O:h Cha, Lower Parel - Restaurant Review

Some Sundays are meant to be full of activities, running around shopping, catching a movie and maybe dinner too. Ending up physically exhausted but mentally refreshed to tackle the week ahead. Other Sundays are meant to be lazed around in. Comfy under the covers with the eyes refusing to open till 11 AM. This review takes place on one of those very Sundays. Comfy under the covers I was woken awake by a Whatsapp message from an old friend stating his intention to go out for lunch. Groggy yet excited to meet him I urged my self out of bed and decided that today would be the day I would finally go sample the beers at The Barking Deer.

All spiff and ready we landed up at The Barking Deer and realized that they had a Buffet Sunday Brunch available with limited Ala Carte options.

We weren't really in the mood for a buffet and began to wonder where to head to next. Suddenly inspiration dawned and O:h Cha which is located close by was chosen. It was another one I was visiting for the first time, however being a big Thai food fan was eager to go there.

Immediately while walking in one notices that the design is minimalistic with a few quirky things to make it interesting.

The lines are clean and the colours muted. However the AstroTurf lining the walls accompanied by the lanterns and marble effect mirror lend a lot of character to the space.

We were promptly seated at a table for four close to the mirror like wall. With a nice cushion on one side it was a great place to be seated.

Upon being requested for our order we were also informed that the spice levels are quite high in the food and they have aptly indicated such dished with chilli icons, with 1 chilli being the mildest and 3 the hottest level they have.

The selection of food was quite good with a lot of things I haven't seen on a Thai menu in Bombay, I'm not conversant enough with Thai food to label any of them as authentic or not however there was certainly a lot of variety and many dishes I would like to try out in subsequent visits here.

First on our list was a the Tom Yum Hed (Contains mushroom) soup which we asked for 2 by 3 and they said they would rather offer us a separate bowl. Hasn't happened to me in a while and I much prefer that they split it up in the kitchen. My parents would not have been happy campers with that happening.

Tom Yum Hed Soup @ O:h Cha, Lower Parel

We asked for the hottest spice level and the waiter had to confirm with us thrice to make sure we knew what we were getting into. Flavor wise the soup really delivered with a great flavour of lemon grass and kaffir leaf shining through with all those spices really making the soup sing. The spice level while certainly hot hot hot was one which didn't overwhelm you by making you unable to taste anything else. Definitely a great soup for the monsoon weather.

In appetizers we opted for the fried tofu with sweet chilli sauce. I guess by now you have figured out I am terrible at remembering names and have forgiven me for that. I'd much rather remember the food :P

The dish itself seemed underwhelming in appearance. Just a few cubes of Tofu fried and served with Sauce. Really? However looks can be deceiving. The Tofu inside was super soft and smooth with a sauce that accompanied it really well too. The freshness and smoothness of that Tofu was what stuck with me the most. I would have preferred at least one more sauce option to go along with it though.

Next up was the main course for which we ordered the fried rice, Thai Red Curry and Noodles.

The Thai curry was one of the highlights of the meal for me. Fragrant and not overly spicy combining with that coconut-ty goodness that I associate with Thai curries. The veggies were nicely cut and still retained a bit of bit. It felt homely and comfortable with the rice too which is always important for me while eating Thai Curry. The spice level listed on the menu is 3 chillies however I didn't feel it was quite as hot as the soup.

Fried Rice @ O:h Cha, Lower Parel

The fried rice was a run of the mill affair with nothing special to set them apart. There were veggies, the rice was decently cooked but all in all the same thing you would expect from any decent restaurant. Frankly given the fact that we had ordered for a Thai Curry I would order the plain steamed rice next time instead.

Fried Noodles @ O:h Cha, Lower Parel

The noodles were fried rice noodles with bean sprouts and tofu in a sweet and sour spicy sauce. The noodles were a bit under seasoned and needed a touch of salt to really bring their flavours out. On asking for salt we were informed that they don't offer salt to add it extra. A bit shocking to me, however the well travelled friend who had joined us assured us that it happens often in the western world. Not so common in India and I hope something which doesn't become common place across the board. Coming to the taste of the noodles the sweet and sour sauce was a nice change from the Spice levels across the other dishes as the curry was quite hot too.

Between just three people the portions were sufficient for us and didn't leave much place for desert, however they seemed to have a decent selection of Asian themed ones to choose from.

Apart from the slight service issues of the extra bowl and the no salt this is definitely a place I would return to.

The damages per head were in the region of around Rs. 850 which is quite reasonable given the ambience and food.

Phone: 022 33488341 

Address: O:h Cha Kitchen & Bar Lower Parel, Unit 1, New Mahalaxmi Silk Mills Premises, Mathurdas Mills Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai