Update: As of August 2010, I have returned to OM three different times for happy hour, lunch and dinner and the food and service has always been good to very good which is why I keep going back. New restaurants have to work out the kinks and refine their service or so that is my humble opinion.
————–previously written Jan 2010
Today I took BK out to lunch for her birthday. I wanted to try somewhere new so I suggested OM which is in the former Neo of Melaka on the NW corner of River/Campbell.
I had called OM on three different occasions to find out when they were opening and what they were serving. On three different occasions I was told three different descriptions — “Euro-Asian”, “Modern Asian Diner”, and “Contemporary Asian” plus. I was informed that Contemporary Asian uses French techniques with Asian flavors.
When I called on Saturday, they said they were open today for lunch from 11 a.m.
I met BK there at 1 p.m. The hostess informed me they were serving sushi only for lunch (that never came up during our phone conversation). Since I was a few minutes early, I sat down on a plush black leather chair in the small waiting area to peruse the dinner menu for another time.
When BK arrived we decided to stay for lunch because we already found parking. We were seated and stylish water glasses delivered to our table.
First a word about the décor – beautiful. It looks entirely different than when it was Neo of Melaka which used more warm tones. The décor almost reminded me of Café Poca Cosa which now reminds me of L.A. Here, the surfaces were hard and slick in black and muted green, ice, and neutral. Esthetically, it’s shiny and hip but will be noisy.
We exchanged initial greeting pleasantries, mulled over the sushi menu, commented on the décor, and chatted some more. Only three tables had customers. Then we noticed there were more servers than people. We were sitting in a prominent space not tucked into a corner and our heads bobbed longingly and increasingly as platters of sushi went by. At least six servers walked past us, never to look in our direction or acknowledge us. Nobody asked if we wanted anything to drink which is usually the opening line for the server/customer contact. It was plain weird.
Servers wearing muted green shirts were huddled together but no servers gave us eye contact. Out of desperation, I waved to a server. I know he saw me because he nodded his head but then took a step back and out of my view.
BK said, “Let’s go eat elsewhere.” I agreed and we stood up and six servers swooped to our sides with shocked looks on their faces. We left.
I could understand if there were one or two servers and the room was busy but it was entirely the opposite. We ate elsewhere.
But back to OM’s dinner menu, it looks awesome. Here’s an overview: shitake ravioli, pork 2 ways, kumquat lacquered duck breast, Sapporo braised beef short ribs, sesame fries, ginger rice, seared tuna salad, crispy shrimp skewers & mango aioli. Starters and salads range from $6 to $12, entrees $13 to $18, sides $5, and desserts $6. Yuzu panna cotta and mango bread pudding all sound intriguing.
I cannot remember if there was a full bar although the beer and wine list seems diverse and reasonably priced for a restaurant of this caliber.
I hope to eat dinner at OM soon and expect good service. Hopefully, that’s not too much to ask.
OM is located at 1765 East River Road (Joesler Village), 299-7815.