Sunday, April 15, 2007
The art of singing and dancing
Kabuki Japanese Restaurant is another invader from Japan sharing the cake of the ever blooming Japanese cuisine market in Bangkok. First introduced to Bangkok with the parallel inauguration of the Siam Paragon Mall, Kabuki now showing Bangkok's J-food lovers authentic yet inexpensive Japanese culinary arts after its thirteen decades of success in Japan together with its sister restaurant Uttandon. Stepping into its second year in Bangkok the management of Kabuki opens a new branch in the Central World Plaza as the birthday gift to Bangkokians.
Kabuki targets the middle class of Bangkok white collars and tourists by offering traditional and authentic Japanese feast in modern presentation with the pricing just slightly higher than the local economy-class brands such as Fuji and Zen but far cheaper than those topnotch chains like AOI and Nippon Tei, with fares close to those served in Tokyo and ensured freshness for sashimi (raw fish) and other dishes.
Entering into the restaurant I spotted a fish tank with swimming lobsters, later to be served on my table as the first starters, live lobster sashimi (THB 900++) and lobster miso soup. The raw lobster meat was scrumptious and the miso soup with lobster shell was innovative. Further I had the wakame maki, a dish of seaweed sushi; maki mori, a combination of tuna, salmon, artificial crab meat and avocado sushi; sushi anago, a dish of grilled eel sushi; and chirashi sushi, mixed sashimi on a bed of mild vinegar rice. They all turned out without disappointment.
I have been informed that Japanese hot pot (shabu shabu) at Kabuki is good therefore I ordered the seafood shabu shabu, with a complimentary home made udon dish. The luscious soup base of the shabu shabu was prepared for hours with katsuobushi (dried fish) and kombu (kelp) flown in from Japan, without any MSG additive. My taste buds was once again entertained by the seafood served together with the shabu shabu soup which was fresh and tasted naturally sweet.
Regret that the portion of accompanied udon was too small, therefore I ordered the restaurant specialty - chilled green tea soba, with a nice hint of green tea flavor. Another specialty of Kabuki is the unagi rice (grilled eel on rice in a stone pot) of which cooked and seasoned the Japanese way, was almost as good as those served in Tokyo. My friend and I still had little room for the deep-fried soft shell crab, and chicken katsu, a fried breaded chicken cutlet. The cutlet had rich taste of real chicken (not those frozen ones) and the meat was tender, though the tonkatsu (fried breaded pork loin cutlet) version was even better.
Although I was very full, but steamed Japanese egg custard is my favorite dessert even though it is not a sweet item. The chawanmushi (steamed egg custard with ginkgo, shrimp, chicken, shitake mushroom and kamaboko) cooked on my table a la minute and it took about five minutes to be prepared. I was also served the green tea ice cream and raspberry sorbet, both were from the house.
To end with my plentiful lunch with my friend, I had a dish of papaya (complimentary again) and a pot of hot green tea to cleanse my palate that was full of overwhelming (nice) taste in a single hour. Besides green tea, a meal with sake either served hot or chilled is delightful, while my friend ordered the chilled one. Kabuki also serves a handful of imported beer and cold drinks.
Kabuki, the restaurant, hosted a pleasant lunch experience for us.
Kabuki Japanese Restaurant ***1/2
G-27 Ground floor, the Siam Paragon
991 Rama I Road
Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Open daily : 11 am - 10 pm
Pay (food only for two): around THB 600