood.
More substantial fare includes the dancing king prawns (THB 380) served as a ceviche with cucumber and the red radish carpaccio, also exquisitely presented. Finish with the velvety seared Hokkaido scallops with aubergine chutney, artichoke puree, and salsa plakem.
It will be fascinating to see whether fans of Thai food embrace this novel approach to Thai dining—the balance between authenticity and innovation certainly makes it worth consideration.
Meanwhile Bangkok’s love affair with cult street food continues at Bao & Buns (27/1 Sukhumvit Soi 33; 090 950 1666; www.facebook.com/baoandbuns), where the compact menu is dominated by Taiwanese dumplings, possibly washed down with a craft beer.
The two staples are the original pork belly (THB 90) and the deep-fried crispy chicken (THB 90). Both are served with a contents overflowing from their doughy pancake casing, making them a deliciously messy challenge to eat.
This hearty comfort food, topped off with some really bold flavors, is a perfect entree to a night of drinking and cocktails and has already gained a loyal following in the backstreets of Asok.
Over in Ekkamai, the latest Japanese arrival making waves is Ebisu Sushi (Ekkamai Soi 10; 087 7191 888; www.facebook.com/ebisusushibangkok). Promising the freshest product direct from Tokyo, Hokkaido, and Kagoshima, Ebisu looks set to become a landmark destination for sushi lovers.
Their approach to product may be anchored in tradition, but there’s also an experimental streak evident in the fusion sushi on offer, like the foie gras roll (THB 380). If you’ve come with more of an appetite, it’s hard to go past the gyu don (THB 690), which uses high-end Kamui beef.