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  • Liane Morris

Exceptional Signature Dishes Spanning Two Cuisines


Oishii Japanese Thai Restaurant, located in the Roche Estate complex on Broke Road in Pokolbin, is the only Asian restaurant in a winery in the Hunter Valley and, quite possibly, Australia. One of the only restaurants in the area open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, it is popular with locals and visitors and has been a favourite of Hunter Valley diners since 2002.

 

The story begins when Bo Lorchaiwet migrated to Australia from Thailand in 1992 and opened a restaurant on Darby Street in Newcastle in 1994. One year later, a 14-year old Patrick Boonsong arrived to help his mum run her restaurant. The family ran restaurants in several locations, including Newcastle, Hamilton, Nelson Bay, Terrigal, and Swansea. Patrick’s uncle was a big fan of Japanese cuisine and encouraged the family to open Japanese and Thai restaurants.


“Most of the chefs at Japanese restaurants tend to be Thai,” said Patrick.


“In Thailand, there is a great diversity of cuisine, and our chefs learn a broad range of styles as a result. We think that Thai chefs make better Japanese food! Not so bland.”


It was Lisa McGuigan who had the great idea to offer cellar door visitors something a little different in the Hunter Valley. A regular customer at the Newcastle restaurant run by Patrick and his mum, she invited the family to open Oishii in what was then the Tempus Two Winery.


The space overlooks the architecturally designed amphitheatre and vines at Roche Estate. It’s conveniently located, relaxed and offers an affordable dining alternative with dishes designed to please every palate. The menu has changed very little since the restaurant opened, with current chef Jantee Dangsopa having been at the kitchen's helm since 2008.


Oishii is well known for its signature dishes, including Teppan Yaki Beef, Panang Duck Curry, Gyoza, Massaman Beef Curry and the freshly made vegetarian Spring Rolls, which are nothing like the mass-produced ones usually served at most Asian restaurants.


Oishii offers a unique alternative for dining in the Hunter Valley and is an absolute must-do dining experience. For more information and menus, visit www.oishii.com.au, or to make a booking, phone 4998 7051.

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