Obao is a hotspot in Midtown East for some southern Asian cuisine. Mainly run by Thai people, but make quite spot on dishes. I usually order takeout from them because it's faster and slightly cheaper (because I don't have to pay tip).
One odd summer day, my coworker and I stopped by for lunch. We were seated all the way in the back, in their garden, no worries because they have a roof for some shade. Service was extremely slow. I understand that it's the busy lunch hour but having just 3-4 staff waiting the entire restaurant is quite unacceptable.
We got our glass of water after the table next to us got their's and they came in after us. I asked for the beverage menu and a few minutes later they didn't come by again to ask me if I wanted anything. Is it me or am I expecting too much from a restaurant in midtown? Maybe I'm just too spoiled...
Obao has these lunch specials that are pretty good, they range anywhere from $8-15 and if you want an appetizer, just tag on another $3-5. If you ask me, that's one pricey lunch.
The salad was pretty standard. Nothing special or worth mentioning here.
For appetizer, I ordered the Spring Rolls. It was quite good and was already drizzled with some fish sauce over it, which I wished came separately. Nonetheless, it was crunchy and filled with a nice amount of meat and vegetables.
The Pork Belly with Chinese Broccoli is what the rave is about here. I had it once for takeout and it was amazingly good, so it just had to be better fresh out from the kitchen right? Well, to be honest it wasn't any better, it tasted just like the time I had it as takeout. Don't get me wrong, it was good but I guess I expected more. Very powerful and flavorful dish, you can really taste southern Asia in this dish, no lie.
My coworker ordered the Thin Cut Vietnamese Pork Chop and it tasted just like the ones you would get at the Vietnamese restaurants. Marinated and packed with flavor, the lime gave it a nice kick which I like.
Overall, I wouldn't dine here again. Even though the food was pretty darn good, the service was really poor. I would rather order takeout and not deal with the service and still get some kickass food.
222 E 53rd St
New York, NY 10022