The biggest izakaya in Asoke pulls in the crowds with a charming courtyard shrouded in faux cherry blossom petals. The yakitori might not be in the same, charcoal-smoked big leagues as a place like Gen (see below), but then neither are the prices. Pull up your seat alongside the after-work Japanese expat crowd, and don’t forget to order in the high balls.
155/1 Sukhumvit Soi 21, 02-661-6202. Open daily 5pm-12am; Mon-Fri 11.30am-2pm. BTS Asoke.
Other branch: Sukhumvit Soi 33, 02-058-0248
This brainchild of Kenichi Nagata, the man behind Sukhumvit Soi 26’s Jidori Cuisine Ken
, stands out as the only Japanese-style house in Ekkamai’s Acmen complex. Gen goes well beyond its grilled chicken-specializing sister to serve up a wider variety of meat grilled on binchotan charcoal. While the freerange chicken still stands as one of the stars (try the slightly-roasted breast with yuzu kosho paste), Nagata also does some fine Japanese wagyu.
Acmen Complex, 267/31 Sukhumvit Soi 63 (Ekkamai), 02-048-0008. Open Mon-Sat 5:30pm-midnight; Sun 5-10pm
It’s owned by Ootaya and doesn’t look like much. But this Japanese eatery is actually a boon for connoisseurs seeking out soba noodles from imported Hokkaido flour, tofu made fresh daily, and free-range chicken. The latter is the house specialty, to be had cooked over the coal grill in the middle of the restaurant, perfectly seasoned and lightly glazed. Note that you’ll need to book a day in advance to snag a seat.
47/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23, 02-640-8283. MRT Sukhumvit. Open daily 11:30am-2:30pm; Mon-Sat 5-11pm; Sun 5-10pm
Japanophile foodies mention Jidori with eyes rolled to the ceiling and tongue lolling thanks to its awesome, charcoal-grilled chicken skewers—crisp exterior, very little charring, and a moist, perfectly cooked interior. But before you even start to eat, take in the atmosphere. The space has all the authenticity and log cabin charm of a genuine Tokyo tavern—although the service is so polished and the food’s presentation so delicate, calling this place a tavern feels a bit rude.
10/12 Sukhumvit Soi 26, 02-661-3457. BTS Phrom Phong. Open Mon-Sat 5pm-midnight; Sun 5-10pm
Hidden behind two low-key entrances, the Tokyo-hailing yakitori restaurant sits adjacent to Ekkamai’s newest sake bar, Orihara Shoten. Take a seat at the sizable counter and see the chefs grilling all parts of a chicken, from neck, heart and liver to breast, wing, achilles tendon and tail. There are also other meat and vegetable skewers as well as salad, soup and rice bowls on offer. A long list of sake curated from the next door sake bar is available too.
Park Lane, 18 Sukhumvit Soi 63 (Ekkamai), 02-382-0141. BTS Ekkamai. Open Mon-Sat 6-11pm
Exclusively for Citi credit cardmembers:
Get a complimentary assorted Japanese style pickles valued THB 150 when spending via Citi credit cards (limit 1 dish /card /table /sales slip) Today – 31 Mar 18
Best Eats 2017 is available as a free booklet inserted in BK Magazine issue number 704 (Aug 25) available at over 400 venues Bangkok-wide and a downloadable PDF version here.