Sukhumvit Soi 53 now has an awesome sake specialist.
The buzz: Asian drinking trends are a hot topic in Bangkok right now and it isn’t just limited to local Thai spirits. With a recent wave of Korean bars now followed by this Japanese sake bar in Thonglor, our Asian alcohol scene is diversifying.
The decor: This simple looking bar is tucked away neatly on the residential Sukhumvit Soi 53. Walk through the glass front door to find long wooden tables made for sharing with strangers and socializing. If you’re after a quieter, more intimate vibe, head upstairs where the tatami style seating arrangements will remind you of the Japanese cartoons you watched as a child.
The drinks: Chalked up on a board, there are 16 labels of sake sold by the bottle, ranging from B1,800-4,900, and 10 by the glass from B200-380. Opt for a flight of three glasses (B660) to sample multiple labels, like the aromatic, premium Born Junmai Daiginjo Gold (B300) from Fukui prefecture; the flavorful, unpasteurized Kazano Mori Akitsuho Junmai (B360) from Nara prefecture, whose fruity taste and natural fizziness reminds us of a biodynamic Austrian Riesling wine; and the Shichihonyari Teiseimai Junmai (B260) from Shiga—a very traditional, classic sake with a rich rice taste.
The food: Though dishes come in snack-sized portions, the food menu is relatively big for a sake bar, so don’t be afraid to go here hungry. The filling hotate isobe (grilled scallops with butter soy sauce, B200) makes a great drinking snack with its thick texture, as does the tasty minced tuna with a side of green onion and seaweed (B280), but there’s nothing more comforting after a drinking session than the hot oden (Japanese one-pot dish, B200).
The crowd: Older professionals looking for simple, unpretentious drinks after work.
The music: Upbeat electronic music offers a contrast to the bar’s otherwise sedate vibe.
Why we’d come back: This is a great spot to relax and wind down after a long day. We could even see ourselves coming here with a laptop to finish off our work with a flight of sake.