Thai regional cuisine at Osha Bangkok, expertly blending ancient traditions with a touch of modernity.
The tasting experience at Osha Thai Restaurant & Bar blurs the fine line between traditional and molecular gastronomy. Chef Pat Chawanin Supamoon plays with frill and foam while sustaining original Thai flavours. The food presentation might look theatrical, but it preserves local herbs and spices essential to local cuisine.
The contrast between simple home cooking and elevated fine dining allows Chef Pat to find a balance, while clashing the old and new concepts. The plating, however, is not meant to be perceived as fusion, but as cooking and an assembly of ingredients that maintain the national identity, despite visible playful decor.
Born and raised in Chiang Mai, Chef Chawanin discovered his passion early in life. His family inspired him to enter the kitchen at a young age, with his mother owning and operating a small-scale Thai restaurant that served a variety of regional dishes, in which he lent a helping hand. While mum cooked, and sold savoury food, Chef Pat’s sister focussed on dessert.
Chef Pat later graduated with a degree in hospitality management, and his Thai culinary journey began in Phuket. He participated in a traditional Thai cooking course in Ang Thong in order to hone his theoretical and practical skills. Over 15 years, he familiarised himself with the food service industry, working in topnotch Thai kitchens at five-star hotels. Osha is the first independent restaurant he has been a part of.
Joining forces with a team of 14, he divides the workloads for each chef as Thai cooking requires extensive prepping steps, methods, and precisions. “Respecting your job, colleagues, and ingredients means progress,” he says. Aesthetics and teamwork are necessary to attentively produce and meticulously touch up all plates before reaching the dining room. The subtle composition and complex flavour combination in Thai cookery not only demand expertise, but also fierce dedication. Without genuine love and care, no satisfactory result can be achieved. His two signature dishes are a reflection of this: “Sang Wa Goong”—Fresh Prawn Ceviche with Thai Herbs served with Shrimp Flavoured Tapioca Cracker—and “Squids & Salted Egg”—Deep-Fried Squid Tossed with “Chai-Ya” Salted Duck Egg Aioli.
For Chef Pat, enthusiasm precedes background in culinary education and in the professional kitchen. Not everyone in his team had previous training, but they are committed to continually learning and practicing. To maintain consistency, they are open-minded, always willing to improve according to executive chef’s guidance. Hands-on exercises help build professionalism and raise the standard. “If you put your mind to it and do it every day, paying attention to small details, then you grow in confidence.”
Another aspect that constitutes to flawless execution is established guideline. Chef Pat came up with plans and directions to be followed for every seasonal menu—graphics and writing—but the team also participates in tweaking the dishes, ensuring a communal approach. The final product references play a crucial role in quality control.
Osha aspires to represent Thainess in haute cuisine, something not always accepted or respected. It takes effort, hard work, and extensive time to create the unique masterpieces that resemble authenticity. In comparison to casual family-style restaurants, upscale dining draws niche customers from Thailand and abroad. People appreciate the opulent ambience of a sit-down lunch and dinner as well as neat service, forming a relaxing yet sophisticated experience.
International and mainly Asian diners expect to embrace Thai food culture along with its stories. The interior and 10-course set menu itself narrate the national epic of Ramayana. Local visitors are intrigued to know the origins and logic of the meal, such as some unfamiliar names from King Rama V era. “The charm in Thai food is the use of herbs. Not many realise that they contain numerous health benefits. Apart from being appetising, they can heal our body like a natural medicine,” Chef Chawanin adds.
Staff introduce guests to the healthy effect of indulging each plant as a way to promote the positive impacts of local organic supplies and change people’s perspective towards their geographical availability.