One of the top modernists Thai chefs in town plays around with rustic staples at this cafe spin-off.
Comfortably the chicest place to dine at the Asiatique riverside community mall comes from the same team as Thai fine-dining restaurant Osha. Here though things are a little more laidback, with a space that blends contemporary design quirks with an easygoing attitude. The Thai dishes might sound familiar, but the food here is anything but plain, whether it’s a beautifully presented pad Thai or rich and decadent massaman curry.
The buzz: People know the Bangkok branch of Osha for its funky, modern take on Thai food presentation—think liquid nitrogen shrimps and tom yum soup siphoned through coffee strainers. But at new place in the touristy Asiatique mall, Osha retreats to something very casual. On top of that, it has launched a cooking studio, Cooking Chronicle, headed by Ass. Prof. Kobkaew Najpinij of Suan Dusit University and chef Supanut “Ann” Kanarak of Bangkok Bold cooking studio.
The decor: In contrast to the original place's flamboyance, this new venue is brightly lit, friendly and approachable. Still, it retains a few design quirks, with iconic jada (Thai crown) decoration and graphic patterns on one wall. As for Cooking Chronicle, it stands in its own glass box where diners can see the cooking classes in action.
The food: Though the names are familiar, the food here is anything but plain. The miang (betel leaf wraps, B190) come alongside a chunk of soft-shell crab, while the platter of satay (B190) lets you enjoy a full range of grilled meats: chicken, pork and beef. Only a few dishes are taken directly from the original venue, like the tom yum kung (this time not siphoned, B290-390) and the renowned pad Thai (B290). Mains also include the likes of massaman beef curry (B320), five-spiced pork belly (B250) and sea bass pad cha (herby stir-fry, B390). You can also find mango sticky rice (B190) and young coconut ice cream (B90) for dessert.
The drinks: Thanks to the large Mekhong sign behind the bar, it’s not hard to guess the local rum-like spirit which takes center stage. Tuk Tuk (B555) is a mix of Mekhong, bael fruit tea, raspberry vodka and rose water that’s served with a golden tuk tuk souvenir, while Thai Sabai (B355) features Mekhong, lemon juice syrup, Thai basil and club soda. For teetotalers, we really like the Spicy Mango (mango puree, lime, bird eye chili, vanilla syrup, B160).
Why you should care: The Osha flavors are there, but this way more casual setting and pricing makes them a whole lot more accessible. Take the Pad Thai: B450 on Wireless Road; B290 here.