Amid a mix of bamboo, dark stone and the sort of dim lighting where you can't tell night from day, you'll find five baths of different temperatures, all said to offer different health benefits. The supposed highlight features "onsen concentrate" brought over from Japan's renowned Gero hot springs (42 degrees Celsius), while you can also take a tub in the milky-textured silk bath (40 degrees), soda bath (38 degrees) or standup whirlpool bath (36 degrees), before cooling off in the cold bath (a bracing 18 degrees). Aside from a sauna, a steam room, a long list of spa treatments and a peaceful tatami room, there are a few added goodies to differentiate this from the other onsens in town, namely the hot stone bed room and 12-degree-Celsius cool-down zone.
5/F, Grande Centre Point Hotel, 300 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-042-8045-6
With its wall-to-wall sake selection, cozy blond wood decor and decorative barrels, Orihara Shoten looks like something straight out of Japan. This sake-specializing bar is a collaboration between Japanese sake exporters Orihara and local booze distributors BB&B, so you can rest assured this is the good stuff. The 100-plus-bottle selection of both chilled and hot sake starts from as little as B180 per glass. One solid entry point is the Yuki no Bosha Yamahai Junmai (B240/90ml), known for its smoky taste similar to whiskey.
Park Lane, Sukhumvit Soi 63 (Ekkamai), 02-382-0131
Tucked behind Major Sukhumvit cinema, this wooden-floored izakaya is a favorite among Japanese expats looking for a taste of home. The warm lighting and sincere staff create a friendly, authentic vibe. We particularly like the katsuo warayaki, which blends fresh bonito fish with the flavor of hay smoke. The fresh salmon roe-topped ikura kamameshi (old-school Japanese rice made with bonito broth) is wholesome and very tasty.
14/2 Sukhumvit Soi 61, 02-714-1412
This premium Japanese grill doesn’t just specialize in real, Japanese-certified wagyu (so-called "Imperial Wagyu"). It ensures that its choices cuts come from kuroge, female cattle that have never been pregnant and with a marble ranking of A5. The result is some of the most tender, melt-in-your mouth yakiniku anywhere in Bangkok. Order a large plate of the Tokusen short rib at B1,980 for some of the most deliciously fatty meat you’ve ever tasted. Alternatively, drop by on the second Tuesday of every month for a two-and-a-half-hour buffet of nothing but A5 imperial wagyu at B3,999 per person.
323/3, J Avenue, Thonglor Soi 13, Sukhumvit Soi 55, 091-770-7747, Open Mon-Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 11:30am-2pm. BTS Thong Lor.www.sumiteiyakiniku.com/imperial-wagyu-beef/
Cutboy has been selling its super-high-quality handmade Japanese knives to Bangkok’s chef community (the chefs from Gaggan, Nahm, Bo.lan and Quince all get their knives here) and cooks in-the-know for years, but now has a proper showroom on Sukhumvit Soi 38. Whether you like your knife heavy or feather light, wide or narrow blade, you will definitely find something you like. If you really have no idea where to start, owner Akarapong Cheewaphanyaroj will guide you through more than 50 different knives (chef knives start from B3,600) and help you select the right one according to your needs, the nature of your work and how you handle the thing. Of course, you need to know how to care for these things as well, so accessories like leather bags and sharpening stones are all available in the store as well as a maintenance service.
33 Sukhumvit Soi 38, 081-621-9723
Tori Tama in Shirokane, Tokyo, is a neighborhood yakitori (chicken skewers) joint with a difference. Awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2016, the restaurant offers the widest range of chicken parts you’ve ever seen. While most yakitori places stick to breast, thigh, wings, gizzard and liver, Tori Tama serves virtually every part of the chicken including delicacies like misaki (hen’s tail, B120) and “chicken oyster” (the dark meat close to the thigh, B120)—a menu of some 28 parts, not including specials (chicken sashimi, anyone?).
Park Lane, 18 Sukhumvit Soi 63 (Ekkamai), 02-382-0141
In a space that feels more like a children’s play pen than a serious salaryman’s noodle haunt, the kitchen dishes out a choice of four variations of different pork-bone broths: original, miso, Thai spiced and “black” (flavored with mayu garlic oil). A portion of ramen starts at B180 for the original soup, but for that you don’t get many goodies hidden in your noodles. What you want is the “zenburi” bowl, which comes loaded with great big chunks of braised pork, a boiled egg and a dollop of salty, marinated cod roe (B360).
2/F, J Avenue, Thonglor Soi 15, 02-712-9678
This sushi spot hails from a four-generations-old Osakan restaurant of the same name, located in the city's fish market. For this first branch outside the motherland, Endo Sushi offers the same easygoing sushi with a focus on affordable cuts of fresh fish. Pull up a seat at the counter and start ordering, with maguro, engawa, hamachi and squid nigiri all priced at B80/piece. More premium stuff like uni and otoro (fatty tuna) come in at B320/piece. Or opt for a set of five assorted sushi at B450. Sake starts at B380/300ml.
2/F, The Taste Thonglor, Thonglor Soi 11, 02-712-5211
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