Busu, which describes itself as “Ginza Sushi” on its menu, came highly recommended to us by a Japanese reader: “This guy is a legend. He ran a place for 40 years in California. This is real sushi!” And it is true that walking up to this sushi bar, and being served by a charismatic middle-aged Japanese man, is as close to feeling in Japan as we can think of, given that most other Japanese restaurants here have Thai staff with only a couple of years’ experience.
Instead of getting exactly what some picture menu is showing, one orders the B999 (net) 10-piece sushi set, and gets whatever the master feels is fresh that day, which could include less obvious picks like chewy herring eggs. There’s no dipping your sushi in soy sauce here, either. The fish is already doused in sauce, sometimes it’s even lightly blow-torched or topped with a dollop of wasabi or a tiny slice of onion. You just pick it up and pop it into your mouth. It tastes great, too, but if you’re used to the steak-like cuts at popular joints like Honmono, you may find these offerings a bit thin. And the rice, although it tastes superb, tends to fall apart more easily, too.
In terms of freshness and flavor, Busu, while definitely solid, doesn’t particularly stand out from the crowd. Maybe if the place were busier (an elderly Japanese man and his young Thai lady friend were our only co-diners on our last Friday night visit), the selection would improve, too—and the atmosphere. Despite the formidable host, the place feels pretty empty and under-decorated, especially given the jam-packed taverns that occupy the rest of Nihonmachi. Here too, you can get some serious (if solitary) drinking done thanks to the range of sake and sochu (B1,690 for sochu imo no hajime, B180 a glass), cheap pints of Asahi (B70) and multitude of drinking snacks (fried tuna, B250, raw octopus with wasabi, B100).
Busu is good value for money, and the master chef is a real presence behind the bar. With most sushi places offering near identical produce, it’s nice to feel a bit of craft in your food—too bad the décor and produce aren’t nearly as impressive.
|Address:||Busu, Room 114, Nihomachi, Sukhumvit Soi 26, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||BB - BBB|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 5-11pm; Sat-Sun 4:30-11pm|
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