Shared Taste – Jade and Martin of Taste Bar & Grill, Part 2

In the first part of our 10-years anniversary of Taste Bar & Grill, we asked Jade Lama to answer a few questions about her husband, chef Martin Ostlind. Now it’s time to swap places as we find out how much Martin knows about Jade.

Read the first part of the interview HERE

MARTIN on JADE

If Jade was a spice or a flavour or any other food produce, what would it be?

She’d be a chilly. First of all, she loves chilly, she’s an absolute chilly-head, even more than most Thai people. But also it’s her personality, she’s fiery.

What’s her least favourite food?

Over the last 15 years she’s never said she didn’t like anything I’d cooked. I can’t remember anything she doesn’t like. We both love food.

Taste Bar & Grill Phuket Martin Ostlind Jade Lama Phuket Market

What food does she like best?

Intense, spicy, lots of chilly, Indian, Thai. I mean, it’s got to be hot. She adds chilly to things like Swedish meatballs. She almost asks me for permission, even if it’s not my cooking! She says “Can I? Do you mind? I have to do it!”.

How does she like her steak?

She likes it medium rare. I think it’s something she learned while being with me. In Nepal, they don’t eat a lot of beef so the first time she had it, she didn’t really like it. But now she loves it. I remember I made her a steak with hollandaise sauce once, when we were still in Hawaii, and it was like an eye-opener for her.  

Did Jade influence your cooking?  

Absolutely. One of the items on Taste’s menu is a Nepalese curry. She used to cook that when she had friends over, back at the university. It was mind-blowingly good and it opened up the world of Indian food for me, because, coming from Sweden, I’d never had really good Indian food before.

Taste Bar & Grill Phuket Martin Ostlind Jade Lama Phuket Market

Is there something you’ve learned from her, not necessary in the kitchen?

Making a good curry, to get the depth of flavours, how to sauté the spices and how it all has to stew together. And life wise – all the time. We have a lot of discussions about worldly things, so it’s a constant learning process.

Is there anything you’d like to change in the restaurant that you know she wouldn’t agree to?

Well, our visions are not completely alighted and there is some friction. She’s more aesthetical, taking care of the looks, while I’m focused on function, so there are clashes. But she has a carte blanche when it comes to the interior design. We can have a discussion about it, we can even fight about it, but eventually it’s her decision. And the same goes for me in the kitchen, the menu etc. That’s my area.

What’s the best meal you shared?

Wow, wow…I’m so terrified now because she probably answered that right away. Wait… we had an amazing meal in a sushi place in Hawaii! It was unbelievable. At a cool place called Sasabune. It was a Sushi-Nazi experience, where they tell you to turn off your phones, warn you that it’s expensive and don’t even have a menu – they expect you to trust them. I love a restaurant that has the balls to do that. And then the food kept coming and it was just sensational.

Do you remember the first time you shared a meal with Jade?  

I remember going to a restaurant with her in the very beginning, when we were just dating. And I ordered for her, and she was almost shocked. She was sitting with the menu and I just went: “You should have this, this and this”. She must have thought I was some kind of a control freak.

But one thing I can tell you about her, is that even until this day, she has the ability to kick out the Achilles heel of a restaurant.  She will order the worst thing on the menu, even if it’s a good restaurant, one that I know, she will find something wrong with it. Which is why she sometimes ends up saying “You order, just order for me”.

Taste Bar & Grill Phuket Martin Ostlind Jade Lama Food Fight

What would you cook for her for a special occasion?

I would go all out on breakfast, because it is her favourite meal and it’s something we almost never eat together.  

Three Michelin stars on your own or bread and butter together?

Of course bread and butter together. There’s no point to those amazing culinary experiences if you have no one to share them with.

Taste Bar & Grill is located in Cherngtalay, across the street from Tesco Lotus. The second branch of Taste opened recently on Kamala Beach Road. To learn more visit tastebargrill.com

Maciek Klimowicz
Maciek Klimowicz

Maciek Klimowicz is the former Editor in Chief at Real Life Phuket. Food, wine, culture and travel are some of the things he enjoys and writes about. Contact Maciek on klimowicz.maciej@gmail.com

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