Yours truly Foodie (can you say that?) happens to be a lot around Phloen Chit lately. During those trips and by total accident I discovered a small shopping mall in the All Seasons Place, which is mainly for the employees of the surrounding office buildings and kind of hard to find. The mall itself is somewhat sterile, overpriced and boring – the typical place for foreigners. So normally no place to talk about or to recommend… but surprise surprise, inside are two gems to discover. And about one of those I would like to tell.
The offices in the area are strongly influenced by Japanese companies and the people who work for them. Since you have the people here it is only logical to find a Japanese restaurant in this neighborhood too. This particular combination or connection is to found all over the world and a further prove for the fondness of the Japanese for their own cuisine – some might say it is a dependency if not addiction. But this topic at another time.
Back to the this restaurant I found. It is called “ZEN” and I was quite surprised about it.
If you study the menu you are wondering, what is this? They offer Sushi, Sashimi, Tempura, Wagyu & Kobe Beef, Tonkatsu, jap. Curry, Shabu-shabu, Tamagoyaki, Gyosa and everything to found in an Izakaya – so you get the whole nine yards… in one place.
Everywhere else in the world I would assess this epic assortment of choices as a bad sign. In Japan I learned, the best food comes from those place which specializes in one dish and one dish only. And as a foreigner in Japan you learn fast, that the “easy places” with a wide range of choices, the pictures of their food as a menu and very cheap prices are the ones to avoid first. Mostly the taste is not existent or just poor and even when it might come cheap, the meal is still a loss in the end.
But here I found the living prove of the opposite for this general principal of mine – in Bangkok – quite astonishing. So enjoy a few pictures I made today. Since I had no camera with me the first time, today only a small peek of the variety to get there. I will go into details of their food array – hopefully with pictures – another time.
So much upfront: For the affordable prices the ingredients are really good. Not sensational but good and nothing to criticize or bitch about. Ok, most of the dishes I had better before, sometimes somewhere. But under this ‘Thailand’ circumstances and with this wide variety I can only bow to the kitchen. As a hint for the advanced Jap. connoisseur, the rice is really great. As a result the Tekka Maki are just delightful. This is something you would hardly assume in a place like this with an epic range of choices in the menu that cover most of the Jap. cuisine.
The variety of affordable “Sets” from an extra menu (around 220 -300 baht) is astonishing and it holds most staples of the Jap. cuisine. The Sets come with soup, rice and assortments of small sides. I can highly recommend the “Tempura” and “Steak Set” so far. The outer crust of the Tempura is light and tasty, the Ebi were the better (and more expensive) Jap. type. The miso soup included in the set is fine and again the rice, delicious. The sides include – among other things to excite your paled – a nice kimchi, which was noticeable tasty. Again something that surprised me. So far I was not able to find decent kimchi in Bangkok. [I would appreciate any recommendation]
Continuing the experience, just dip a piece of meat in light soy sauce with a tad of chilli powder, the next bite maybe with a tiny bit of house made Jap. mayonnaise and radish or a little kimchi with rice afterwards. Perfect. Even the cheaper australian beef I choose over the Wagyu & Kobe Beef, because it came in the set, is soft and tender… what can I add? I am sold, totally. I can only imagine how much better Jap. beef must be… have to try them one of the next times. Any reason to come back is appropriate. 😀
Ah before I forget, the green tea – I choose warm – is certainly free… as it should be in every Jap. restaurant – but rarely is outside Japan. I enjoy this as a nice touch.
My conclusion: Foodie got a new favorite Japanese place in Bangkok… even when it´s in Phloen Chit and the way to there not the one I like to go every day. But hey, it is worth it.