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Must-tries: OLTA is where bistronomy and refined British fare meet

Playfully translating from British slang to “tipsy,” OLTA is a part restaurant, part bar where British contemporary cuisine is countered with Thailand’s local, hyper-seasonal ingredients. The venue prides itself on using Thai ingredients in creating the reinterpreted English food.Led by the culinary whizzes behind Phuket’s successful Bampot Kitchen & Bar Chef Jamie Wakeford and his business partner (and wife) Helen Wakeford, OLTA is now shaping a modern image of British food in Thailand, gearing the traditional English fare into a new light.

Image credit: Instagram/asilmunaf

Following his tenures at legendary restaurants like Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal and Maze Grill by Gordon Ramsey, Chef Jamie decided it was time to have a place of his own. A little fed up with white-table-cloth culture, he decided to go bistronomy: a culinary movement toward quality food at a more affordable price and in a chic yet approachable setting.

So when sauntering over to Suan Phlu to visit OLTA, expect no less than a five star-equivalent meal and service but hope not for an ambiance accentuated with dull formality. OLTA boasts an upbeat playlist and sleek, colourful upholstered furniture.

Recently, we got a chance to check out OLTA and tried some of the best new dishes the venue has to offer. Here’s a list of must-tries you need to order. Bear in mind the menu here changes every week. Our list here, however, can be a bit of a guide to what OLTA is like and is all about.

Scotch Egg V2 (THB 100)

Scotched with an umami-packed mixture made out of pork belly and black pudding, the yolky quail egg is covered in a layer of meaty scrumptiousness. Once dipped into an HP Sauce crafted from over 47 ingredients, the Scotch Egg at OLTA is worthy of devouring every bit and crumb.

Blue Crab Tart (THB 400)

Plump crab meat can take on many fabulous flavours — one of them being cream cheese. Coated and cooked with an avalanche of it, the crab here soaks up all the tangy, semi salty, smooth creaminess from the cheese whilst retaining its fleshy texture. Ribbons of apple atop the tart are also a perfect counterpart to cut through the cheese’s richness.

Black Kingfish Crudo Tartar (THB 320)

Kingfish at OLTA doesn’t swim in seawater; it fancifully loves to bath in whey. Chopped into small chunks, the Lanta Island-caught kingfish is served in a pool of whey dressing, drizzled with scallion oil and dotted appealingly with edible flowers, cucumber, pickled celery, and fried smelt fish, which provides a contrasting crispness to the firm flesh of kingfish.

Cauliflower Risotto (THB 500)

We appreciate cauliflower for its vegetal subtlety and elegance — both traits evidenced in this Cauliflower Risotto at OLTA. One part roasted and one part thinly sliced, the two-way florets then get placed atop a bed of Japanese rice risotto drenched in parm and butter.

Braised Wagyu Beef (THB 600)

Scallion-spiked polenta and braised wagyu beef cheek taste great on their own but get even more ridiculously delicious once mixed with Thai blue cheese and onion rings. An absolute must if you’re a hardcore carnivore.

OLTA, 101/11 Suan Phlu, Bangkok, +6694 656 2159; Open: Mon-Sun, 11:30 am-2 pm for lunch and 5 pm-12 am for dinner. 

Kankanit Wichiantanon
Writer, Bangkok
Kankanit is a writer by day and a baker by night. If there’s one thing you should know about her, it’s that she can wax poetic about food 24/7. Her daily routine is writing, cooking, eating, repeat. They are the things that inspire her from morning 'til night.