The Ohbar Thai offers up a bar and dining experience and with its large, orange-lit “The Ohbar” sign at the corner of Liverpool St, it’s hard to miss.
On its menu is a decent selection of rice, noodles, curries, entree and dessert. We had the vegetarian spring rolls to start and they were plump with vegetables with a flaky, crispy skin. They went well with the accompanying spicy and sweet hoisin sauce.
The green papaya salad (Som Tum Poo Nim) was piled high with large pieces of juicy soft shell crab with a light tempura batter. The green papaya wasn’t overwhelmingly tangy and with the crunch of the carrots, green beans, peanuts and the saltiness from the dried shrimp and fish sauce, was quite well-balanced. We ordered the salad medium spicy and it had a big chilli kick, so for those who aren’t so tolerant zero to mild would be the way to go.
The chicken Thai fried rice had a nice wok-fried aroma. The large chicken pieces were juicy, though the rice could have done with a little less sweetness.
We couldn’t enjoy the red curry duck as it was way too salty and there wasn’t enough cream added or enough sweetness from the lychee or pineapple pieces to counteract it. The duck was also a little dry.
The Pad Si Ew with beef had a nice char to the rice noodles, but once again it was too salty and too sweet. The beef was also slightly overcooked and chewy.
From the Chef Signature section of the menu we ordered the salt pork belly, which arrived in a basket with a glass full of raw cucumber, carrot and beans. It was a pretty dish with the vegetables meticulously sliced, the basket of golden-fried pork pieces and the vibrant, red sauce. Taste-wise, it wasn’t as special as it read off the menu. Although nicely fried and still juicy, the pork chunks were quite fatty and the skin wasn’t crackly. The sauce was an enigma – it didn’t have a prominent flavour and didn’t do much to add to the dish.
The Ohbar does make an effort to offer up decent Thai dishes although it’s a little hit and miss. With its laid back venue and friendly service though, it’s not a bad choice for lunch or dinner with friends.