Osha Thai Restaurant & Bar has firmly staked its claim as one of Bangkok’s trendiest addresses to experience fine Thai dining with a modern molecular twist. Located in the “up and coming” culinary mecca on wireless road, Osha prides itself on elevating Thai cuisine by marrying authentic and traditional Thai flavors with cutting edge European plating and cooking techniques.
The kitchen has witnessed a “changing of the guard” as female Chef Purida Teerapong took up the reigns as executive chef in the fall of 2015. Chef Purida is no novice; as she cut her teeth as the executive chef for Thai Su Tha Ros at hotel Muse and proudly holds the distinction of beating several of the reigning Thailand Iron Chefs in head to head cooking battles on the popular television show. “I have passion when I cook” asserts Chef Purida, “When I create something, I want it to be a mouthwatering surprise. I want you to wondering about what else is coming. I like creating something you have never had before”.
Although the restaurant will keep many of its signature items like their famous Volcano Beef and Dancing King Prawns Ceviche from the old menu, Chef Purida is putting her stamp on it is well. The introduction of the “Floral Set” menu is a prime example. It’s a visually stunning 6- course menu inspired by the beauty and vibrant colors of Mother Nature’s flowers. Every course incorporates flowers in both subtle and overt ways, yet every element is well calculated and nothing served is miscellaneous. “The menu definitely has a feminine touch” shared Chef Purida. On my visit the menu was paired with signature cocktails created especially for the cuisine by Mekhong Spirit (Thai rum) from their ‘Hanuman Cocktail Series” inspired by Thai folklore character the “Hanuman,” in the epic “Ramayana,” story. The wine selection at Osha is second to none and the full service bar boasts top shelf spirits and high end champagne for those looking to splurge. For a nice white wine, try the Avant Chardonnay 2013, from California. Buttery and smooth it is a nice complement to the spiciness of the Thai food.
The first dish presented was the “Garden Talk Crispy & Berry Sauce” which is Crispy Khao Tang (rice cracker) with flowers and homemade Thai style Look Mon (Mulberry) sauce. The paper thin crackers are studded with colorful edible flower petals and the mulberry sauce is surprisingly more savory than sweet. According to Chef Purida, she created this dish in a “flour” battle on Iron Chef, and it is a masterful creation unlike anything I have tried before. Next on offer was the innovative Mayoon (Violet) cocktail. I am not sure what was in this, but once the Mekong rum was poured in it turned magically from purple to a bluish green. Sweet and sour in taste, it was perfectly paired with the next course called “Triple Senses of Deep Blue Marine” which is chewy sticky rice flour and Butterfly pea flower balls filled with traditional Thai fermented fish and coconut topped with black & white sesame and aromatic fermented fish oil. Served as colorful balls on a stick and under a glass cloche with a garden of green lettuce and pink and purple flowers, this dish showcases classic Thai flavors packaged in an unexpected way. Next up was “Osha Ocean & Flora Salad”. Arguably the most sophisticated and visually stunning dish of the evening, it is a marinated Hokkaido scallops with a mixed flower salad swimming in a ring of green cilantro oil and a spicy bright red “gac” fruit sauce. Perfectly harmonizing salty, sour and spicy elements, it never overpowered the subtle sweetness of the scallop. Up next was the theatrical dry ice presented “Red Velvet Spell over Charming Fish” which is blanched gray pomfret fish in Thai style soup served with red ginger flower and chili paste dipping sauce and edible petals of the lotus blossom. Interactive and fun, you “shabu-shabu” style cook the raw fish in the aromatic broth and then make little bite size packages with the flower petal as the bun and the fish and dipping sauces in the middle. This dish is exciting and tasty and the memory of it will be with me long after the meal is done. The cocktail served next was the Palee (Green) which is another sweet and sour cocktail that accentuates the spicy and sour elements of this delicate dish. Another favorite is the “Rock Lobster & Amber Curry Sauce” with homemade celery caviar. The rock lobster, which usually is not one of my favorites, was expertly handled and cooked to perfection. Juicy and tender, it was the perfect vehicle for the sweet and spicy curry sauce and yummy vegetable caviar. The final cocktail of the night was the Hanuman (White) which is a coconut juice based cocktail that perfectly matched the lobster and curry sauce. The desert course was called “Pure Botanic Sweet Kiss” and consisted of pandanus sago, mango mousse and coconut milk with butterfly pea flower foam. Almost ethereal in it presentation, it was like eating a cloud.
The new ‘Floral Set’ menu at Osha is noteworthy for more than a few reasons. The elegant presentation is often breathtaking, always unexpected and often interactive and playfully elegant. The Thai flavors you love never take a back seat to the presentation and the taste is always comforting and familiar. Osha remains at the top of their game, residing where innovation meets style and substance without ever forgetting to keep the focus on Thai flavors.