Oza Oza has one of Shanghai’s worst layouts as a restaurant, yet it produces a degree of experimental cuisine that many wouldn’t dare to try.
A fusion of French and Japanese cuisine, Oza Oza’s set menus serve as a food journey through the curious mind of its creators. For RMB149, RMB198 or RMB298, they offer a degustation of five to eight courses, each building from a small bite up to the final main course.
Ours began with lightly coddled egg white topped with wasabi foam. Delicate and balanced, it sets the tone for what is an initial series of invigorating dishes: soft, warm, spirals of garlic bread stuck into a dill-butter smeared log; a hearty cup of mushroom and truffle cappuccino soup; a romaine salad with fig and Caesar dressing. They all have an unconventional element and incorporate it in a fun, if not accomplished way.
An assortment of sashimi arrives with some of the plumpest, freshest swathes of salmon we’ve ever tasted. The size and creaminess of the king-prawn is almost impossible and unforgettable.
However, the grander experimentations in the later courses are heavy-handed. Grilled salmon atop risotto served inside a smoke-filled orb makes for a very photogenic course but aside from salty tones is lacking in punch. Too strong in the wrong places is a plate of foie gras served with tofu and snail sauce. It needs something to relieve the greasy intensity of the pan fried liver.
The final flourishes include a tender rolled chicken thigh, and a filet mignon, which was grilled to perfection. Even though at this point we were already bursting at the seams, we finished the meal with a dessert of home-made biscuits and honey milk pudding. In the end our report reads: full marks for effort, keep trying with the food and please do something about the layout.