Located in the busy Sukhumvit Soi 39, you might well have wandered passed Sasaya before, dismissing it as yet another slightly dubious Japanese club. Truth is you’d be missing out on a chance to enjoy some decent, authentic Japanese cooking.
Entering the place, you’ll find a very homey interior that looks to imitate the character of a rural Japanese village thanks to its rough clay and rattan walls, heavy wood pillars and chunky wood furniture. Adding to the feeling of dining in someone’s home, most of the space is actually occupied by the private rooms, though you really need to reserve these in advance.
The menu shows an impressive level of variety, ranging from common dishes like sashimi to rarer finds. There’s also a regularly rotating special menu, though this is only available in Japanese. In general, portion sizes are small, are designed for sharing and are best enjoyed with drinks (they have a pretty wide sake selection).
If you’re in no rush, then we’d definitely recommend ordering the signature, baked grouper (B700). It takes 40 minutes to prepare but it really demonstrates the kitchen’s expertise. The fish is served within a wrapping of salt, which the staff breaks open in front of you with a wood hammer to reveal a perfectly cooked, wonderfully moist piece of fish—it’s a lot of fun and very delicious.
The excitement continues with another popular dish the baked prawn (B140 for two prawns), which is served in a clay jar filled with hot salt. After a ten-minute wait, the prawns are delightfully crisp, fresh, aromatic and, after a squeeze of lemon, very moreish.
Sasaya also does comforting very well through carb-loaded options like the khao tom hed (porridge with mushroom, B163), which we reckon could cure any known ailment. The rice is very tender and chewy while the broth is mild but has a real depth of flavor. The nabe (hot pot, order one day in advance), seems to be equally popular. They even do desserts well with their sweetened tofu (B85) and warabi mocha (B70), both underlining the kitchen’s expert levels of preparation.
With its reasonable prices and eye for detail this adorable restaurant does a great job of offering up unpretentious yet extremely comforting Japanese dishes.
|Address:||Sasaya, Sukhumvit Soi 39, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||BB - BBB|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 4:30-11:30pm; Sun 4:30-9:30pm|
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