Bangkok Post reviews
A toast to inner harmony
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: March 15, 2013 at 8:35 am
Swanky bar boasts impressive selection of sake and innovative Japanese fusion cuisine
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Fiery prawn; Ogu Ogu gives a classy feel to the green concept; Unagi avocado rolls.
If you want to shout "kampai!" in style, there is probably no better place to raise your sake glass than Ogu Ogu. The name itself means inner harmony and there is definitely a harmony in all the things going on here, particularly how diners and boozers can coexist in this swanky sake bar.
This is exactly an all-in-one kind of place that might just seduce you into sticking around all night, thanks to the good food, strong drinks and swell atmosphere.
Boasting more than 40 different kinds of sake, as well as an extensive list of cocktails, Ogu Ogu is surely a fitting contender for dinner and pre-game before a chichi night out.
The walls of Ogu Ogu may be made of recycled plywood, but there's nothing coarse about the venue or the atmosphere.
The irony is that the place is so polished that even though the low seats are in earthy tones of olive and brown and the tables have a wooden surface, it still looks warm yet ritzy as ever with dim black steel lighting.
Chic city girls with an appreciation for all things lavish will be happy to get their Nipponese fix without having to face the traditional decor that usually comes with a muddle of Japanese posters on the walls and bamboo stalks.
The menu is mainly Japanese fusion, with a signature toban grill, which is clearly worth boasting. Grill pork belly (280 baht) is a dish of well-cooked kurobuta.
The juicy meat was slightly salty and peppery, but for a sour zing, dab some of the kaffir lime paste on the pork. The portions here aren't too large and leave you with plenty of room for other delectable appetisers that go hand in hand with sake.
Another spiffy appetiser we'd brand as top-notch and not-to-be-missed was asparagus beef (290 baht).
Thin, grilled slices of Wagyu beef were wrapped around the crunchy vegetable and although it took two bites to finish one piece, the tender beef didn't have any trouble coming apart.
The meat's quality, after all, is the make or break with this dish, and here it was nowhere near being too fatty or chewy.
The vegetable miso fondue (480 baht) was also a pleasing and time-passing dish. The cheese was luscious with the smell of miso without being too strong and what's to love is the rainbow array of boiled vegetables.
The fondue was creamy and rich and it was easy to finish because it tasted deliciously lean.
Ogu Ogu is a Japanese fusion restaurant, so it is sure to have some cash-cow sushi rolls.
We picked Unagi Avocado rolls (390 baht) and although they weren't as spectacular as those at places that specialise in fusion sushi, with three different looking rolls in one dish, hopefully, you're bound to eventually hit one that strikes your fancy.
For the main course, the fiery prawn (890 baht) was chosen. Two large prawns were buried under heaps of fried chilli and garlic, but thankfully, their role was merely for their aroma. The dish was hardly spicy, but make sure to get the sweet sauce at the bottom of the hot pan which imparts a richer taste to the fried prawn.
Another seafood dish we chose was ika pon pon (790 baht). You'll really like this if you want a new ring to your usual grilled octopus, as these rings were also stuffed with bits of seasoned octopus in the middle.
Like the pork, the octopus was well-cooked and that was, yet again, something to love as it wasn't too dry (nor was it too raw!)
On top of a handful of desserts, there are many colourful cocktails and mocktails here _ and the restaurant's green concept extends to the drinks. That means minimal ingredients, so you can really get a taste and feel of the fruits and juices that are used.
For something stunning, pick Hokkaido green tea (190 baht). It's blended in a way you've probably never tried before: green tea and green apples. The combo brings a tart kind of sweet that gives an uneasy edge, but will nevertheless awaken all your senses.
Ogu Ogu's cocktails clearly hit hard. For a "Japanesey" feel to your girly cocktail, opt for Sakura (290 baht), which includes lychee and gin.
But, of course, the star was clearly the Sparkling Jelly Berry (350 baht), which was deliciously silky despite the gelatin bits.
For men who need no frills, the long list of umeshu (plum liqueur) or sake that can be served in a wooden box the traditional way, should easily get you to stay put.