Freshness plays a pivotal role in the making of great sushi. We've listed down the best Japanese restaurants in the city. Now, we zero in on some of Bangkok’s best rolled-rice restaurants, most of which fly in their sea bounty from the best sources around the world at least twice a week.
The best sushi restaurants in Bangkok
One of the two Michelin-affiliated sushi restaurants in Thailand, Ginza Sushi Ichi offers a dining experience that comes with a hefty price tag. Under the tutelage of much-revered head chef Masakazu Ishibashi, the sushi chefs at this outpost have paid their dues at the one-Michelin-star mother branch in Tokyo. Paying up to B10,000 for an omakase (sushi chef’s table) meal may seem ridiculous at first, but take these into consideration: they fly in freshly caught ingredients on a daily basis and are on a chummy basis with chef Ishibashi, who comes to Bangkok once every quarter. If you think about it, you are paying for a Michelin-starred meal without having to fly all the way to Tokyo.
Cutting his teeth in his late teens at some of the best sushi restaurants in Tokyo, Masato Shimizu became the youngest chef in New York City to earn a Michelin star back when he was head chef at raw fish temple, Jewel Bako. After relocating to Bangkok with his half-Thai, half-Japanese wife last year, Chef Masato opened his eponymous ten-seater, which serves up to only 20 guests in two seating periods. A 20-course omakase dinner empties the pockets at B4000 (a lot cheaper than Ginza Sushi Ichi), but you may need to reserve a few months ahead due to the long waiting list. This makes Sushi Masato the hottest omakase restaurant in Bangkok.
Located at the heart of Metropolitan Bangkok, Fillets features a contemporary Edo era-inspired interiors that makes you feel at home. Randy Nopprapa (the chef and business partner), a protege of the world-renown Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, spent over a decade heading some of the best sushi restaurants in Washington DC. Opt for the Omakase Course (starting B4,500), where Chef Randy uses various techniques and flavour combinations to create a wholesome chef’s table dining experience. Not too keen on raw fish? Fillets offers a great selection of local dry-aged beef along with well-composed signature dishes.
Frederic Mayer’s first Japanese-themed restaurant, Kom-Ba-Wa’s interiors is a balance of romance, playfulness, and a lot of class. The menu includes traditional Edo-mae style sushi and mouth-watering signatures such as “black cod miso gyoza” and 60-day aged Tajima wagyu steak. Goro Takatsu (executive chef) started off his career in the subtle art of traditional Kaiseki, he then takes his expertise to Spain and the Americas, where he expands his culinary repertoire working in many high-end restaurants. If you seek for a uniquely stimulating Japanese dining experience, Kom-Ba-Wa certainly hits the spot.
Taking its cue from the sushi bars in New York, Zuru features clean contemporary decor befitting wholesome family meals. The menu, likewise, features flavorful combinations such as hamachi unikura (yellow tail and sea urchin roe) and tenmi uni sushi (specially selected lean tuna meat and sea urchin roe). The result: small explosive bites that will leave you wanting for more. For a hearty sashimi experience, order the Platinum Chirashi or, if you’re a fan of Japanese eel, the Unagi Hijiki Mushi.
Owned and operated by Boontham Parkpho and Banthoon Chuphla, two of the most venerable figures in Thailand’s sushi scene, Honmono features hearty bites and portions of meticulously crafted nigiris and sashimis. Branching out to six different locations, ranging from premier shopping complexes to chic community malls, Honmono makes itself easily accessible. Besides the raw stuff, the menu also features scrumptious signature maki rolls such as “Matsuzaka Foie Gras Roll” (B900) and Be sure to check out its Facebook updates for menu specials and budget-friendly promotions.
Sushi Mori (translates directly as “sushi wood”) seems like a calm culinary oasis amidst the ever-busy Sathorn-Narathiwas intersection. The menu features plates of oversized sushi such as the Engawa Twist, a scrumptious set featuring torch-grilled engawa (the skirt of a flatfish), sea urchin roe, and diced otoro (premium fatty tuna). There is also an array of traditional Edo-mae sushi, fusion rolls and donburi (rice bowls with toppings. Make sure to leave some space for the Snaffles Cheesecake, a flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth treat from Hokkaido.
Dimly lit to attain the most romantic ambience possible, In The Mood for Love is inspired by the Wong Kar Wai movie of the same name. The menu consists of fusion rolls such as the C4 Signature Roll, an east-meets-west treat that combines unagi (eel) and mozzarella. Those craving a more fulfilling sushi experience can head over to the bar and ask for the special omakase set, which features the fresh imports of the day.
Situated close to the heart of the ever-chick Thonglor, Kaze Fresh features a clean Japanese-meets-Scandinavian vibe, courtesy of the warm wood tones, marble walls and high ceiling. The menu features traditional Edo-Mae sushi, signature rolls that marries bold textures and flavours, sumptuous donburis and well-executed staples such as the crisp tempura moriawase or the flavourful saikyo miso salmon. Be sure to check out its Facebook updates for menu specials and budget-friendly promotions.
Speaking of the local’s most beloved sushi restaurants, Isao would be one worthy mention. An alumni of Chicago’s ever popular Green Tea sushi bar, chef Pu (chef/partner) puts bold twists on traditional maki rolls and sashimi. This result in flavourful signatures such as “sushi sandwich”, which features thin alternating layers of sushi rice, salmon, tuna, and nori, topped with lots of crispy tempura crumbles to add texture, finished with Isao’s signature sauce to add an umami punch to your palate. Fully-packed on a daily basis, you it is wise to reserve a spot, or you would have to stand in line for about 15-30 minutes.