Oh Me, Omai

courtesy omainyc.com

It had been a very long time since I have had a taste of Vietnamese, so when I entered Omai, one of my dinner companion’s favorite restaurants, I was delighted. Far off on 9th ave, it wasn’t crowded and we were seated immediately. The space was simply decorated, clean and crisp. The light reflecting off of the white walls made the room seem bigger than it really was and the seating was comfortable.

Our drinks came immediately, my Manhattan wasn’t bad at all. On the recommendation of my friend, we decided to get a bunch of appetizers and just split them. And you know me, I always over order, but in this case, I was very happy with her decision because their appetizers are very generous, portion-wise, compared to other New York City restaurants. It was a very pleasant surprise.

The wok seared monk fish with peanuts, chili, basil and served with a sesame rice cracker was very good. All the ingredients came together beautifully, and even though it was a very flavorful dish, it was light and not at all heavy.

The seared beef over tomato and watercress was amazing. The meat was beautifully seasoned and incredibly tasty. I loved the bitterness that the watercress added to it. Yummy!

And let me tell you, they really know how to make meat here. Our next dish were the baby back ribs with 5 spices and we polished them off right away. Tender meat and great flavor. What more could you want? Simple and to the point.

However, our last appetizer was a disappointment. The shrimp ravioli fell apart immediately the second we tried to transport it to our plates, and while it wasn’t a bad dish, it was definitely the worst savory dish we had that night. It is also something that I would recommend that people not order, the shrimp were chopped too small, and the skin very thin. They also should have served it with a sauce to give it more oomph. It was very bland.

And last, the dessert. Maybe I ordered wrong. We got the banana bread with warm Tahitian vanilla ice cream. The ice cream was decadent and so good, but the banana bread was a downer. It was some type of tapioca texture bread layer, covered with a banana and topped with ice cream. It didn’t have that come out of the oven banana bread that I was expecting. A bit sad, but at least the majority of my appetizers were good right?

7 out of 10

158 9th Ave, New York NY10011

-Joyce Huang

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