We’d been to Om a long time ago, for brunch only.Even though it’s quite close to where we live, Bryan and I never really had much interest in trying it out. Perhaps it was the mediocre reviews we read. Or perhaps it’s because Upstairs on the Square, one of our favorite summer hangouts, was always right across the street, beckoning.This changed when we heard that Patricia Yeo, previously from Ginger Park (and before that, many places, including Mesa Grill and AZ in New York), was going to become the new executive chef.
How often does a chef move from New York City to Boston to open up a place?
One evening last fall, when the weather was still barely warm enough for us to sit outside, we walked over to Om to try Chef Yeo’s new menu.
The food on the menu at Om is definitely Asian in nature, with some dishes that seem quite authentic and others that are more fusion in nature.
We both loved the complimentary popcorn and fried wonton strips mix that they gave us at the beginning. The aromatic use of 5-spice was deliciously fragrant.
We started with some potstickers as well as some “momos” (essentially steamed dumplings in a sauce). Regrettably, the potstickers were unacceptably salty. Admittedly I tend to be more sentitive to salt than your average American, but even Bryan though they were way to salty. Someone must have accidentally dropped a whole bucket of salt into the pork filling by mistake. It was that bad.
I think I ate one and a half before deciding I just couldn't eat it anymore.
The Momo's were much more tolerable. Homemade, with a light soy based dipping sauce.
Bryan ordered an Asian-inspired salad, which was solid. The roasted duck breast was perfectly cooked (sous-vide, perhaps?), and tossed together in a light yet flavorful dressing.
I loved my Green Papaya and Herb Salad, which boasted bold Southeast Asian flavors (think fish sauce, cilantro, and lime) along with the lovely, fresh crunch of the vegetables and the peanuts. I really liked this dish.
Bryan's homemade fusilli was excellent. The mushrooms lent a gorgeous, earthy flavor to the overall light yet umami-filled, flavorful dish.
As a nightclub/lounge, Om has a really cool vibe. I can see why you'd want to come by, have a drink, and enjoy the dark, minimalistic environment.
As a restaurant, Om's not bad, with certain dishes that were quite solid. However, certain misses have made me hesitate to return again.
Patricia Yeo is currently working on opening up a new Asian-fusion tapas-style (dim sum?) bar and lounge (with a restaurant inside) called Moksa in Central Square. I am hoping (fingers crossed!) that it will be a great addition to Central Square, complete with excellent food at reasonable prices. Maybe the salty dumplings were a fluke, and Moksa will showcase Patricia Yeo's true talent.
I'm anxiously awaiting the opening of Moksa, which will hopefully satisfy the "dim sum" craving in all of us.
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