Bangkok loves sushi
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In Bangkok, a city filled with Japanese expats and close enough to the fish markets of Tokyo to make importing fresh tuna an absurd possibility, sushi restaurants abound. But choosing which sushi restaurant to frequent should never be done haphazardly; you must take as much care in selecting your sushi restaurant as a sushi chef when filleting halibut or rolling maki. Many of the city's best sushi haunts are located on (and around) Sukhumvit.
A sushi bar with an American twist, Isao is a cosy nook, a delicious respite from the overpasses and heat outside. Favourites include memorable rolls like the Crunchy, a deep-fried salmon maki, and signature appetisers like the Volcano, a baked scallop in a spicy sauce. Many of Isao’s dishes are a bit more unusual, but there are also all the classic-sushi-favourites done well. In the evening maki at Isao usually run from 200 to 400 baht, but from 11:00-14:30 full meals of a main set, an appetizer, miso soup and fruit plate go for 160 to 250 baht.
In the Mood for Love
For honeymooners in Bangkok, In the Mood for Love is a sushi bar along Thong Lor with a little kitsch and a lot of funk. An ode to the 2000 Hong Kong film ‘In the Mood for Love’, the name feels more appropriate once you step inside — a cave-like structure with corner nook seating and bird cages for lamp shades awaits. The sushi is creative and full of whimsy, with unexpected ingredients like strawberries atop eel in their signature Sweet 16 (400 baht), though often the chef’s bold direction swells over any delicacy in flavour. The cocktails share a similar fate as the rolls—unique, unexpected and entirely unfamiliar to the tastebuds. Chic does not come cheap in Bangkok, but In the Mood for Love is an experience beyond sushi consumption.
Honmono might be your biggest Bangkok sushi splurge; you pay for the airfare of the fresh fish between your chopsticks, shipped in from Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market. Honmono is a popular haunt for hi-so Thais and Japanese business men with buckets of expendable income. With restaurants in Central Chit Lom, Central Bang Na, Parklane Ekamai, and their original, inside a converted house in trendy Thong Lor, Honmono has made a name for itself for authentic food and knowledgeable service. Try the juicy and tender engawa, or the dancing eel roll, made with avocado that melts in your mouth. Their most impressive feat is the sashimi platter, at a whopping 1,500 baht. Pay with either cash or a Citibank card and you’ll get a 25% discount.
5 Sukhumvit Soi 31
T: (02) 258 0645
Open Mon-Fri, 11:00-14:30 and 17:30-22:00, Sat-Sun, 11:00-23:00. BTS: Phrom Phong and from there walk to Sukhumvit soi 31.
In the Mood for Love Sushi Bar & Bistro
9/9 Sukhumvit Soi 36
T: (02) 661 5076
Open: Tues-Sunday 17:00-00:30; Sat-Sun 11:00-14:00
BTS: Thong Lor
Honmono (main location)
19 Thong Lor Soi 23
T: (02) 185 1447
Open: Mon-Fri 17:00-24:00, Sat-Sun 11:30-14:00
BTS: Thong Lor or Phrom Pong