If, for some reason, you were forced to have just one dish at One Street Over, we suggest you go for the burrata. On its own, the burrata at OSO is excellent (we wonder where Cheung sources it from); it is supple and creamy. But, when you top it with fresh pesto, fragrant, subtly-garlicky carrot marinara and a crunchy microgreen garnish, it produces an arpeggio of pleasurable sensations on the palate.
The burrata (Rs 750) is among the many small plates at Kelvin Cheung’s recently opened gastropub, off Linking Road, in Bandra. Cheung was previously the life and soul of Ellipsis, and one can detect faint echoes of the hip Colaba restaurant in OSO’s menu (the waffles with fried chicken are on OSO’s menu too), but, overall, this one is an original. Like the grilled calamari with XO sauce and potato salad (Rs 700) — another small-ish plate — that sings with flavour and crunch, and reminds one simultaneously, and slightly inexplicably, of — if indeed such a thing is possible — of Goa, Kowloon and Seoul.
OSO is a dimly lit place, but you can see your neighbours, they can see you and you can see the food on each other’s tables. The staff are always at hand, and yet never obtrusive, and the bar, at the farthest end of the restaurant, has a soft, inviting glow to it. It produces, among other drinks, a fantastic pisco sour (Rs 1,000) that is nicely tart and zesty, though, we have to add here that our daiquiri (Rs 600) was a touch too sweet, like, as the saying goes, a lovely lady with too much perfume.
We were not too impressed with our chilli lamb taco (Rs 700) — the meat was tender, yes, but the dish needs to go higher on the Scoville scale just a touch. After all, this is India, y’know — but one big plate we’ll come back for is the dan dan noodles (Rs 600). DDN is a small noodle mountain with finely minced portobello mushroom on its peak. Twirl the noodles into the creamy peanut coconut broth, and you realise that the ratio of thick broth to noodles is perfect. The bite of the chilli oil is just what the traditional Sichuan dish needs to make it a comforting winter dish.
At the end of a memorable meal, there are two things we’ve got to say about OSO: one, we will be going back, and two, Colaba’s loss is Khar’s gain.
Where: 809, Ground Floor, 35th Street, Off Linking Road, Khar West
Time: 7 pm-1 am
Meal for two: Rs 4,500 with alcohol (approx)