The buzz: Far from your average new sushi restaurant, Ginza Sushi Ichi is affiliated with the Michelin-starred Tokyo restaurant of the same name. Its presence in Bangkok is thanks to a group of Thai partners who wanted to bring uncompromisingly authentic omakase-style sushi to Bangkok, and so formed a collaboration with this devoutly traditional institution.
The décor: Smartly dressed bilingual waitresses guide you to the twin 11-seat dining rooms centered around sushi preparation areas. Small yet inviting, the interior goes heavy on hinoki wood for a calming environment.
The food: Ginza Sushi Ichi is not the first restaurant in Bangkok to claim it flies its fish straight from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market, but it is the first to say that, no matter what day you dine, the fish will have been at the market less than 24 hours before service. In fact, the restaurant won’t even open the day after a Japanese public holiday because the market will have been closed. The omakase service style means the chefs decide what you eat, all of whom are trained by Masakazu Ishibashi, the acclaimed head chef of the Michelin-star mother branch. Lunch starts at B1,300, while dinner is from B4,000. The chefs’ selection alters according to the quality of the day’s catch, with the intention of delivering the same standard all year round. One specialty includes the live Hokkaido taraba crab (starting B4,500 per crab), which is boiled, cleaned and then portioned according to the number of diners in the party.
The drinks: Asahi (B190) is the only beer on offer, alongside a solid list of sake (starting B390) and some old/new world wines (B230 per glass).
The crowd: Wealthy fans of sushi and Japanese businessmen.