The food is certainly art, and there were a couple of tasty plates, but overall I found the highly acclaimed (and priced) o ya to be a disappointment. I would say it was fine, and nothing more. Maybe it was an off night, maybe we were just tired, I just hate when I really look forward to a meal and end up feeling meh about it.
o ya is located in Boston’s Leather District, just outside South Station, and is in an old brick building. They have painted the beams to look like wood, and the inside is sleek, clean, and quite lovely.
Our reservation was at the 17 seat chef’s bar. I really enjoy watching food being prepared, and o ya’s chef’s were quite the scene to see. The kitchen and front cooking area were pristinely clean, and we got to see a lot of torching, slicing, and dicing.
To start, I ordered a glass of Sorelle Bronca Prosecco, and my husband had Poochi Poochi Sparkling Sake, our first Sake experience. I didn’t care for it, but he loved it.
While we waited for our variety of dishes to come out, I couldn’t help but take photos of the food waiting for others on the bar. It was artfully prepared, and very photogenic. Tastespotting and Foodgawker, maybe you will like one of these?
After peeking at everyone else’s food, we started on our own:
SALMON o ya mayonette, wasabi tobiko, shiso
This was a very bland little dish. The salmon was nicely fatty, but with that fat I would expect something spicy or acidic to contrast with it.
HAMACHI TARTARE ginger verjus sauce, spiced chile oil
The texture and quality of the fish was perfect, but I was hoping for a bit of spice with the chile oil. Instead, it was overwhelmingly salty.
SHRIMP TEMPURA bacon truffle emulsion, chive oil
This was definitely the star of the night. The truffle emulsion was delicious. You can never go wrong with truffles, and the tempura was light and crispy. A bowl of the shrimp tempura, please.
SOFT SHELL CRAB
This was also a favorite. o ya does tempura very well.
CHICKEN YAKITORI celeriac puree, perigord black truffle
While the other dishes we had were, overall, nothing to write home about, it was the chicken that really turned the night. While we understand that it was Poulet Rouge, meant to have a pinkish hue, I doubt that the chicken was supposed to have a giant vein running through it. I am definitely off chicken for awhile. . .
To their credit, o ya took this off of our bill after explaining that many people are put off by the Poulet Rouge. I feel like this is something they should mention when it is ordered. To the untrained eye, it appeared to be nearly raw chicken. The peanut sauce was like any garden variety jarred sauce.
I expected to and wanted to fall drooling at o ya’s door on my way out. Instead, we left a little hungry and unwilling to try anything else. I don’t like writing negative reviews, but I feel like we hyped up our visit to o ya so much, I couldn’t NOT write about it.
Have you ever had an experience that was the opposite of what you expected?
Don’t forget to enter The Secret Ingredient cookbook giveaway! And I have been without a Friday guest post for awhile. The Friday Foodie Feature doesn’t seem to wrangle up much interest, but I am still interested in sharing a weekly post from a blogger or reader!