Ora is a Thai restaurant in a back street of Oxford Circus. Blink and you'll miss it. Behind the unassuming exterior lies a lobby with comfortable sofas, golden sculptures and low tables. It is where I met up with Michelle as in Greedy Gourmet who had arranged for a get together and a review of the place.
As we waited for Jeanne of Cook Sister! and another friend, we perused the long cocktail list. If there is something very impressive about Ora it is their cocktail bar.
I was lucky with my first choice vodka based Watermelon drink, so much so that I ordered another cocktail but this time their non-alcoholic, Ora Lover which should not remain a secret, it is fresh to the palate with its hints of Lychee, watermelon, elderflower and cranberry juice.
The service throughout was smiling and certainly very attentive, the waitress shown us to a tablein a dark and sultry dining room with low pink lighting. By the time we finished our meal the room was buzzing.
The menu reads like these in the Mango Tree or the Busaba Eathai where the executive chef Tamas Khan comes from. Thai meals are all about balance and subtlety layered flavours, and my meal was all this. My friends were far less lucky. The mixed starter platter or Silk Trader to give it its proper name was filled with fried dishes Prawn Tempura which I liked, the rest: Corn Fed Chicken Satay, Pork Dumplings, Crab Cakes and Vegetable Spring Rolls were unremarkable. My favorite starter by a mile was the Mien Nam dried Shrimps on Betel leaves with Ginger, Lime, Coconut, Pomelo and Peanuts.
For main I went with the recommendation Pla Paow, grilled sea-bream wrapped in a Banana Leaf with herbs & Sweet and Sour sauce - the fish was cooked to perfection and I loved the flavours. The other dishes were Kaeng Ped Phed Yang, Red Duck Curry with Lychee, Cherry Tomatoes, Chillies and Sweet Basil Hoy Shell Pad Nam Prik Paow, Fresh Scallops with Thai House Spicy Sauce and Sweet Basil and my least favorite Ped Yang Nam Makam, Grilled Duck Breast with Sweet & Spicy Tamarind Sauce.
Could we fit anything else? oh yes. Again I am glad I went for the Sarm Sa-Hai, a selection of traditional Thai desserts with ginger tea as the gorgeous looking Pavlova, the Chocolate Cheesecake and the Pineapple Pie didn't meet with our approval.
Our meals were on complementary basis and I would like to thank Ora's management for the opportunity to enjoy their restaurant. Prices at Ora are high. Service is delightful but so it is in most of the Thai restaurants I have visited. I loved the attention to details. The main courses were very well prepared and good as for the cocktails, starters and the desserts, the quality varied too much between drinks/dishes making it a hit or miss affair.
6 Little Portland Street
6 Little Portland Street