BO.SABI is well known for its handcrafted signature drinks. Melissa Nazareth discovered that it also serves some of the best food in the Kingdom.

They say first impressions count and I was mighty pleased with BO.SABI at The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa. Located on the ground floor, the restaurant exhibits a modern interior with Asian-inspired trimmings; bamboo decor, a thatched roof supported by wooden beams, traditional ceiling fans… you can dine outdoors now that the weather is pleasant. However, there’s a spacious indoor section too, with a bar.

The menu offers a variety of dishes across different cuisines such as Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Malaysian and Thai. We started our lunch with the Tuna Salad, which was light and refreshing. The tuna, encrusted with black and white sesame seeds, was seared on the sides and pink in the centre. It had an umami flavour and complemented the accompanying greens and pickled veggies. The dressing, slightly sweet and fragrant from the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and red chilli, brought the dish together.

Next came what was called the Rainbow Roll and rightly so! A purple flower petal adorned each roll, a canvas of coral-hued salmon, pink tuna, pearl-white hammour and emerald avocado – immaculate! Having eaten with our eyes, we dived in with our chopsticks and discovered that it tasted as good as it looked. We could tell the fish was fresh – same for all the seafood dishes – and the ingredients used were of a high quality. What particularly stood out for me was that even though the dishes were plated aesthetically, the main focus was on the quality and taste.

Something warm was in order and so our hosts presented the Peking Duck at our table. I wanted to try the bird on its own first. Unlike my past experiences where the duck was dry as a desert, this was succulent with a crispy skin and without a gamey aftertaste. The dipping sauce, a mix of sweet and salty hoisin and sweet and sour plum sauce, offered a touch of acidity, which complemented the protein and fresh julienned vegetables. While the pancake wraps prepared by the chef were perfectly balanced, we enjoyed making our own too with our preferred ratio of meat to sauce to veggies. If the Peking Duck was a terrestrial treat, our next dish, Ise Ebi, was an oceanic delight. A deep coral grilled lobster sat on a blanket of crimson ginger sauce. The meat was sweet and bouncy, elevated by an unmatched buttery goodness. No Asian adventure is complete without dumplings and so, we were delighted to see a plate of chicken Gyoza make its way to our table. Pockets of juicy minced chicken, they were almost like soup dumplings – the broth was exceedingly aromatic. The chilli black bean side that came with them deserves a special mention. It tasted like candied chunks of chilli flakes, sweet from the black bean sauce and doused in a spicy chilli oil. We learned that guests order it with other dishes too – one can’t blame them – it’s addictive! For the mains, first we had Pad Thai. The mark of a good Pad Thai is a balance of sweet, sour and salty. This dish was on point. The textures threw us off completely – crunchy vegetables, silken tofu and egg, and chewy rice noodles with a bit of bite. All the elements were dressed perfectly in a sweetish and zingy tamarind sauce. I’m not a fan of nuts in my food but thanks to BO.SABI, I’m now transformed – the groundnuts, toasty and earthy were the star of this dish for me.

We simply had to order the Thai Chicken Green Curry and boy were we glad we did! The curry itself was creamy and coconutty, made intensely flavourful by an army of aromatics from Thai basil and galangal to roasted onion and kaffir lime leaves. The chicken was exceedingly tender and succulent. We enjoyed this creation with a side of steamed rice topped with toasted garlic slices.

Desserts included the Japanese Cheese Cake and Thai Mango Sticky Rice. The former was like a vanilla sponge cake, airy and light, and served with a side of tarte red plum compote and creamy passion fruit custard. It wasn’t too sweet, which was great and paired perfectly with my coffee. The latter is a musttry if you like traditional desserts. At first, I tasted only the mango – sweet and juicy. But when I gave it a few seconds, a subtle yet promising coconut flavour emerged. We also tried different varieties of mochi – I recommend the vanilla flavoured one.

BO.SABI offers live entertainment almost every night. I’ll definitely be returning especially when they revamp their menu to feature new signature dishes while retaining old favourites. They also host private events and provide catering services – you can customise the menu to suit your preference. ✤