Of recent I have been trying out so many Pan Asian restaurants across Bangalore that for the first time in recent memory I decided to take a break from Pan Asian food for a while. But an invite from a new restaurant serving pan asian cuisine was pending for a while hence I decided to put on a brave front for a dinner with hubby in tow.
Oki is a very Japanese sounding name for a restaurant which I understand after a chat with the owner that it stands for Oriental Kitchen hence the name Oki. The restaurant is located in the by lanes of bustling Kammanahalli which obviously means the never ending search for parking but luckily enough they have car parking space for 2-3 cars and a bike parking facility on the opposite side of the restaurant.
The restaurant is well lit when I visited for dinner and it is quite unmissable. The focus is on red colour which is quite evident though the wooden chairs and benches offset the red colour quite well. The ambience is relaxed and casual. They have a small bar at one corner where I realised the young bartender who mixes non alcoholic drinks has magic in his hands. More about that later..
We decided to take occupy of the bigger tables mainly because of the central area with a view of the restaurant as well as partly open kitchen. We were welcomed by the owner and an interesting chat with him lead me to realize that he was a Chef with impressive record and his passion for serving out affordable pan asian and some european cuisine lead to the birth of Oki.
Though we decided we wanted to enjoy our meal without filling ourselves with mocktails, we did try some mocktails on the suggestion of the owner and what an eye opener it turned out to be. Our first in line mocktails where the Pomegrenate Dill Spritzer and Roasted Pineapple Lime Jalapeno Chelada. Both drinks were an explosion of flavours and I was quite overwhelmed that simple ingredients such as Pineapple and Jalapenos can make such a delightful drink. Though we did try more drinks as the meal went by our first impressions were sealed in place.
Their menu is quite well thought out with sections such as Small Eats, Meal in Itself which is perfect for one person and Hearty meals which serves 2- 3 persons. For small eats, we tried their Char Sui Chicken with Freshly Pickled Cucumber, Steamed Prawn Wontons with Wild Mushrooms in Chilli Soy Broth and Tender Pork Ribs with Pickled Greens.
The Char Sui Chicken was perfectly grilled and soft with its char sui sauce and the crunchy pickled cucumber was just the appetizer to begin our meal.
Though normally Steamed Wontons are the usual with a few changes in flavours across restaurants in Bangalore, I knew the chilli soy broth was going to be tad different and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this very simple dish.
The Tender Pork Ribs were mainly ordered as my hubby loves them but one look at the dish and I knew I would be digging in too without further thought. The pork ribs were so tender and melted in the mouth, probably one of the best pork ribs I have had the pleasure to eat for a while now.
Thanks to the wonderful dishes we had for the appetizers I knew we had to try at least two different kinds of main course dishes and decided to try the Bangkok Style Pad Krapow and the Malaysian Lamb Rendang with Rice. Krapow has been one of my favourite dishes in pan asian cuisine and I never miss a chance to try it. Recently I had a chance to try it at a very well known establishment and was quite disappointed hence I almost decided not to try it here though my hubby decided to brave it and give it a try. The presentation is spot on and brought a smile to my lips and the aromas which wafted when served to my table took away most of my doubts. It was well prepared with just the right amount of sauces and needless to say who finished most of that dish.
The Malaysian Lamb Rendang was a dish we tried based on our attendant’s suggestion. The lamb in itself did not look appetising though I loved the way the rice was served in a rolled leaf. The lamb was very different from what I have usually tried and my hubby enjoyed the dish.
For someone who normally just takes a bite of dessert I knew this what not going to be the case here as I noticed they had a dessert with water chestnuts and I have been quite the sucker for this! My order of Tender Coconut Ice cream with Water Chestnuts and Longan was such a delight and that it’s memory brings a smile even now. My hubby’s order of Apple Pie Roll with Condense Milk, Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream was very interesting though I had eyes only for my dessert.
Bangalore has its fair share of Pan asian restaurants which serve very authentic dishes however one needs to be prepared for shelling out quite a bit on a meal.
Oki’s motto is to serve authentic dishes but at a very affordable cost to their patrons and my second visit within a week is an indication of how much I am taken up with this restaurant.