Today I will take you on a tour of Oki, Okay ? 😀
While that opening line was hard to refrain from, the food at the restaurant Oki, is equally hard to resist.
Oki is the baby of Chef Surajit Ghara who has extracted the letters from the main cuisine that is served at the eatery. In his quest for a catchy name, he has shaken out a couple of initials from O-riental Ki-tchen, which have then combined into a short and crisp Oki !!!
Chef Ghara who has had 15 years of experience in the industry, has worked in 5 star hotels, cruise liners and even start up companies. He is proficient in Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Japanese, Malaysian and several other cuisines.
Wanting to create something of his own, he started this restaurant which apart from Pan Asian, also serves a fair bit of European.
In addition, the close proximity of these diverse cuisines in the menu but naturally has given rise to fusion offspring 😀 and one sees a blending in a few of the dishes, like the Wonton Ravioli.
I was invited for a tasting of the fare, and I do not refuse invitations to Asian food 😀
Location and decor –
The restaurant is located in a relatively quiet by lane of the heavily residential Kamanahalli area and has the advantage of being close enough to the main road, without the accompanying hustle and bustle.
The emphasis being on casual, the decor is done up in bright colors with a domination of reds and a few greens in the form of indoor plants. The slate grey flooring is a soothing foil to the walls.
Like the cuisine, there is a mix of the Oriental in the short bamboo partitions and framed wall art and a touch of Europe in the wood and metal grill work.
Chalk scrawled scrolls hang around, with tidbits of information about the place and its philosophy.
Heavy wooden tables and chairs make up the seating and one could opt to sit at the benches or more intimate smaller tables and chairs or even the family sized sofas that are placed in an elevated section of the space.
To emphasize the ‘family friendliness’ of the place, there are shelves with books for both adults and children. In addition there are activities in the form of coloring material and board games.
A bar at the far end with a bright brick counter (where currently only non alcoholic drinks are served), stands between the dining space and the kitchen.
The multi hued planters that cling to the window bars, add a touch of color and freshness and the large glass panes all around, let in plenty of light that creates the intended aura of cheer.
There is no air conditioning but the lack of it is not felt.
The Menu –
Aiming to offer a variety of dishes with affordable dining, Oki strives to maintain a mix of styles with a reasonable price point. Pizzas, pastas and fritters co exist alongside dim sums, satays, wontons and baos, in a show of culinary global coexistence 😀
Trying to move away from the run of the mill formula, they have done away with a few of the typical suspects like Spring rolls etc and even their menu breaks the mould from the usual divisions like starters, soups, mains etc and is sectioned instead, under labels like Small eats, Hearty choice, Meal in itself and such.
To up the excitement factor, some of the traditional dishes have been given a modern makeover, like the Pink summer roll where the staid white rice paper roll is steeped in beet or red cabbage juice and converted into a rosy avatar.
There is no usage of artificial colors or flavor enhancers and many of the accompaniments are made in house.
A desire to also keep in touch with the local, results in millets participating in dishes like Ragi dim sum and Mushroom millet pierogi.
Their Neighbourhood farmers green curry has interestingly sneaked in vegetables like long beans, ridge gourd, lauki and egg plants, with nary a complaint from the diner 😀
There is an ample selection of veg dishes for vegetarians.
A ‘specials’ menu sits on each table, with offerings of duck, pork, tiger prawns and salmon, for those who would like to indulge and a daily specials board stands mounted on an easel at the entrance.
They also have an exotic, unusual selection of mocktails that also include Asian flavors.
What I sampled –
Well this was my third visit to Oki and at the earlier occasions (where I do not have photos), I had tried the veg dim sum platter and the Stuffed mushrooms with ricotta, both of which are a must try for vegetarians. My favorite of course, was the ragi dim sum.
I had also tasted the lamb in Thai black chilli sauce which was excellent. The same is available in pork and chicken.
This time I began with the Duck wonton soup. I had also had this the last time but it was too good not to repeat. The wontons stuffed with duck mince, swimming in a dark broth along with tender sliced duck meat, was a delightful start to the meal.
This was followed by the Crispy lotus root, water chestnuts and bamboo shoot and with all three of my favorite ingredients in one dish, what was not to love ? Of course as with most crispy items, this should be eaten while hot or it would tend to get chewy.
On being asked my other preferences, I gently steered my meal towards seafood and the resulting Crab cake was just fabulous. Lightly held together with love and fresh air 😀 and no excessive binding agent, the patty was delightful with the sweetness of the crab meat that was further enhanced by the accompanying sauce, a superb Smoky onion remoulade topped with crispy fried onion sticks.
The non veg dim sum platter was next, with an assortment of prawn, fish and chicken on a bed of an intensely flavorful chilli coriander sauce. I thought that the wrappers could have been a tad thinner but apart from that, the dim sums were good.
I had mostly tasting portions of each dish, so the pictures do not represent the entire dish.
For the mains I opted to taste the Tender pork ribs with chilli mango jam and sauteed vegetables. This was done to perfection with the meat just melting in the mouth and the home made mango jam perfectly accompanying it. Even the baby potatoes, broccoli etc were done just right.
The Blueberry camomile martini and the Apple cider tom yum, were my choices from the mocktail bar. I found both drinks a bit too intense for my palate and I had them diluted with soda, after which they turned out perfect. You many want to specify how strong you want the flavors to be, while ordering your drink.
Dessert was not to be missed, despite my state of fullness. They do have quite an interesting collection of home made goodies but I asked for my all time favorite flavors of Tender coconut ice cream with water chestnut rubies and longan. I need to stop being so predictable 😀
I did shoot the Coconut and kaffir lime panna cotta and the Steamed chocolate pudding because I certainly intend going back for those … and I also hear that they are coming out with an Oreo cheese cake 😀
Also, there seems to be an interesting weekend breakfast on the cards !!!
So what are you waiting for. Go and pay them a visit and enjoy the food just like I did. Oki ???
Find them here –
Oki is located at – 403, 3 A Cross, Mariappa Road, Off Kammanahalli Main Road, Bangalore, India
Landmark:Near Reliance Trends
Phone – 99451 91791
Parking is available in a tiny space in front that would fit 2 -3 cars but the rest would have to find their spot in the surrounding by lanes.
For more pictures see My Facebook – Oki
Mar 27th, 2018