If you’re ever craving Thai on a Sunday afternoon, head to O:h Cha for a fun, sit down Sparkling Sunday Brunch (Rs. 2000 all inclusive + a glass of Casablanca sparkling wine). Last Sunday we had the opportunity to hold a small bloggers table here and it was one of the most fun lunches we’ve had. When you are surrounded with people who share the same passion for food, and are served food made by Chef Rakesh Talwar, you know it’s gonna be awesome.
I remember how while we were at O:h Cha for dinner a few months ago, we wondered what the place would look like with natural light coming it through the skylights. Well, the moment we got to the restaurant we were surprised with how different the space looked in the day. Trust me when I say, it looked spectacular. The grassy green walls were so soothing to the eyes with the gray in the décor; the sunlight sort of lit the whole place up. And natural light just made everything at the table look refreshingly appetizing.
We all were warmly welcomed with a glass of Casablanca Sparkling wine, India’s first Prosecco styled spumante (fully sparkling wine). It’s made by Good Drop Wine Cellars at Vinchur Wine Park in Nasik. Casablanca has a very fruity note, with floral undertones, acidic with smooth and lingering finish. It was great to try the wine that won the Best Indian Sparkling of 2015 at the Indian Wine Consumer’s Choice Award.
Now for the brunch! O:h Cha has patrons who absolutely love the Krob Kream – the sweet & salty wantons, and we are one of them. It’s such a fun munch; it’s hard to stop once you start munching on these crispy wanton bits. The best part about a sit down brunch is that one doesn’t need get up from their seat; the waiters just keep filling your plate with yummy food.
We started off with the Turnip Cakes. It might sound really cliché to say this but, it was love at first bite. Crispy Crunchy Turnip Cakes were served with fried spicy garlic and spring onion. Chef Rakesh Talwar had mentioned that it’s one his favourite dishes and now we know why. It was perfect.
Then we had the Chicken Satay. To be honest, these were thinner than we expected it to be. Though it had a really good marinade and was cooked perfectly, we wanted the chicken pieces to be a bit thicker. It had a really good street food twang to it with the sweet and spicy peanut dipping sauce.
We were then served the dumplings. Veg Chive Dumpling, Prawn Chive Dumpling, Veg Gyoza and Chicken Gyoza.
We loved both the chive dumplings. The veg one was filled with mixed veggies and water chestnuts. The one thing we loved about the veg dumplings is the crunch water chestnut adds to it.
The Prawn chive dumpling was plump and oozing with prawny flavour. They were fresh and delectable.
Chef Rakesh Talwar’s speciality, the Gyoza was a treat in itself. These dumplings, slightly pan fried played a trick on our palates with its thin, kinda crispy exterior, yet absolutely soft and scrumptious juicy filling. Nice!
The Stir Fried Tofu with Sriracha was packed with a fiery punch. Get me anything with Sriracha and I am a fan. This was exceptional though. The tofu cubes were super soft and the sauce was lipsmackingly delicious. Everyone at the table loved it.
We then had something French with an asian twist, Asian Mushroom Vol au vent. Vol au vent literally means “windblown”. To give you an idea of the lightness of the puff pastry. Sadly, it wasn’t light. The base of the puff pastry was not flaky and light. It was too dense to enjoy. Even the Sweet Corn Patty was decent, but we felt that it was more of batter than corn. The Stir Fried Chicken Black Pepper failed to impress us as it would’ve been good if it was dry.
We were completely blown away by the Holy Basil Chicken Bruschetta. It looked like the normal Bruschetta, but when you bit into it, you were hit with the basil flavour that’s reminiscent of south east Asia. It tasted yummy and we couldn’t stop ourselves from having more. It is definitely a must try. We also loved the Lemon Grass Chicken, which was crispy deep fried chicken with lemon grass flavours; went really well with the dipping sauce.
The sparkling wine was going well with everything we tried and we also tried a mocktail that knocked our socks off. The Orange and Kaffir Lime Caprioska. It was really refreshing and was kinda like a palate cleanser. Bold Kaffir lime flavours with a citrusy punch.
Moving on to the main course. We had Som Tam, French Bean Chilli Bean, Four Friends, Thai Green Curry, Pad Kra Prow Kai, Steamed Dory Lemon Chilli Garlic, Steamed Jasmine Rice and Pad Thai Noodles.
We enjoyed the Som Tam salad, one of the best we’ve had in the city. The French Bean Chilli Bean was OK, but we really liked how tender the French beans were. The Four Friends was dominated by white fungus, loved the crunch but the flavours of the gravy was weak. The Thai Green Curry was a lil disappointing as its consistency was too thin, we agree that the Chef wanted to use all natural coconut milk and not use thickening agents that restaurants all over use, but using coconut cream to make it a lil richer would’ve ensured that the consistency of the gravy would have turned out just right. The flavours however were bang on. We loved the crunchiness of the baby eggplant and the abundance of other veggies in it. The Pad Kra Prow was a bit salty but when had with the fragrant Jasmine Rice it was all good. The Steamed Dory Lemon Chilli Garlic was light but pungent coz of the chilli, the fish was steamed well and the lemon chilli garlic aroma seeped right through. The Pad Thai Noodles were delicious; we enjoyed it more than the Steamed Jasmine Rice.
Now for some dessert influenced by Thai flavours. This is what we love about Chef Rakesh Talwar, you can be prepared to be amazed by his creativity and innovation. The Tum Tim Krobe, a must try, was served in shot glasses. It’s a lovely blend of coconut, jackfruit and water chestnut that leaves you wanting more. The highlight of the evening was the Mango Sticky Rice Ice cream, an inhouse concoction invented by Chef Rakesh Talwar. It has a strong mango flavour with the texture of sticky rice that’s really smooth. It coats your tongue and the cold temperature hits the bliss point, heightening all the happy zones of your brain. We loved it. The Lemon Grass Crème Brulee was OK. We liked the hint of lemon grass that it had. It would have been nicer if the layer of sugar was a bit more caramelized. Call us fussy, but we love to crack the layer of caramelized sugar while having Crème Brulee. It’s like the classic ‘breaking a bottle of champagne over the hull of a ship’ ritual. 🙂
We don’t want to say that it was all smooth sailing, considering this was the first Sunday Brunch held at O:h Cha. This review would really help when they are hosting a big group. The service was not up to the mark. A few of them didn’t even get to taste a few dishes from the menu. It was funny how we were a table of four and every time we called for dumplings, we were served 3. We had to wait for another batch every single time. It could be the pressure of hosting a blogger’s table, we are not sure; as we’ve never had a bad experience with their service before. We did love the pace at which all these dishes were served. The ambience is perfect for a lovely Sunday afternoon. There is a saxophonist who played really well and had a good set-list. He got everyone grooving to the tunes; it made the experience even better. The menu is designed in a way that you get some of the best dishes served at O:h Cha. We hope that the menu keeps changing so that guests can enjoy all the other dishes that O:h Cha has to offer. You can be rest assured with the quality of food that comes from Chef Rakesh Talwar’s kitchen as there would be no short cuts as far as authenticity and flavours are concerned. So give it a shot! 🙂 If you’re ever craving Thai on a Sunday afternoon, head to O:h Cha for a fun, sit down Sparkling Sunday Brunch.