A new yakitori destination, steered by Ku De Ta’s former executive chef, opens up in the creative hub of Talat Noi
Izakayas are normally cramped, raucous, smoke-filled taverns where the staff blister your ears with screams of “irasshaimase” to welcome every guest. But that’s not the case with the new Japanese gastropub put up by Chet Adkins, the creative talent behind the mind-blowing grub served at the swanky Ku De Ta (now Ce La Vi), and professional photographer Jason Lang.
Jua takes on a space within a former gambling house in Charoenkrung, hence the gambling-related name which means “turning up a card” in Thai. The building’s exteriors may blend in with the other ramshackle shop houses in the alley, but the inside is a refined oasis, thanks to the efforts of acclaimed Hong Kong-based designer Sean Dix who’s famous for his minimalist-modern designs (e.g., Yardbird in Hong Kong). The first floor is a predominantly white space featuring a gray terrazzo bar and walls that display dramatic images taken from the sake book Lang photographed. Upstairs is a more rustic affair, featuring a wood-heavy dining space and a private room.
Kushiyaki or grilled skewered items star in Jua’s menu. Chef Adkins’ take on casual Japanese bites veer away from the traditional and instead focus on influences spanning global flavors. Tsukune (chicken meatballs), sprinkled with grated Thai-style cured egg yolk, are tender, flavorful and moist (B100), and the banana prawns (B180) are succulent, and inventively brushed with durian butter that’s inspired by tempoyak or “fermented durian” in Malay (the result is a weird flavor-profile that beautifully works). The bacon is another must, smoked with tamarind wood and wrapped around crunchy asparagus (B100). Bigger-portioned selections meant for sharing are also available, such as a delicious grape tomato salad with shiso pesto and wasabi (B220), and mashed purple sweet potato cut through with salty salmon roe (B200).
Drinks-wise, Jua offers an impressive list of sake. Selections include the smooth Masumi Yawaraka Type-1, a well-balanced option with plum accents (B280), and the Kozaemon House Junmai, a sipper with a mild, earthy note (B250). You can also consult the staff for recommendations. If you prefer a cocktail, try the Rising Sun which is reminiscent of a Bloody Mary but with a hint of wasabi (B250).
Soi Charoenkrung 28
|Opening hours:||Open Wed-Sat 18:00-24:00|