Bangkok's Best Japanese Food: From Sushi to Sashimi and Plenty More



The list of Japanese restaurants in Bangkok is staggering, enough to fill an encyclopedia, which isn't surprising given that over 50,000 Japanese expatriates call Bangkok home. With this clientele and demand, it is natural that hundreds of new spots open up each year, but some really stand out for their fresh ingredients and preparation just like in Japan.

Of course leading the list are the top sashimi and sushi joints, all of whom fly in their fish from the prestigious Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, with deliveries to Bangkok several times a week. Heading this list is Sushi Ichizu, who's master chef Riku Toda studied under some of Tokyo's top sushi masters in Michelin-starred omakase eateries, and now runs the elite Sushi Ichizu. Mugendai Penthouse is also noted for its snazzy nouvelle sushi, with some amazing creations such as their Unagi eel foie gras and their Matsuzaka beef sushi. On their tails, Uomasa and Maru also get fresh cuts of tuna and other delicacies, and you wont be complaining about the bill if you are feasting on the top bluefin and fatty tuna slices that are melting in your mouth. Non-traditional sushi rolls have become all the rage but can be pretty hit and miss, but one place that stands out is Isao, which has to be the only restaurant in Bangkok with a line out the door 365 days a year!

Not that it has to be all sushi either. Bankara Ramen is also high on the expat list, with humongous bowls of traditional ramen keeping their tables packed through lunch and dinner. The tonkatsu stewed pork belly is made with the pork bones dissolved completely into the soup broth, extremely pungent and rich. For creative nouvelle Japanese try the new Kom-Ba-Wa or else the creative and sumptuous Zuma.

The listings of Japanese are so numerous, one could probably just stroll down Thonglor night after night and pop in to a new eatery for months and not go wrong.


Tsu & Nami
Photo courtesy of Tsu & Nami


Actually two restaurants, Tsu is the sushi bar and Nami is the teppanyaki grill, so take your pick. Certainly not cheap, but visitors often remark that it is the best Japanese food they've had outside of Japan at this upscale affair in the...  Read More


Maru Kaiseki Japanese Restaurant
Photo courtesy of pttaya


Given the sky high prices, you wonder why Maru is so crowded on Tuesday and Friday nights. Well, these are the days when the fish gets flown in from the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, and the faithful join the queue to get their fix of fresh...  Read More




Yes, you are going to spend a lot, but it's hard to complain when you've got bluefin tuna or king crab flown in from the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo sitting on your plate. Mugendai raises the bar for fine Japanese food in Bangkok, with some...  Read More


Uomasa
Photo courtesy of Uomasa Bangkok


Uomasa is a long standing player on the Japanese food scene that has been serving up some of the best sashimi and traditional Japanese food in town, mostly aimed at purists and Japanese customers. Slightly hidden away in Nihonmachi "Japan Town"...  Read More




Kom-Ba-Wa leads the new wave of artistic nouvelle Japanese joints that are springing up right and left in Bangkok. Set in a fine dining shop-house adorned with 1920 photos on the wall and brass chandeliers, the restaurant serves both as a sushi...  Read More


Bankara Ramen
Photo courtesy of Bankara


This is the first international branch of the famed Ikebukuro ramen house, and boy is it authentic. The interior and decor,along with all the ravenous Japanese expat regulars make one feel like one is in Tokyo, and even more genuine is the food,...  Read More




Zuma, the posh Japanese eatery with branches in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Miami, and Dubai, is just as successful at their Bangkok location, serving truly superb and creative Japanese cuisine. Based on a traditional Japanese izakaya, yet with...  Read More




Thank goodness for shoulder injuries. Masaharu Morimoto was all set to become a professional baseball player in Japan, when an injury ended his career. Instead, he took up cooking, studying sushi and traditional kaiseki cuisine, and followed a...  Read More


Isao
Photo courtesy of Isao Bangkok


Fusion Japanese food is always hit or miss, and fortunately for intimate Isao, it is a home run night after night. This small eatery just off of Sukhumvit is always packed with discerning diners coming to try out creations that just aren't...  Read More




The Japanese have a word for master craftsmen or artisans, "shokunin," and the sushi shokunin master chefs in Tokyo have almost a cult-like following, considered to be at the top of world cuisine and gastronomy. The closest most Bangkok...  Read More


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Meet Dave Stamboulis

Dave Stamboulis is a travel writer/photographer based in Bangkok. Born in Athens, Greece and growing up in the U.S., Dave first discovered Bangkok while on a 45,000-kilometer bicycle trip and...  More About Dave

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