Nippon Kai lacks attention to detail, and that shows in both its food and service. Whether you’re looking for fresh cuts, attentive service or pleasant atmosphere, this eatery fails to deliver on all counts. Tucked among many restaurants and take-away counters, this compact Japanese parlor features only a sushi bar and a handful of tables that line the aisles, so there are plenty of people watching opportunities. Though prices are on the high side, compared to its other competitors on the same floor, Nippon Kai is often packed. The menu features tempting pictures of all the traditional favorites from tempura to tonkatsu and teppanyaki. However, Nippon Kai seems to have forgeten to include the phrase “for promotional purposes only” on its menu because almost every dish shows up much smaller than it appears. They’re skimping on quality as well as quantity. Flavor subtleties and freshness, the keys to simple-yet-sophisticated Japanese dining, are missing. The biggest let-down was the sashimi mori-nami, which came with only four crab sticks, two slabs of mushy salmon, and fishy yellow tail that tasted totally bland. The hotate butter suffered from sodium overload, and it seemed like the chef might have added extra salt to hide the inferior taste of cheap scallops. We also can’t recommend the greasy tempura, which was big on flour, but small on shrimp. Nippon Kai’s set menus are better bets, but still you have to take chances. The snow fish teriyaki set came moist and juicy, while the beefsteak set disappointed, as the B-grade meat was tough and dry. You might also want to skip the green tea ice cream with red bean paste, unless you like your dessert super sweet. Despite all the substandard dishes, the worst thing about Nippon Kai isn’t the food, it’s the service. The servers seemed like they were playing hide-and-seek with us, or just wandering absent-mindedly around the restaurant. It took a long time to catch their attention for a refill of their overpriced green tea, not to mention another 20 minutes after asking for the bill. With mediocre food and service, Nippon Kai isn’t worth your splurge. Skip it.
|Address:||Nippon Kai, G/F, Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 9am-9pm|
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