[MSP] Roat Osha
Let me begin by saying that for those of you who find things to love about Tum Rup Thai, you most likely will find lots to love about Roat Osha.
For those of you who, like me, find Tum Rup Thai to be a very poor reflection of Thai cuisine, then Roat Osha will disappoint you even more.
Roat Osha is 'high Thai' or 'Royal Thai' for "tastes delicious," the modern version of which is "Aloi Dee." The food here couldn't possibly be further from the truth.
The interior of Roat Osha is very nice and very comfortable. End of happy comments...
We started with an order of fish cakes, Tod Mun Plah, which were rubbery and tasteless. Very little curry in them at all, to the point of "why bother with any at all then?" These fish cakes are typically served with a cucumber, sugar, chopped peanut sauce with a little cilantro and shallot thrown in for good measure. None such here. Strangely, we got a very odd-tasting jalepeno goo and another dish of a bright red sweet/sour sauce that tasted bottled and stale. There was a third sauce on the plate as well. We couldn't recognize it and just passed on trying it.
We also ordered the spicy sliced beef salad. Again, perplexed by the offering when it arrived, we began to wonder if we had mis-spoken when we ordered. Yam Neua, is made with thinly sliced beef strips, lemongrass, toasted rice powder, fish sauce, lime juice, chilis, a little mint, and often, but not always, some crushed, dried red pepper as well, served in a heap on a plate with a wedge of lettuce on the side. We got a huge plate of torn lettuce, with about eight small pieces of beef thrown on top. A salad with the emphasis on the lettuce. We picked the tasteless and dull beef off the top and sighed, chewing morosely.
You know you're in for a long day in a Thai restaurant when there are no condiments to be found on the table. Can't even gussy up your plate should you want to.
The next item was Tom Yum Gung, a dish that has a long history and, along with Pad Thai, are what most Westerners think of when they think of Thai food. To my wife, Tom Yum is THE benchmark test of a Thai cook. They either get it right, or really really butcher it. To make a comparison that may help illustrate our thinking about this, consider going to a steak house for a minute, and ordering a New York Strip. When your food is brought from the kitchen, you realize it's a rib-eye. Still beef right? Maybe even from the same cow. But, if you're like me, and you were expecting the shape, taste, and texture of the strip steak, you will be disappointed that something else was being offered in its place. Further, if you have a waiter that INSISTS that that rib-eye is actually a new york strip, you might begin to question their sincerity a bit. At least I would.
So it went with the Tom Yum Gung. A bright yellow canned chicken broth with a few red pepper flakes, two shrimp (and $14 for it too!!), two peels of lemon grass and some mushrooms. That's it. No lime, no chili paste, no galanga, no chilis. Nada. No nothing resembling Tom Yum in even the slightest most apologetic way. We asked the server if this was what we ordered and she insisted that it was, and that the owner herself had prepared it for us. Ouch. At that point all the remaining questions I had about why things were prepared the way they were became moot.
We paid and left.
Sadly, Roat Osha is going to be fine. They have a lovely place in a great location and a happy throng of regulars who apparently don't care that they're not eating Thai food.
...if they'd just called the soup chicken soup with shrimp I probably wouldn't get so exercised. But they call it by it's traditional name and really should have the temerity to honor the tradition of that dish and not crap it up so completely.
I ate there the other night. I was quite as bitter about the experience as Hua was, but the place wasn't as good as it should have/could have been.
The wait staff was very friendly and attentive, and the timing of food delivery was spot-on. And it is really a beautiful space.
We share an order of spring rolls - nothing stellar, nothing bad. Good enough, but probably won't order them often.
I am a big fan of pad thai so that's what I got, and their sauce was not right. Tomatoey. A bit too sweet, of course. Close to being over-garnished, but not to the extent that it is at Amazing Thailand. Spice was a little weaker than other local thai places.
My dining companion had the red curry. The spice level was really, really low on this dish. The sauce was tasty enough, though. Rice was not quite sticky enough.
It's an OK neighborhood place, but Tum Rup Thai is better in every aspect I encountered. With both being walking distance from my house, Tum Rup will likely win out most times.
The food was good enough for me not to want to complain about it, but it was unimpressive and not as good as its competitors.