This month, we celebrate 130th anniversary of Japan-Thailand diplomatic relations with our favorite Japanese restaurants, bars, fashion stores as well as new Japanese places opening soon in Bangkok.
Said to be one of the best tsukemen (dipping ramen) parlors in Tokyo (confirmed by our friends at Time Out Tokyo), Menya Itto has opened its first Thailand outpost at Erawan Bangkok, taking over the space that once was Lee Café (we’re going to miss their kaprao mor din). In Tokyo, you may need to queue up for more than an hour to savor steaming bowls of ramen served alongside an aromatic, mouth-watering broth. But you probably won’t need to queue that long in Bangkok.
One of the two Michelin-affiliated sushi restaurants in Thailand, Ginza Sushi Ichi offers an authentic Omakase dining experience. 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. You may have to pay up to B10,000 but 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.
Isetan food zone
If you’re longing for the vibe similar to Japanese department stores, head to Isetan at CentralWorld where its fifth floor has recently been refurbished to replicate food zones unique to Tokyoite shopping complexes. Expect Japanese-style bites like taiyaki, strawberry daifuku and gummy mochi treats. There is also a food court 88 Shokudo Nippon where you can fill up your stomach with Japanese comfort food.
Authentic Fukuoka soba is now in Bangkok. Respected soba chef Mizuho Nagao shut down his Soba Sei Restaurant in Fukuoka, Japan to relocate at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Hotel on Soi Sukhumvit 22. The open-plan dining room features posh, contemporary decor and an open kitchen. Chef Nagao’s menu includes buckwheat soba made of high-quality buckwheat from Hokkaido.
Spirits importer and distributor Bacchus has made it easier for Sukhumvit tipplers to access their Japanese-imported bottles with the launch of a stylish watering hole. Tucked in Sukhumvit 39 Salon du Japonisant is an achingly cool drinking room that will please Japanophiles. The walls are decked with colorful sake labels, setting a playful vibe for a comfy room that blasts slick-as-hell hip hop tunes. Your journey into Japanese spirits begins with the exploration of a wide range of whiskey, sake, umechu and shochu.
You come here for the city’s largest collection of umeshu, a Japanese plum liqueur that was traditionally homemade. “Highlights include Hi Zou Umeshu (B150/shot, B280/glass with ice, B1,900/bottle), a limited-edition variant from the Komasa No liquor brand, and Daishichi Kimoto (B240/shot, B450/glass with ice, B3,400/bottle), which is brewed from premium sake. Umeshu, apparently, is not a seasonal drink and can be enjoyed the whole-year long (plus, it’s more affordable than sake).
Jaspal Man’s collection for fall/winter is crafted around the concept of "Japonism Meets Cubism," and features “Japanese-influenced Western arts presented in the form of architecture, fashion and design.” Expect detail-heavy shirts, oversized jackets, volumized pants, kimono-like overcoats, Japanese-inspired prints and polka dots set in a color scheme that sticks to black, blue and bold red.
A tragic Japanese folk tale involving a doomed romance and the fragrant wisteria flower is the core inspiration for designer Chavanon Kaisiri’s fall 2017 collection for Poem. A dreamy, Japanese-inspired palette, floral motifs and delicate details are infused into Poem’s signature architectural silhouettes, creating gorgeous pieces you’d love to wear on a special occasion or to a garden wedding.
Inspired by the passion in delicate tailor-made suit, fashion and industrial designer Takeo Kikuchi creates his brand under the concept of "Tokyo Urban Style." He was the first designer who paired suit with sneakers creating "Casual Gentlemen" trend and his special line "City Setter" focuses on suitable fabric for city living which can be worn in office, business trip as well as after-work party.
Men in Trend, 2nd Floor, Siam Paragon
There is none visitor to Japan who hasn’t come across Matsumoto Kiyoshi — the popular drugstore found almost at every corner in the island country’s major cities. The beloved convenient store has now arrived in Bangkok with 12 outlets sprouting across town in department stores like Central Plaza Ladprao and Mercury Ville. Shop for imported makeup items, toiletries, and supplements as the employees “Irasshaimase” as you walk in.
Everyone's favorite discount shop from Japan, Don Quijote or Donki, is set to opening its first Bangkok outpost very soon in Ekkamai. The chain store is well known for selling everything necessary (and unnecessary) to your life, from clothes and beauty products to snacks and gadgets, at real cheap price tags.
Hotel Nikko Bangkok
Following the success of The Okura Bangkok, Thailand's very first Japanese hotel chain, Hotel Nikko is set to open its first property in Bangkok in 2018. The hotel will be located in Thonglor, not far from BTS Thonglor station, and features 301 guest rooms, a Japanese restaurant, an all-day dining restaurant, an exclusive lounge, fitness center, a rooftop bar and a swimming pool.