French comfort food with a slightly clubby vibe.
Taking a modern approach to a bar-meets-restaurant, Oskar Bistro marries class and comfort in one inviting location. This versatile venue is great for a hearty meal, a bottle of wine shared with friends, or a night out dancing. Classic French and European dishes come with an Oskar twist, while prices remain reasonable.
Two houses down from Bed Supperclub, Oskar Bistro is a restaurant with a slightly clubby vibe. The place is heaving on weekend nights, the DJ is excellent, the low-ceilinged space is cozy and edgy, drinks are cheap and, surprisingly for this neck of the woods, the food is great value for money: Western basics with enough originality and careful execution to warrant satisfied nods. Diners at Oskar—a bit like those at neighboring Bed Supperclub—are mostly a savvy crowd of expats and tourists. We can live with that but, at the bar, you’ve got your meat market of (usually older) white men and young Thai women. Now we appreciate that could be a deal breaker for some. Still, Oskar is getting so much right. For one, it doesn’t have the word “wine” in its name, or some walk-in cellar packed with Hardys and Peter Vella. Instead, you’ve got ten wines by the glass starting from B145, and a smart selection of some 40 bottles with great buys in the B1,590-1,790 range. At first glance, the menu seems to ape every restaurant to have opened in the past twelve months with its random mix of Southern French signature dishes alongside pastas, a burger, pizzas and salads. Except these are, for once, surprisingly well-priced: a decent four cheese pizza (crispy, with a solid dose of blue cheese) comes out at B295. And secondly, there’s a sure hand in the kitchen that doesn’t stray with sweet sauces, ridiculous cherry tomatoes in every plate (salads are topped with walnuts, instead—thank you!) or spaghetti mentaiko. In fact, behind the deceptively simple offerings, you’ve got a lot of dishes you won’t find easily elsewhere like the delicious duck parmentier (a kind of shepherd’s pie, B250) or Aussie lamb skewers with a mint and yogurt dip (B180). Not everything is stellar—the B420 mixed cold cut and cheese platter, for example, is generous but the products are pretty pedestrian. But Oskar still feels like it’s what every other recent opening in town was aiming for, only it actually hit the mark. Meat market or not, we’ll definitely return for the DJs, drinks and tasty cuisine. Corkage B500 (wine), B1,000 (spirits).