Hanakaruta is a great bar with a fairly boring kitchen, so we just had to find out if the evening is better begun at its next-door neighbor, Tatami. Headed by Hitoshi Dobashi, and with its fair share of Japanese residents popping in, Tatami is equally genuine. As a sushi and yakitori bar, it’s also a real crowd-pleaser—from katsu cutlets to sushi sets, there isn’t much Tatami doesn’t do. The food is pretty standard, but we do like the décor (the white tones and big windows make it less claustrophobic than your average izakaya) and the prices. You can kick things off with a bunch of skewers to test Hitoshi’s yakitori skills (B430 for 10 or B230 for five pieces). They’re well-seasoned, not overly sweet, but the produce is pretty pedestrian. As a result, we’d rather stick to the offal (the heart and liver are delicious, B50 a piece) than get the aforementioned moriawase. Equally comforting, the signature katsu cutlet (the “tatami,” B250 or B300 as a set) looks the part, with its thick, flakey crust and its accompanying bowl and mortar with sesame. But here too, the pork is just too dry and flavorless, the frying oil in the breading too overwhelming. Sushi sets are perhaps the best way to go. Ranging from B350, all the way to B700, they also come in portions for two (B1,200) or three (B1,800). That’s pretty darn cheap given that you’re in a nice neighborhood (Rocket is just around the corner) with a rather chic clientele. The sushi itself isn’t all that exciting—this is the kind of fish best doused in wasabi or enjoyed in junk-food-y rolls heaped with mayo—but at these prices, you weren’t expecting Aoi. The drinks menu is pretty solid, too—solid enough to seriously delay your next stop at Hanakaruta. Sochu drinks can be had for as little as B100 for a tangy and refreshing grapefruit sour (Singha draft and small Asahi bottles are B100, too). We highly recommend the Honjozo Reiyoshu (B450 for 300ml), though, a light, fragrant sake with a low acidity that goes well with all the food here. Tatami isn’t exactly a destination, but it’s the kind of place that well-heeled locals are clearly happy is in the neighborhood.
Venue Details
Address: Tatami, 28/12 Sathorn Soi 10, Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-635-3532
Cuisine: Japanese
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm; daily 5:30-10:30pm
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