The budding izakaya empire takes a left turn with its Surawong branch.
The buzz: Following the success of its two other, long-standing branches—Sukhumvit Sois 39 and 47—the Tokyo-hailed izakaya brings its famous oyako don and a handful of house specials to Silom.
The vibe: Taking over a three-story shophouse on Surawong Road, Ise Surawongse does not conform to the kitschy-looking izakaya that we’re familiar with. The clean look of the navy blue-tiled and wood-paneled facade leads into a welcoming, less-is-more atmosphere inside. Downstairs, raw concrete walls and a wooden counter set against the glass-walled charcoal grill station set the tone. Meanwhile, the upstairs mezzanine is decked out with black tiles and Japanese calligraphy, complementing muted-colored dining tables.
The food: Eighty percent of the menu is the same that all three branches share, but the other 20 percent is a special menu specially created by engineer-turned-chef Yong Yoshimura, the chef of this branch. Expect a line-up of chicken skewers (from B30)—they’re grilling everything, from gizzards to breast cartilage, except the cluck. If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of items on the menu, you can nibble on mouth-watering shio kyabetsu (salted cabbage with sesame oil; B78) and uni cream cheese with crunchy toast (B298) while waiting for Ise’s signature oyako don (B230) and Sichuan-style mapo tofu served in a cast iron skillet (B238). To finish off in Japanese style, the service team recommends a bowl of negi ramen (leek ramen; B180) or you can opt for house specials like the panna cotta trio (yuzu, roasted soybean and black sesame seed flavors; B118) and matcha gateau chocolate with red bean (B118).
The drinks: With a great selection of food comes a great selection of beverages—they offer everything from beer, whiskey and wine to sake, shochu and Champagne. We know that a pint of Asahi (B148) would do in this situation, but make sure to try the Fresh Lemon Sour (B128), a mix of Japanese shochu and carbonated lemonade. Looking for something to amp up your meal? Go for Mizubasho Sui Junmai Daiginjo (B498/bottle), a dry sake with peach and pear notes, or just ask Kei, the owner: he’s more than happy to help.
Why we’d come back: R.C.C.—Reasonably priced (and tasty!) food. Cordial service team. Comforting environment. By Supanan Anansuviroj
|Address:||Ise Surawongse, 113 Suriyawongse, Surawong, Bangkok, 10500 Thailand|
|Price Range:||BB - BBB|
|Open since:||September, 2019|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, 5:30-11pm; Sat-Sun noon-2pm, 5:30-10pm|
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