Maki fusion deluxe: BKK Maki, all the way from Chicago — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Sushi and sashimi joints rule the roost in Thong Lor, as well they should.
Bangkok's uber-trendy dining area happens to be home to the majority of the city's Japanese expats, and you'd think they know a thing or two about sushi.
Yet Maki Maki Sushi Bar and Bistro bucks the trend and isn't just another face in the raw fish crowd. Rather than serving up traditional and simple sushi bites, Maki Maki focuses on Chicago-style fusion rolls, a trend from the "Windy City" that became a rage and is now making its mark worldwide.
Open kitchen and industrial decor at Maki Maki — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Head Chef Akaradech Yindee, who had stints working in Japanese restaurants in both Florida and then Chicago, has well learned the art of presentation, and the maki sushi rolls here combine fine ingredients with impeccable sushi artwork, wowing diners with eye-catching creations.
As opposed to many tightly packed and limited-for-space establishments that are often the norm in Thong Lor, Maki Maki has an open kitchen and seating area that features industrial decor right out of a New York loft.
It's a comfortable and relaxing spot, and if you arrive after others, you get to be tantalized by all the enticing creations coming out to their tables.
Poseidon on Fire: crab meat with spicy sauce — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Maki Maki has an extensive menu, with many concoctions you won't find on any other tables in Bangkok. One of the tastiest and most novel is the aptly named Poseidon on Fire, where crab meat, scallop and shrimp are mixed with a spicy chili sauce and then set on fire when served, a technique that blends the ingredients and packs a great taste wallop.
Suki Sake seared and marinated salmon — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Another great starter is the Suki Sake, which is seared and marinated salmon and salmon skin, a good warmup to the heavy-duty maki dishes that are difficult to choose from, as there are so many.
Recommended are the Dragon Fly rolls – which blend tempura shrimp, avocado, cream cheese and sweet sauce – or else the BKK Maki, which has fine hamachi tuna, akame and avocado, along with parsley.
Snow White sushi maki — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
There are all sorts of weird creations here, like spicy Mafia maki and Gorilla maki. You'll probably need several visits to try them all.
Additionally, the master chefs here have to make up one new maki every week, and every month there's a new special that gets listed.
Owner Sara "June" Rocharungsat says that Maki Maki's motto is that this is where art meets sushi, and that the food needs to taste good, along with looking just as eye-catching.
Judging by the prolific creations, they are off to a good start.