The Japanese restaurant scene in Bangkok is bigger and better than ever. Take a stroll around some pockets of Sukhumvit Road or Silom and you could be fooled into thinking you’ve been teleported to Tokyo, while many of the big name hotels in the capital pride themselves on their signature Japanese fine-diners.
Thailand’s ongoing obsession with everything Japanese certainly hasn’t forgotten about the country’s cuisine, with all the favourites such as sushi, sashimi, ramen, udon, shabu-shabu and tonkatsu eaten all over the capital – second behind Thai food, of course.
Time to get stuck in with seven of the very best Japanese restaurants in Bangkok below.
ZumaStylish fine dining at St. Regis
Located inside the rather swanky St. Regis Hotel on Langsuan (although not technically part of the hotel), Zuma has remained one of the most-talked about and highly-rated Japanese restaurants in Bangkok since its opening. Take a seat at the sushi counter, or if you are a meat lover, try the robata yaki – a specialty of Zuma where a chef skilfully cuts and grills beef, lamb or seafood for the customers seated around the cooking table. With all this attention to detail – as well as an exclusive location – the delicate, often flamboyant servings here do come at a price. It’s firmly in the fine-dining price range let’s just say that. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily Lunch 12:00-15:00, Daily Dinner 18:00 – 23:00
- Location: G/F, 159 Ratchadamri Road
- Tel: 66 2252 4707
Ginza Sushi IchiMichelin-starred sushi
Ginza Sushi-Ichi at Grand Hyatt Erawan has only been open a year but is already standing as one of the best sushi restaurants in Bangkok. An affiliate of the original Michelin Star restaurant of the same name in Ginza, Tokyo, it’s important to book in advance and get your credit card ready for this one. The fish and seafood is flown in every day from this very exclusive Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, with ‘chef sets’ starting from 4,000 baht, including the likes of Aji, some amazingly good Ika (squid) Uni (sea urchin), anago (sea eel) and some incredibly fresh Ikura (Salmon eggs). Arrive for lunch (12:00-14:30) to take advantage of the more affordable lunch sets which start from 1,300 baht. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Tue-Sat: 12-2:30pm, 6-11pm Sun: 12-2:30pm, 6-10pm Closed Monday
- Location: LG/F, Erawan Bangkok 494 Phloenchit Road (opposite Gaysorn mall)
Yamazato (Okura Prestige)Authentic Japanese 24 floors up
Located on the 24nd floor of Bangkok’s most luxurious Japanese-centric hotel, the Okura Prestige, Yamazato always guarantees authenticity and freshness on par with Tokyo. The large venue is divided into various sections depending on the menu; this includes a sushi bar with two chefs slicing fish on demand (it is never cut in advance), a main dining room for a la carte and a teppanyaki grill space, complete with a row of seats for watching the chef grill their choice of premium grade Japanese beef with city views behind. With quality like this, expect a price to match; appertisers and basic dishes start at around 300 baht, mains are 500 baht up and platters are in the region of 2,500 baht up. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00 - 23:00
- Location: Okura Prestige Bangkok Hotel, Wireless Road
- Tel: +66 (0) 2687 9000
For high-quality sushi with a modern twist, there are few better places in Bangkok than Isao. Set in a smart but relatively nondescript shop house on Sukhumvit 31 – just a short walk from Phrom Phong BTS – this Japanese restaurants gets packed out most nights of the week, often with a queue of hungry locals and Japanese expats outside. To get the real Isao experience, order one of their signatures like the ‘Volcano’ signature (baked scallop in cream sauce served in its shell that resembles an overflowing volcano), ‘Winter’ (crab meat, ebi paste, avocado and carrot all rolled in slices of cucumber) or ‘Jackie’ (a sushi roll styled as a caterpillar, filled with egg, shrimp, roe and tempura).
- Opening Hours: 11:00-14:30; 17:30-22:00 daily
- Tel: 02-258-0645
Maru KaisekiTraditional and ultra-fresh
For ultra-high quality sashimi in some particularly intimate and authentically Japanese settings, head to Thonglor’s popular Maru restaurant on Soi 3. The place is at its busiest on Tuesdays and Fridays when the stock arrives straight off the plane from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market; this means melt-in-your-mouth goodness at its very best, but at a cost. You’ll notice most of the crowd here are Japanese businessmen (we’ve guessing they are not on local salaries), tucking into Maru’s most popular cuts such as freshwater unagi eel and otoro tuna. If you’re on a budget, head here in the day and go for one of their more wallet-friendly set meals (17:00-19:00) – just don’t expect any premium cuts for your 500 baht.
- Opening Hours: 17:00-24:00 daily
- Location: 95/5-6 Thonglor Soi 3, Bangkok, Thailand
- Tel: +66(0)2 712 5001 2
Mugendai (Thonglor/EmQuartier)Sophisticated chain restaurant
Another high-profile name in Bangkok’s Japanese restaurant scene, Mugendai established themselves as one of Thonglor’s go-to places for fancy sushi and sashimi, as well as other favourites like shabu-shabu and tempura. Since then, the brand has expanded in the capital to take over a smart spot on the ninth floor of the ‘Helix Quarter’ in EmQuartier Mall. Here you can expect more of the same thing in the way of the food, just with the sophistication levels turned up a notch along with a trendy rooftop terrace overlooking Sukhumvit Road. The sushi sets here are as expensive as the fashion stores down below, starting at around 2,000 baht up.
- Opening Hours: EmQuartier: 9/F Helix Quarter (11:00-23:00 daily)
- Location: Thonglor: Mugendai Honten, 7/F, Grass, 264/1 Thonglor Soi 12 (17:30-24:00 daily)
- Tel: +662-003-6333
Sushi Ichizu BangkokHigh-end sushi Restaurant
Sushi Ichizu Bangkok is a refined sushi restaurant serving a set menu of Japanese delicacies in a zen-like dining room. A maximum of sixteen diners sit around the chef’s table and are treated to an ‘omakase’ set (meaning chef’s special selection) which spans many courses. The sushi chef is Riku Toda, who learnt his craft in Michelin-starred restaurants in his native Japan before taking the helm at this authentic high-end sushi restaurant on Petchaburi Road, close to the top end of Phrom Phong and Thonglor. It’s walking distance from Petchaburi MRT underground.
As with all sushi, the ingredients are all important. When dining at Sushi Ichizu Bangkok, the evening’s ingredients are displayed proudly before being prepared, be it soft, sea eel (anago), blue fin tuna belly (otoro), creamy sea urchin (uni) or the infamous puffer fish (fugu). All ingredients have been selected from Japan and all have their stamp of authenticity, which the restaurant is proud to display. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, two seatings at 17:30 and 22:30 (closed on Monday)
- Location: Sushi Ichizu, Sukhumvit Soi 39, New Petchaburi Rd., Bangkok
- Tel: +66 (0)65 738 9999