Jubei Izakaya

A minimal-looking izakaya in Mahatun Plaza.

Average: 2 (1 vote)

There's a new minimal-looking izakaya in Mahatun Plaza. On top of drinking food like karaage, tempura, bao buns, gyoza and yakitori, Jubei Izakaya also serves tonkotsu (B220), chashu shoyu (B220) and garlic miso (B190) varieties of ramen during the day.

To drink, shochu and sake is the main focus, with cocktails like Jubei Stormy (sake, ginger beer and lime espuma, B220), Shoshlet (shochu, gin, lime juice and syrup, B220) and sake punch (sake, sugar cane syrup and lime juice, B220) on top of Kuro Kirishima imo shochu (B240), Manotsuru Junmai sake (B490/300ml) and another 10 labels.

Check their Facebook for news on happy hours (1-for-1 on cocktails, home-infused shot flights) and their so-called Samurai Nights with live music.

Jubei is kind of like an izakaya lite. There’s no smoky upstairs room. No raucous Japanese expats. No “irasshaimase!” screaming front of house team. What you get instead is a calm, safely modern-industrial space—obligatory concrete floors, unrendered walls and exposed piping all present and correct—where you can get down to some yakitori and highball action only with a more civilized ambience.
But though there’s nothing really wrong with Jubei’s food—the karaage (B150) deliciously-fried nuggets of oily chicken, the gyutan skewers (B120) chewy morsels of well-charred beef tongue—Mahatun Plaza’s expat drinking crowd don’t seem to be buying it. While Thursday nights see standing-room only on the smoking terraces of La Monita and Osito, only a handful of people bother straying here, just a couple of doors down.
Again, nothing to do with the food. The menu charts an appealing course through fried drinking snacks (calamari tempura, B180; Osaka-style omelet, B120; pork chashu, B150), protein-heavy salads (ginger soy-marinated blackened chicken, B150), bao buns (get the charcoal-seared chashu, B140), rice bowls and even ramen before some heavy, fusion-y—and sinfully delicious—desserts like soymilk panna cotta (B150) and cinnamon-spice bao with vanilla ice cream (B160).
The only real cause for complaint with any of it is the ramen. Our Jubei tonkotsu gyokai shoyu (B220) has a milky, one-dimensional broth that fails to deliver that potent tonkotsu umami kick which the springy noodles and chunky slices of tender chashu pork deserve.
Other issues exist with the service. With dishes forgotten and the bottle of sake kept out of reach to pour yourself, not having waiters anywhere in sight makes us wish we were in the overly-attentive, shouty clutches of a regular old salaryman izakaya. 

This review took place in July 2016 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.


Venue Details
Address: Jubei Izakaya, Mahutan Plaza, 888/28-29 Phloen Chit Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-651-5020
Area: Phloen Chit
Cuisine: Japanese
Price Range: BBB
Open since: September, 2015
Opening hours: daily 10am-10pm
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