The Gallery Sushi Bar
The buzz: As the name suggests, The Gallery Sushi Bar rolls together two things: sushi and a gallery (of travel photographs). The owners promise high-quality fish and all the benefits that more than ten years’ working in a Japanese kitchen in the US brings.
The décor: Unlike other Japanese restaurants, the owners are trying to distance themselves from the whole bamboo and beige wood vibe. The gallery side of things sees photographs hanging on the wall above dark-toned furnishings. The glass dining room, overlooking the traffic chaos of Chidlom at rush hour, lets in plenty of light.
The food: While others solely import their fish from Tsukiji, here, they source it from all over; for example, salmon and saba come from Norway and the bluefin tuna from Japan. Classic sushi ranges from maguro (yellowfin tuna, B60), uni (sea urchin, B360) and o-toro (fatty part of tuna belly, B350). Platters start from B390, but you can also splash out on the popular sushi platter (B850) that comes with tuna, salmon, hamachi (yellowtail), suzuki (Japanese sea bass) and ebi (shrimp). Rolls are also something the owners strongly recommend as their fusion maki takes cues from their experience working in a sushi bar in Chicago and includes the likes of Salmon Solomon (rolls with smoked salmon and lemon slice, avocado and cream cheese, B400) and So Damn Hot (rolls with hamachi, cilantro, garlic oil and chili hot sauce, B350). More surprisingly, the place also welcomes vegetarians with a brief menu of vegetable maki like asparagus tempura with mayonnaise (B150) and the tofu veggie salad (B210). Dessert is also quintessentially Japanese with homemade ice cream in flavors like wasabi and yakult (B70 for a scoop).
The drinks: Green tea is B40. Beers are Heineken and Asahi (B79) while draught Heineken comes in cheap at B249 for one liter. Hot sake starts from B199 (200 ml), cold from B299 (300 ml) and soju at B329.
The crowds: Surprisingly, the crowds are a far cry from all the execs working nearby, but that might change now that they’re working on offering a set lunch. For now, most customers are expats living in the area and some families on weekends. Pieng-or Mongkolkumnuankhet
As the name suggests, The Gallery Sushi Bar rolls two things into one: sushi and a gallery (of travel photographs). Unlike many other Japanese restaurants, the owners do try to distance themselves from the whole bamboo and beige wood vibe. Photographs hang on the wall above dark-toned furnishings, while the large glass façade, overlooking the traffic chaos of Chidlom at rush hour, lets in plenty of light. (If you go there for dinner, watching others stuck in traffic while you’re enjoying your meal is strangely pleasurable.) The food alone is not particularly memorable, though. Despite the owners’ promise of high-quality fish, their sushi isn’t as electrifying as that found at other high-end sushi venues. The sushi platter (B850) is a middle-of-the-road combination of tuna, salmon, hamachi (yellowtail), suzuki (Japanese sea bass) and shrimp, rescued only by their well-blended shoyu sauce. Other dishes are more worth your while, especially their various fancy maki sets. The Salmon Solomon (B400) carries a refreshing, oceanic taste with slices of lemon atop each piece. The citrusy notes go great with the spicy mayonnaise. Another mayo maki, Gallery Scallopy (B430), suffers from an overpowering mayonnaise and chili sauce, which all but smothers the taste of the fresh scallop meat. Our biggest disappointment, however, would be the tako dip (fried octopus with mayo lemon sauce, B170), which is served in a bland, overly-breaded style instead of, as the menu suggests, deep-fried. The tasty lemon mayo sauce isn’t enough to save it, either, but thankfully all that greasiness can be washed down with the flavorful Hotate mushroom and white fish soup (B250). The aroma of the fresh mushroom and the saltiness of the fish are enough to remind us why, although it isn’t one of the best sushi venues in town, there’s still plenty to like about The Gallery Sushi Bar. Factor in the nice service and a great atmosphere and the hit-and-miss menu is somewhat forgivable.
|The Gallery Sushi Bar, 2/F, 19th Bld., 19 Chit Lom Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
|BB - BBB
|Mon-Fri 11am-1:30pm, 4:30-9:30pm; Sat-Sun 11am-9:30pm
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