Sushi shows up in the oddest of places in Bangkok!
There’s a sushi craze in Bangkok and the clean, simple Japanese cuisine has been bumped from esoteric foreign food to pop star status and exploding in all parts of the city. This is one of the reasons I hate writing about sushi, which already gets and unfair share of restaurant coverage in newspapers, blogs, and magazines. I squirm when people invite me to eat sushi and seriously really dread writing about sushi.
Invite me to taste ramen, why don’tcha? I’ll be in for sure. Late night izakaya eats, anywhere in the world, I’m there. Want me to review your sushi joint? I may not do you the courtesy of even cursing under my breath and just go ahead and say some things we’ll both regret later.
But that doesn’t mean I hate eating sushi and there’s always invitations you can’t really say no to. In one case, I’d had a meeting in the GMM Grammy Building in the middle of Asoke. The person I was meeting had just had an accident and couldn’t comfortably travel too far. So, yup, we ended up in the basement of the building eating sushi at Hou Yuu (โฮวยู 朋友).
Sure I cringed at the original announcement of lunch plans, but after we got to the restaurant and I saw the unappetizing signs for one of those do-it-yourself hot plate restaurants, I figured the scenario could have been much worse. That and I trusted the friend I was with, who had just returned from traveling in Japan. She approved of their all imported, fresh seafood and so we sat at the bar and ordered up few sets while catching up.
The service at Hou Yuu was professional and all the staff was furiously running around and yelling Japanese greetings while they prepared food for the restaurant full of diners. What I always like about sushi spots, even in Bangkok, is the pride those guys behind the counter take in serving you. I imagined to myself that they may have been extra proud that not all of the customers on this particular day were members for J-Pop and K-Pop bands from the record companies housed in the building above.
The bar was stocked full of fresh fish and large fillet cuts. After devouring my lunch set and a few extra orders of sashimi salad, unagi, assorted sashimi and a few things on my friend’s plate, I had no complaints. The unagi, a favorite of mine, stands out, but also the high quality of the sashimi would encourage me to be a little more audacious with the rest of the menu on my next visit. However, if you’re eating here and not on the K-Pop budget, you may not want to venture far from the lunch sets. Total lunch for two came to nearly $100 (or 3,ooo THB) and had it been my turn to take care of the bill, this sushi hating rant would have ended a lot less unhappily!
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I’d recommend reserving at Hou Yuu if you can and you can reach it by walking towards the middle of Asoke’s skyscrapers from either the Asoke/Sukhumvit stations or the Rama 9 MRT Station. The skyscraper appears clearly on Google maps and all the locals in the area know this building if you get turned around and need directions.