Wagyu Olympics-winning beef, anyone?
Following the success of Honmono Sushi, Iron Chef Boontham Pakpo and his team brought this new venture to Bangkok. Hida Grill offers different cuts of two-time Wagyu Olympics-winning Hida beef for you to grill to your own liking. Fans of Honmono can still order tuna sushi and sashimi freshly flown in from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market, as is de rigueur. For gourmands on a budget, there are also very reasonable set options.
After the runaway mall success of Honmono, its owner, the Iron Chef mainstay Boontham Pakpot, followed it up with what claims to be the first restaurant in Bangkok to serve Hida, a prized brand of beef from Japan’s Gifu Prefecture.
The two-story modern Japanese-inspired loft is set up like a typical yakiniku (self-service grill) restaurant, with charcoal stoves at the center of every table. The casual interior features lots of wood, including a thatched roof over the downstairs sushi bar.
Boontham says his star attraction rivals the marbled goodness of Kobe and Matsusaka—and so do the price tags: B1,500/100g for tenderloin, B1,250 for striploin and B900 for ribeye. We were impressed by the beautiful presentation of the Hida tenderloin, but a little disappointed with the super-thin slices which more befit a shabu restaurant. However, we can’t argue with the melt-in-the-mouth texture of this A5-grade beef, which goes down a treat with the sweet and flavorful yakiniku sauce (they even have Thai jaew, too).
Steak lovers on a budget can pick from more wallet-friendly options like Kamui beef from Hokkaido (B800/150g) and Australian tenderloin (B550/100g). The menu also branches out beyond the grill to all sorts of Japanese favorites, including cheap set menus (starting at B150) and the chef’s specialty sushi. The anago sushi (sea eel, B160) comes coated in a bland, sticky sauce, but the aji tataki (Japanese horse mackerel salad, B200), with its tangy ponzu sauce, and the mixed sashimi on rice (B800) both burst with freshness. We especially like that the latter include chutoro (medium fatty tuna). Some of the side dishes also incorporate the namesake beef, such as the amazingly well-balanced and aromatic Hida foie gras roll (B550).
More than a yakiniku restaurant, Hida Grill succeeds as a broader Japanese eatery that spotlights tasty Hida beef and quality mid-range sushi. Despite the slightly high prices, it’s no surprise that the place is packed out night after night.
This review took place in November 2015 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.