OBao: Midtown, Manahttan, NYC, NY, USA
This was another place that we frequented during the summer restaurant week I found on Yelp actually. It was supposed to have really good Thai food, and also had Vietnamese food on the menu. Unfortunately, we couldn’t check out their fixe prix menu online. However, my co-fellow and I split the following things:
- papaya salad
- meatball rice-wrapper appetizers
- seabass over greens
- crispy seafood pad thai
- very good flavors: not too much fish sauce
- good quantity to share between two people
- it wasn’t really anything outstanding. It definitely fell short of quantity compared to a few Thai restaurants back home. Maybe this is Manhattan and Midtown makes it served in super small quantities for plating, but it just didn’t wow me.
Meatball rice-wrapper appetizers
- good flavor in the meatball: well balanced when wrapped with the vegetables.
- definitely shareable between two if not three people, very good quantity
- incredibly difficult to wrap: meatballs are round and therefore, kept slipping out of the wrappers, especially since they are coated in a light sauce. I ended up eating every piece separately as it broke and fell apart.
- rice wrappers were cut in half. This makes it even harder to wrap. In addition, there are different sizes of rice wrappers. These half-sizes were from the smaller diameter wrappers. They may be cheaper, but it was just really hard to eat this dish.
Sea-bass over greens
- healthy, in the sense that it is pretty low sodium content
- fish was not overcooked
- I could cook this at home. For one, I believe the greens was either yuchoy or gai lan (Chinese broccoli), both of which you can get for dirt cheap in Chinatown. I’m not kidding. They sell these for approximately less than $2 a lb, maybe sometimes as low as $1 a pound.
- Sea bass can be quite expensive, but if you’re going to pair it with cheap Chinese vegetables, it humiliates and just cheapens the dish overall. Not to mention, it wasn’t melting in my mouth nor could I taste the fattiness of the fish. I almost at one point wondered if it was cod.
Crispy Seafood Pad Thai: this was a very interesting dish. I think it’s supposed to mimic the Chinese dish of seafood pan fried noodles. For one, they used fried wonton skins instead of standard vermicelli noodles. It was more like a Chinese seafood nacho dish.
- shareable: especially if it’s in taco form
- I do like fried wonton skins. It’s the same flavor as crab rangoon just minus the cream cheese.
- I was somewhat hoping of a more substantial dish with noodles. This wasn’t super filling at all.
I don’t know if I would come back to OBao when there are so many other Thai places to try. Supposedly Hell’s Kitchen has some ridiculously good Thai restaurants that are worth crossing the city for. In summary:
- papaya salad: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- meatball rice-wrapper appetizers: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- seabass over greens: *** (3 stars)
- crispy seafood pad thai: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
You can find Obao at the address below. It seemed to be quite a popular spot. Then again, I’ve been spoiled by some ridiculously good Asian food from Atlanta, Los Angeles, and the motherlands. Still, it’s always worth a gander if you’re in the area!