A gyoza specialist from Osaka.
First opened in Osaka in 1969, Osaka Ohsho dubs itself “The King of Gyoza”—a reputation that’s seen the chain expand to over 350 outlets worldwide. Landing in Thailand back in 2012, it now boasts two Bangkok branches, the first in Thonglor (1/F, Fifty Fifth Plaza, 90 Thonglor Soi 2) and, as of late last year, this one just off Soi Thaniya.
The newer branch boasts a peculiar and precarious setting: its open kitchen faces out onto the touts and hostesses of the Japanese-only bars on Soi Thaniya, a small number of tables and chairs sit in what’s effectively the entrance for Thai family favorite Seefah (who have a 51 percent stake in it), while an unfinished-feeling upstairs section completes the cramped picture.
Osaka Ohsho serves up authentic chuka cuisine, Japanese takes on Chinese classics, with the handmade gyoza (dumplings) and various other fried offerings the highlights. The pan-fried gyoza, which come stuffed with pork (B90/six pieces or B170/12 pieces) or shrimp (B129/six pieces), certainly look the part, the thin outer layer is golden brown and crisp on one side. Though moist, we feel the inner filling of minced pork shoulder and leg, cabbage, garlic and ginger could do with more juice. In fact, we prefer the deep-fried option (B90/six pieces), which has more in common with Thai-style deep-fried spring rolls—nice and chewy.
Other Chinese-indebted dishes offer mixed results, too. The mabo-tofu (tofu and minced pork in a bean-based sauce, B150) is mild in flavor, light on spice and gluey in texture; disappointing when combined with the slightly dry imported Japanese rice (B35). The sliced pork and pepper (B170), however, is fresh and peppery with bouncy pork and crunchy vegetables. Better yet is the fried chicken (B160), which comes with a crisp, light batter that encases the surprisingly moist flesh. The slice of lemon helps to cut through any hint of greasiness.
Dishes like this make for plain good drinking food, only you’re in a rather soulless, mall-like setting—with brisk and efficient service to match. The mood’s not helped by the soundtrack of 90s and 00s chart ballads, either. With this in mind, a visit to Osaka Ohsho is perhaps better left for lunchtime when their hearty sets (from B180) make for decent value, or the early evening when you can take advantage of their deal of a large draught Singha and six gyoza for B239.
|Address:||Osaka Ohsho, 942/31 Soi Thaniya, Silom Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 9am-10pm|
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