This is Asian food with a modern twist, deliciously fresh, a real gem in a great location…
With OKA restaurants in Soho, Chelsea and Primrose Hill they know what they are doing and aren’t we lucky to have one close by!
Imogen, a close friend who has eaten at Nobu, no less, was well qualified to join me. We were warmly greeted by Myatt and Anna with several full tables – a great sign for a Monday evening. The décor, lighting and well-spaced tables create an intimate atmosphere by night, as well as relaxed for lunch.
Whilst loving Asian food, I’m not an expert, so it was fun to taste many Asian cuisines and sushi. To begin, we shared soft shell tempura crab (£12.50) with lime mayo and jalapeno dips – the jalapeno, not too hot, a divine match for the light crispy crab. By contrast, Hamachi carpaccio (£12.50) thinly sliced yellowtail was delicately sweet, light and tender, it literally melted in the mouth. Moving to sushi, we chose a speciality – red dragon roll (£12.50) with panko crusted prawn, fresh mango topped with tuna tartar and a sashimi – Hamachi tataki (£13.50) seared yellowtail fillet on shredded cucumber with truffle oil. We were wowed by the stunning presentation, flavours and freshness – this is creative sushi, far superior to the sushi we are used to.
Having sampled the fish and seafood, the Mongolian rack of lamb ((£18.50) with garlic fried rice and kimchi took me to a different part of Asia and I wasn’t disappointed. A generous four cutlets of beautifully tender, marinated lamb with a gentle heat, the rice a perfect balance. Imogen chose light with grilled miso salmon salad (£15.50) on baby gem with avocado, cherry tomatoes, mandarin segments and kizami sesame dressing – a lovely mix and feast for the eyes (£15.50).
Asian desserts can be limited but there was a wide choice. We kept the light theme going with mango lychee cooler (£5.95) – coconut ice cream on homemade almond crumble and scoops of mango sorbet and green tea macha ice cream (£3.75) – indulgent and far better than macha as a tea! Imogen’s lemon and fresh finger tea (£2.50) had lots of fresh ginger chunks. I, on the other hand, having been restrained with one glass of wine, succumbed to the Espresso Martini (£8.50) which was silky smooth and very moreish…
There are many vegetarian dishes, a well put together wine list, cocktails and a kid’s menu – great to start them on their culinary Asian journey.
Bookings: 0208 741 8577
OKA. Pan Asian & Sushi, 88 Church Road, Barnes SW13 0DQ
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