By : KEN BARRETT
14 January 2019
Odtomato’s odd name comes from the nickname of owner Gavin “Od” Vongkusolkit, combined with a focus on fresh, natural ingredients symbolised by the perfectly formed red heirloom tomato that is served with rock salt complimentary to every diner at the start of the meal. Mod Oz is the food style, an interest that Od acquired when at university in Sydney, when he saw how modern Australian cuisine was evolving in a way that encompassed the many different cultures that had settled in the country.
The style is given form here by Chef Tawan, who is from Udon Thani and who arrived at Odtomato from spells as a sous chef at the Michelin-rated J’aime by Jean-Michel Lorain, and at Bangkok’s Iron Chef.
Odtomato’s odd shape is due to the fact that the building started life as the sales office for the Park 24 condominium complex. Tucked just inside the gateway, and huddled tightly against the building away from the cars on the access road, it is a long, narrow structure with its outer side almost entirely of glass.
A bar runs alongside the wall at the entrance, with the dining room beyond. There are a couple of neat little cubbyholes, big enough for four diners, while the other tables feature a mix of hefty carved-wood seats and slats-and-straps chairs. A long communal table hogs the centre of the restaurant. Metal-hooded lanterns hang from the ceiling, a ladder leads to nowhere, and the open kitchen is at the back of the restaurant.
There is a concise but very well selected list of wines from the major producing countries, and a choice of house pours by the glass or bottle, which themselves were pretty classy. We started with an outstandingly sunny Bogle Chardonnay from Clarksburg, US, at 355 baht a glass, and went on to a smooth Ménage à Trois Decadence Cabernet Sauvignon from California, at 395 baht a glass. The beer list is likewise well chosen, and there are a couple of ciders.
As with the drinks, the food menu is also concise. A medley of heirloom tomatoes (300 baht) had five different varieties, ranging in colour from red to yellow to green, and in flavour from a perfumed sweetness to a contrasting tartness, and floating in a sea of fresh red tomato juice decorated with basil leaves.
Our cauliflower had spent a day marinating before being roasted and presented with broccoli, walnuts and a tangy balsamic dressing (275 baht). Half a dozen pizzas are listed, and we had a tomato and mozzarella pizza (445 baht), the thin crust proving exceptionally light. Spaghetti was served with a ragu of Hokkaido’s Ohira beef and cherry tomatoes (585 baht), and our beef Wellington arrived as two golden-crusted sections of roll, stuffed with a chuck cut of beef (1,550 baht), cooked medium rare. Tenderloin (1,645 baht) and rib eye (1,550 baht) are also available for the Wellington boot. To finish, one of the best maple date puddings ever, with a generous crème fraîche.
Open only since July, Odtomato was doing good business. Service is very professional. Atmosphere is laid-back and informal. Prices are very fair.