Saturday, April 14, 2007
The grill of Bangkok
Well-off locals and Japanese expatriates are all familiar with Nippon-tei, almost Bangkok's first standalone premium Japanese restaurant where people can find a treat of authentic Japanese feast. After more than twenty years of running a top Japanese restaurant chain with success, they created another brainchild to the world of gourmet last year, known as the Grill Tokyo.
Before I was told that Grill Tokyo belongs to the Nippon-tei group, judging by its Western-bound, chic and contemporary art-like interior, I did once thought if Grill Tokyo was another pretentious fusion eatery without the true value to fine dining, like those 'every meal is a show' or 'we search for only the best ingredients around the world (oops world where? in Klongtoey fresh market?)' restaurants that are distinctive on the bills but not on the food.
Hinted by the restaurant name and its interior, Grill Tokyo of course offers grill (steak) dishes, plus a variety of Western + Japanese fusion cuisine; but never forgotten the traditional Japanese fare. So there are different menus for us to study before a proper order can be placed.
Prior to my recent visit, I have been pampered with a real taste in Grill Tokyo for a few times. First time was a month after the opening of this remarkable eatery, I dropped by for a simple sashimi lunch. The catch was fresh and price was reasonable. I mean reasonable according to the quality. I have been told that there are more than thirty selections of only the best quality seafood being flown in everyday from Japan in dancing (fresh) shape. I had the toro (tuna belly), yellow tail, scallop, sweet shrimp and a whole giant sea whelk (THB 1,700++) with the shell being cleaned and packed for my souvenir. The quality can be as good as those offered in a shop right inside the Tuskiji Market in Tokyo.
Once I had the Australian steak set (with soup and dessert). Wow, the steak was more than moist and tender; its succulent tasty meat remained in my dream until the morning. For THB 550++ it is arguably the best value steak set in town. Ironically I had the piece of best value Aussie steak in Grill Tokyo but not in a steakhouse. Guess those steakhouse owners need some improvement or at least recalculate the cost!
On my recent visit to Grill Tokyo with friends, we ordered the 4-course lunch set of which I have been long missing it. Began with the appetizers, we had izumi-dai capaccio (sea bream), katsuo salad (green salad with bonito sashimi), and the pork shabu salad with spicy bean sauce. The sashimi were fresh and the pork was moist and tender, all of them were tasty.
Moving to the second course (a grill dish of seafood) we had tusbodai nitsuke (fish stew), deep fried soft shell crab, ugagi kabayabi (grilled eel with teriyaki sauce), and buri teriyaki (grilled yellow tail with teriyaki sauce). They were all heavily seasoned in sweet and salty note that made them taste truly Japanese.
Came to the mains (a noodle, spaghetti or rice dish) we had mabo nasu don (rice topped with ground pork mabo style), hiyashi chuka (chilled cold noodle Chinese style), and karu bi don (rice topped with grilled pork). All of them served with miso soup. We concluded the lunch with Grill Tokyo fabulous home-made ice cream, taste we had were chocolate, Earl Grey and mango. Also good was the black sesame pudding.
Now no more secret to everyone; it doesn't have to be well-off to dine at Grill Tokyo, the lunch set at THB 390++ is probably the cheapest deal for a 4-course premium lunch set in town. Not necessary to tell you how good the lunch set was but just to confirm that I will keep returning to Grill Tokyo if the standard remains.
Grill Tokyo Japanese Grill Room ****
G/F The Siam Paragon
991 Rama I Road
Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Open daily : lunch 11:30 am - 2 pm, dinner 5:30 - 10 pm
(all-day-dining for Saturday and Sunday)
Pay (food only for two): around THB 3,000
weekdays 4-course lunch set THB 390++