The latest crop of Japanese restaurants to open in town.
The buzz: Situated in the Thonglor neighborhood this stylish restaurant is perfect if you’re in the mood for a classic sushi bar menu and vibe. Despite the lack of fusion food, Kaze isn’t boring, thanks to décor that’s fit for a Thonglorite.
The décor: A mix of marble and wood, a painting of Koi carp, warm lights and two floors to choose from: the sushi bar where the chef shows off his skills and the dining room upstairs.
The food: The highlights are the light battered tempura moriawase (prawns and vegetable, B360), or opt for the set of nine bites comprising fish like otoro, anago, engawa and uni (B3,200). The restaurant uses beef sourced from Kagishima (B450), said to be tastier than the more commonly found wagyu. If you’re still hungry, indulge in some rice topped with foie gras (B550).
The drinks: A standard selection of sake starts from B130 with the recommendations including Ozeki Karatanba (B4,000 for 1.8 liter).
The crowd: A mix of trendy Thais and Japanese expats.
318 Sukhumvit 55 (between Thonglor Soi 10 and 12), 02-392-3544. Open daily noon-2pm, 5-10:30pm
The buzz: Sen-ryo imports everything from Japan; from its chef to the crockery, and of course nearly every ingredient used to create the traditional dishes on its menu. The attention to detail extends to the water they use to clean the fish and cook their rice, which is cleaned through reverse osmosis. The first Sen-ryo outside of Japan was in Hong Kong and it’s a pretty big deal out there, with customers lining up for lunch.
The décor: Simple, elegant sofa seating along the conveyor belt and the requisite light-colored wooden furnishings. Private rooms are also available.
The food: Mainly classic sushi dishes. Plates placed on the conveyor belt have a chip attached to them to ensure freshness by getting automatically removed from the belt after a certain amount of time. Recommended dishes include the fresh kama toro sushi (tuna cheeks, B350), salmon roe sushi (B280), wagyu beef (B480) and incredibly creamy sea urchin (B780).
The drinks: Sake starts at B240/glass and beers include Asahi Draft (B75), Singha (B125) and Heineken (B90).
The crowd: Mainly Japanese expats from the area.
RG01, Nihonmura Mall, 85 Thonglor Soi 13, 02-712-9688. Open daily 11:30am-2pm and 6-10pm
The buzz: Set on the corner of Thonglor Soi 10, Kaguya serves a mix of contemporary Japanese and French cuisine under the same management team as its next door neighbor, Wine Republic. The hip young crowds should dig the DJ, lengthy cocktail list and one of the most stylish decors on the strip.
The décor: A layered series of screens, from bamboo strips to rods tied into narrow scaffolding, filter warm light through their golden, natural colors. Choose from bar seating under the glowing yellow cloud of light, outdoor sofas, or the vividly colored dining room’s orange and sea green chairs.
The food: Start off with an aromatic, velvety vanilla soup with seared scallop (B200) followed by red mullet with black olive and lemon (B320) and 56-hour sous-vide wagyu tongue with soy sauce, rosemary and thyme (B420). Aside from the sashimi and sushi bar, Kaguya serves main dishes like grilled king crab’s leg with sautéed mushroom and caramelized leek puree (B1,300) or lamb rack marinated in herbal miso, rosemary foam, kimchi mashed potato and mint ponzu (B1,000).
The drinks: This place takes its drinks very seriously. Cocktails include Gentleman’s Truth (Tanquery gin, Violet, herbal liqueur, citrus, oregano, B320) and the bartender’s own creation’s, such as Panna (Gold Label, Fireball cinnamon whiskey, honey, pineapple juice, B280). Beers include Hoegaarden (B160), Norrebro (B280), Mikkeller (B280) among others. They also have an impressive list of Japanese spirits categorized by taste such as woody, mellow, fruity, peaty and floral from B220-900.
The crowd: Groups of hip and well-heeled Thonglorites.
The Third Place, 137 Thonglor Soi 10, 02-714-9974. Open Mon-Fri 5:30pm-1am and Sat-Sun 11am-2pm, 5:30pm-1am
The buzz: From California to Bangkok, the chain restaurant Sushi Planet has landed in Bangkok, where it serves up its signature fusion rolls from the original venues with tweaks designed to better suit the Thai palate.
The décor: Casual and simple with TV screens tuned to football emphasizing the laid-back atmosphere.
The food: Contemporary rolls which use lots of spicy mayo, jalapeno and avocado. The recommendations include Oh My God (rolls with spicy shrimp salad, shrimp tempura, salmon and avocado on top, B395) and Big Boss (rolls with shrimp tempura, crab salad and cucumber inside with seared tuna and fried red onion with spicy karashi sauce, B375). You can also sample some light appetizers such as the Japanese ceviche (B355) or drop by on the lunchtime for lunch sets ranging from B195-B290.
The drinks: Asahi draft beer is B99. The Ozeki hot sake is B249 and Berry Mix Sparkling Jelly sake is B250. A selection of wine starts from B120 by glass.
The crowd: The majority of the customers are Western expats and families from the ‘hood.
Athenee Residence, Soi Ruamrudee, BTS Ploen Chit, 02-168-5214. Open daily 11am-10pm
The buzz: Located in the community mall Rainhill, Kokoro promises a traditional cooking style led by Japanese Chef Mi Chan whose experience spans over four decades.
The décor: Warm and sophisticated, with views over Sukhumvit, the restaurant is divided between a sushi and cocktail bar at the front, and private rooms decorated with traditional paintings out back.
The food: Besides classic dishes like otoro sushi (B690), uni sushi (B469) and buri kama shioyaki (grilled salted yellowtail cheek, B1,090), the place also recommends their deep broth shabu (B690) for a smooth addition to your meal. You could also opt for the sashimi set (B1,490). And don’t leave without trying the delicious coffee jelly (B100).
The drink: Sake ranges from B320 to B1,800. Beers covers everything from Singha (B80) and Heineken (B90) to Federbrau light (B140).
The crowd: Thai families and groups of friends seeking convenience and tradition rolled into one sushi joint.
3/F, Rain Hill, Sukhumvit Soi 47, 02-261-7539-40. BTS Phrom Phong/Thong Lo. Open daily 11:30am-10pm