Omakase sushi has become a hype in Bangkok gastronomic scene for couple of years. More and more ‘Omakase Sushi-ya’ has been popping up in this city of angels. I won’t list down every sushi joints in Bangkok since it will be a never-ending list. Of course, there are some good and bad ones. But today I will talk about a good new one, Sushi Ichizu. Sushi Ichizu is a very first branch of a michelin-starred sushiya, Sushi Sugita, in Tokyo. In addition, Sushi Sugita is also awarded gold medal and is ranked 2nd place in Sushi Category on Tabelog website.
Sushi Ichizu is located at the end of soi Sukhumvit 39(Phrom Phong), opposite Italthai tower. The place is hard to access via public transport. Plus, traffic around the restaurant during rush hours is a nightmare. The easiest way to visit is to travel by skytrain(BTS) to Phrom Phong station and then hop on a motorbike taxi which one-way ride would cost roughly 25-30 THB. There is a plenty of parking area if you are driving there. Be noted that tI would take an hour or more to arrive the place during evening on weekday.
Inside Sushi Ichizu is decorated in Zen style like other top-notch sushi bars which presents a sense of calm. There are only 9 counter bar seats in the house in order to keep the standard of the meal. Sushi Ichizu offers you an authentic Omakase experience without flying a long way to Japan or waiting for months just to get a table. This does come at a significant cost of 8,000++ THB. Let put its price tag down aside for a moment. For one omakase course will consist of 8-9 nigiri, 5 entrées, 1 temaki, 1 tamagoyaki and dessert. Chef Riku Toda, former chef at Sushi Mizutani and sous chef at Sushi Sugita, is appointed to be a head itamae at Sushi Ichizu. He is young, friendly and talented. Ingredients and kitchenware are imported directly from Japan. I was told that sushi trays are exclusively crafted for Sushi Ichizu by master of pottery in Japan – unique pattern like no others. Now let’s go and indulge!
So the supper started with Aji sashimi served with shoyu, ginger and spring onion. Aji was of excellent quality. A combination of Aji, ginger and spring onion works its tricks as usual. Abalone with liver sauce was served next. Abalone was carefully poached in sake for 8 hours. The result was fantastic; tender and soft but still remains its bounciness. Liver sauce was delicate sweet, rich and creamy with mild saltiness in background. Once I finished the abalone, Toda-san placed a shari ball on the remaining liver sauce as a next course. It was very delightful. Next dish was grilled Nodoguro. The fish was grilled to perfection – crisp skin and juicy flesh.
Now let’s commence main part, Sushiiii. Sushi course began with Shinko nigiri (young Kohada). Shinko was well prepared. Deep in flavour with mild saltiness. Toda-san mentioned that he uses a bit more wasabi than usual to balanced out the saltiness from marinate. Kohada was beautifully marinated. Well-balanced flavour with subtle saltiness. I was surprised by a shinika nigiri. Ika was beautifully prepared. Just melt-in-mouth with a subtle nature sweetness. Savoury course of shark fin chawanmushi was served in between. Ok, I’m not fond of having shark fin due to inhumane practice of shark finning. Anyway, I have to say that chawanmushi was perfectly made. Dashi flavour bursted in my mouth. Chawanmushi itself was buttery smooth and silky. Next nigiri was kombu-cured katsuko nigiri. Neta was quite chewy in a good way and very fragrance.
Omakase won’t be a complete one without maguro. Akami nigiri was superbly crafted. Chef sprinkled a touch of yuzu zest on top the shari beforing forming a nigiri which gave a freshness to the piece. Akami was meaty, rich and smooth. Next piece was not your everyday nigiri. It was kama-toro. Big and bold in flavour with a mild sweetness in background. I was bewitched by this beautiful piece of kinmedai topped with karashi (Japanese mustard). Needless to say, one of the best kinmedai I’ve ever had; karashi brings out the umami flavour out of the kinmedai gorgeously. Kuruma ebi was nicely cooked – sweet and tender. Higashizawa uni bursted both flavour and aroma. A good quality uni it was.
Last savoury course was served accordingly which was stuffed Japanese hairy crab innard steam rice in its shell topped with ikura and uni. Crab meat was of top quality and the steam rice was gorgeously seasoned. Very delicious indeed. Temaki of tuna and pickled daikon was nice but nori was overwhelmed the filling and was not crisp enough for my liking. Misaki-san’s temaki was superior than Riku-san’s one in my opinion. Last but not least, tamago was served as a final piece. Tamago was not overly sweet with pleasant shrimp and sea breath aroma. The texture was like butter cake unlike Sushi Tomaki style. I must say that this one was really well made but I still prefer brûlée style tamago at Sushi Misaki. To end the meal, freshly made warabimochi was served which was extremely delightful.
Sushi Ichizu is doubtlessly one of the best sushiya in Bangkok but it comes with the premium price tag of 8000THB++ per course. So you might end up paying around 10,000THB at the end of the night. And if you order alcoholic drinks, the price will go up more. If you love sushi and have a deep pocket, you definitely have to visit this place. But if you don’t have a deep pocket, you have to make up your own mind whether to go or not to go. There are plenty options here in Bangkok. They might not be as good as Sushi Ichizu but you won’t have to break the bank. If you are willing to pay, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. I’m definitely going to revisit Sushi Ichizu again.
Array of Japanese liquors
PS. For those who want to book a table at Sushi Ichizu, they are now taking a reservation start from 22nd August onward. According to the restaurant, August tables are almost fully booked. Forgot to mention earlier, there are 2 dinner rounds: 5.30pm and 20.30pm. I personally like the late night seating because you can seat a bit more after the meal while 5.30pm seatings, you will be kindly asked to leave the seat for the 20.30pm diners. Plus make sure be there on time since all diners will start the omakase at the same time like top sushi bars in Japan.
Sukhumvit 39, New Petchburi Rd.
Bang Kapi, Huai Khwang, Bangkok, 10310