Caroline Garland lunches at the new fashionable Knightsbridge dining room OSH, a culinary journey along the Silk Road recreating local Uzbek dishes
Words by Caroline Garland
It wasn’t until I stepped out of Knightsbridge station that I realised I haven’t been to this part of town for years. Harrods and Harvey Nics don’t tempt me (I’m a Liberty girl through and through) but Pont Street gave me a warm spirally feeling as memories of working in the area came back into focus. Not much has changed since then: the perfectly manicured front gardens, the magnificent lines of Victorian houses, Eaton Squares Gardens so prettily pruned.
I arrived at OSH first after a Citymapper detour, baby duties delaying my friend a little. Greeted at the door by our immaculately presented hostess, I explained my friend was running a little late so was shown to a table, order of orange juice taken and promptly arrived freshly squeezed and accompanied with some nuts and dried fruit, seasoned with fragrant Middle Eastern spices.
The bar area is cosy with low tables and friendly staff, attentive but not over bearing. My friend arrived, after shimmying off her coat we had a look around the whole venue and it’s big! Starting from the top floor there’s a very cool bar area which can be hired out for private parties, lots of comfortable sofas, arm chairs, a huge day bed, perfect for a birthday day or night, we were there for lunch but I can imagine it looks great by night, candle lit and glittering chandelier.
The next floor down is the main restaurant which has a relaxed vibe with deep red and white patterned wallpaper, a bench seat along one entire wall and the usual cluster of tables across the floor.
As we were there for lunch we sat in the more informal mezzanine, a prime position to watch the chefs prep all the dishes, view the puddings displayed at the entrance along with fresh fruit and veg, a very big part of the ethos here – fresh! We struck gold with our waitress as she was just the right amount of friendly, informative, funny and proud. The menu is big so best way to go is lots of sharing plates we went for the Pickled Asian Cherry Tomatoes (£5.80) the most incredible flavour, so sweet, marinated for 24 hours, it’s a simple dish but they’re always often the best, the Kamtchatka King Crab with avocado mousse and red caviar (£20.30), an indulgent treat of a dish, light flaked crab perched on top of perfectly ripe avocado, bursts of red caviar popping with each bite, the Ugra OSH noodles with cod, basil and coriander (£7.80), light and fragrant, good to clear palette between mouthfuls of the richer dishes.
Beetroot with freekah and pistachio (£7.50) and the spicy courgette with ginger and lime sit together perfectly and work with all heavier more main course like plates, the quinoa and quince with pomegranate and zeera dressing (£8.40) a perfect base to pile other treats with the caramelised halibut with celeriac and apple sauce, sweetness with fish a new combination for me, worked so well as the fish is white and meaty and shared with the fresher dishes lifted it out of being too sweet.
To go with our meal at OSH we had a glass of the house white wine followed by a Northern Light cocktail, Grey Goose vodka, Sumac and raisin homemade syrup, lemon juice and a quart of fig to garnish with a drop of Fair Acaji liquor to finish, it’s every bit as delicious as it sounds and looks.
For desert we choose from the entrance display. I mean we were full but with a glass of mint tea (small gripe, the teapot is teeny tiny) we went for the Anna Pavlova (£8), crisp, gooey and covered in fruit and the contrasting Honey Cake (£7) – moist sweet and enough to ask to take the rest home.
It has to be said it was a wonderful experience: I’ll definitely be going back. I would love to see it at night time so all the lower lit lamps and fairy lights tied to the tree above the mezzanine can be enjoyed in full. The food, the venue and the people were all a credit to the much loved city.
020 3955 9555
14 – 15 Beauchamp Place
Opening hours: 12PM- 1:30AM Mon-Sat (last reservation 11.30pm), 12PM- 00:30AM Sun (last reservation 10.30pm)