It was only a couple of months ago that one of our friends spoke to us about O:h Cha. He was all praises about the food and their service. He was completely in awe of Chef Pipat Niyosmin. Well, we had never been to this restaurant, so when Chef Rakesh Talwar spoke to us about taking over the O:h Cha kitchen as a partner and Head Chef, we were really excited.
Chef Talwar needs no introduction, and we see this restaurant as another feather among the many pretty feathers that have been added to his hat. Writing about him and his work makes us gleam with pride. Knowing him, we were very sure that he would add his own special touch to the menu at O:h Cha and we went there expecting just that.
We were all smiles when we entered O:h Cha. The high ceilings, the cane lamps made the space look really elegant, while the mirrored wall created a sense of space. The grass patches will remind you of lush green fields, and the grey color adds a soothing balance. We could only imagine how stunning this restaurant would look during the day. (Being a Thai restaurant, you can always expect lovely colors on your plate; and since the roof had sky light, natural light would simply enhance how appetizing food looks.) It also looked like a great place to host a lunch/dinner party.
OK, let’s talk about the food! The first thing that was brought to the table was this jar of fried wantons that were sweet and salty. It was fun, we couldn’t stop munching on these. We love all things crispy and crunchy.:)
Chef Talwar had planned the course for us. There were a few additions and a few signature twists to the existing menu. Soon, the servers started bringing in one dish after another, in perfect order. We started with Edamame beans seasoned with sea salt. A perfect healthy snack to have with drinks. It was a new experience to actually peel the skin off with our hands to have the creamy beans.
We loved the next dish, it was Crispy Chicken tossed in spicy red sauce with deep fried basil leaves. Loved that it had the right amount of heat.
Then we were served one of Joash’s favourite dishes, Prawn Tempura – Kung Tempura. Served piping hot and crispy on a bamboo mat with a really yummy Sake Soy sauce that had red chilli in it.
Dumplings. We were all smiles when the bamboo baskets filled with steaming hot dumplings made its way to our table. We started off with Peking dumplings, these were chicken and prawn dumplings poached in delicious Peking sauce. It was garnished with just the right amount of coriander that added freshness to the dish, and it was very aromatic. The sauce was lip-smacking good too.
Then we had the Prawn Shumai. Bursting with fresh and clean flavor of the prawn with a lovely undertone of Sake. These were plump, steamed to perfection and delicious. We’d go back for a whole meal of just these. 🙂
The Chicken Roll that we had next were cooked so beautifully, these were wrapped in Chinese cabbage and steamed with Sichuan pepper sauce. We loved it.
Next, we had Grilled Chicken and Prawn Shanghai Dumpling which were pan seared. They were slightly crispy and absolutely scrumptious. The filling was really good.
The Grilled Pork was served on a sizzling platter, cooked really well and the flavor of the marinade was mild yet tasty.
We were so stuffed that we were wondering if we’d be able to have more food. But then we heard Chef say “Som Tam. You’ve got to try the Som Tam.” 😀
It was really sweet of him to remember how much we love that salad, so he quickly asked the waiter to bring us some. It was delicious, a truly authentic tasting dish that was done just right. After our meal, we had a chance to visit the kitchen, and saw the big mortar and pestle that it was made in. We were happy.
For mains, we had Green Thai curry and Steamed Jasmine Rice. We love the combo. It was nice to see how it had a lot of vegetables with the aromatics, especially bamboo shoots, green baby aubergines and it also had a generous portion of chicken pieces. Perfect.
We even had Pad Kra Prow Kai – Stir Fried Holy Basil with Minced Chicken. At this point of time, all I was thinking was about a fried egg with runny yolk. It would’ve been like an icing on the cake, nonetheless the flavours of this dish was spot on. We are Thai food lovers and it had been a perfect meal so far.
We were so full and we couldn’t even think about dessert and we thought we’ll probably go back just for that, but Chef Talwar insisted that we end our meal on a sweet note. He informed us that he is still working on the dessert menu and plans to introduce new items soon.
We had the Gooey Chocolate Cake and the Tub Tim Krob (Water chestnut dumpling in fresh coconut syrup). We didn’t really like the chocolate cake but the Tub Tim Krob was pleasantly nice. It had pieces of jackfruit and water chestnuts. It was coconutty, very mellow and not overly sweet.
What we loved about the place was the ambience and courteous staff. The food is really nice and we believe in Chef Talwar will fill in any missing gaps. We also caught glimpses of him talking to the staff while they were attending to our table and giving them feedback and pointers. This is exactly what we love about Chef Talwar. He drives his team towards his vision of serving people, giving them a great experience with good food. We wish him all the best with this venture and know that it will be transformed into something way better than it already was.