The buzz: Bangkok’s latest high-end shrine of omakase comes from the guy behind Kouen, a sushi chain known for its B599 all-you-can-eat smorgasbord. Sushi Niwa steps things up considerably to offer 16 courses of fish flown in from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market five days a week in a minimalist house off Ruamrudee—an experience open to 12 diners per sitting, at B6,500 each.
The decor: A small pool separates a glasshouse bar from a larger wooden structure, inside of which hides a stark, off-white granite dining room. So far, so Zen. However, before your meal the lights dim to reveal the slender countertop transformed into a digital display of carp swimming around a lotus pond that you can even interactive with.
The food: Kouen’s Thai head chef Somporn "Noi" Chaibuadaeng, formerly of Mugendai, spent three months learning the ropes at the Michelin-starred Watanabe restaurant in Tokyo. Noi and his army of chefs help lighten the mood by joking and introducing the produce to diners as they slice and dice. The meal sticks mostly to the Edo tradition of marinating, searing and smoking fresh fish, served over vinegared rice, with added focus on delicate plating and fancy ingredients like China's N25 caviar. Your 16 courses—perfectly formed nigiri of sweet tiger prawn and grilled saltwater eel, creamy sea urchin wrapped in crispy seaweed—are personally handed to you by the chef at just the right pace. The meal ends with a warming bowl of mentaiko sosui (eight-hour simmered fish-bone porridge topped with pollock roe).
The drinks: No sake here. Instead you’ll find single malt whiskey like Dalmore King Alexander lll at B13,000/bottle or Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years at B5,900/bottle. Whiskey by the glass starts at B490 for Singleton 18 Years, and new world wines are priced at B1,800-16,900.
Why we’d come back: While the price is on the steeper side, Sushi Niwa offers a modern take on omakase that’s engaging, entertaining and, above all, IG-friendly.