It’s hard to describe the kind of food you’ll find at Opposite Mess Hall. Owner and Chef Jess Barnes seems to get inspiration from all over the world for his one of a kind creations. The menu changes so much that you might not get to try some of the dishes that we had.
When you first enter the restaurant it feels almost like you’re stepping into another era. There’s a large photograph on the wall showing a snapshot of what a cafeteria from the past looked like. It’s all very rustic and utilitarian with long tables and benches. When the foods comes you may notice that some of the plates look very much like something your grandparents might’ve used, yet the food could not be more contemporary.
We started off the night with ribs which were cooked so perfectly that the meat melts right in your mouth. The topping of spring onion gave the ribs a very Asian taste.
Up next was the Crispy school prawns & tartare which was a very surprising dish to me as it was the first time I saw shrimp that was meant to be eaten whole with the head in a western restaurant. I thought about all my farang friends who refused to eat the heads of shrimps when we ordered similar dishes in our favorite Chinese haunts and wondered how they would react eating this one that was served with a an all familiar tartar sauce. Surely they would gobble up every morsel and finally learn that it’s okay to eat entire shrimp heads.
General Tso’s kale with mandarin & peanut must be a godsend for vegetarians. I actually mistook some of the chunkier pieces for being chicken! The flavors are incredible and full-bodied with crunchy texture that makes it fun to eat.
What I love most about the dessert offered at Opposite Mess all is that there’s something for everyone. The banana soft serve & cranberry crumble makes you feel like a kid again. It has the familiar banana taste of banana milk and banana pastries from Japan which are in trend these days. The strawberries and chocolate dessert has a more of a bitter cocoa taste which is perfect for those who prefer something less sweet but still want to enjoy a nice dessert.
By the end of the meal we realized why this fine establishment is called Opposite Mess Hall. It’s simply describing the wonderful contrast of old rustic design and ambiance matched with creative modern cuisine that you won’t find anywhere else.