One is always good advised to explore the best places of an expat community with someone who is actually a part it. This is especially accurate with communities from the far east, particularly the comparable big Japanese crowds living in Bangkok. They have their favorite restaurants, cafes and shops all over town, but especially around Sukhumvit and Thong Lo; and just recently one of our Japanese friends brought us to a new addition to the scene: Kenji’s Lab.
It is located in Soi Thararom 2, in a small shop house with one main room that features a bar to sit and dine and one table, as well as one extra room with two more tables. That’s basically the whole restaurant. So one should definitely call and make a reservation before coming here, just to avoid the possibility of coming here in vain.
The menu features a mix of Japanese and western cuisine, both interesting and very appealing with traditional Japanese fare like Sashimi, Sushi and Maki rolls as well Italian ham with cheese, olives, but also steaks, curries or tempura. The menu also indicates what drinks are recommended with which food, wine or beer. Sake isn’t especially mentioned as it seems to go well with everything.
There are also panels with the daily specials and one should not miss to check them out!
The dish that was recommended to us was the smoked Sanma or pacific saury, which is one of the signature dishes at Kenji’s Lab. The way the fish is served is a bit weird, with the meat put on the skin of the fish and its severed head as part of the decoration but well, it turned out that it tastes delicious. The meat is very soft and tender and the intense taste is nicely accompanied by dill.
We tried the Salmon Sashimi and the Octopus from the daily specials and both where good, especially the Hokkaido octopus, served with fresh lemon sauce. The fresh Tuna Rolls “Tekka Maki” with chunky pieces of fish were absolutely delicious and are highly recommended.
Other dishes we tried were the grilled whole Camembert served with bread and cranberry marmalade, which is tasty and naturally rather heavy. The spring rolls with mozzarella and salmon would be a tad boring but then they are served with a wasabi-honey dip which is everything but and saves this dish. We also had the Hamburg steak with
a demi glaced sauce with cheese, which turned out to be beautiful.
If you can’t make up your mind then chef Kenji Nakayama or the attentive and helpful staff can give you some advice on which dishes to choose. I also would like to mention the very friendly and familiar atmosphere at this eatery. It adds to the great food and makes a visit here an overall pleasure which makes us eager to come back.
More information is available on the Facebook Page of the restaurant.
808/13 Soi Thararom 2, Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55),
Wattana, 10110 BKK
open Tuesday – Saturday from 18:00 – 01:00
phone: +66 (0)2 381-0024, price approx 350 up (pp)
This story was originally published on the 29.3.2015 at http://www.crankylittlemonster.com/blog/kenjis_lab.html