Bangkok’s Very Cool Sushi
26 Sukhumvit Soi 20, Bangkok
Tel: 02 663 4990/1
Celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa is opening a branch of his chi chi chain of restaurants in Hong Kong later this year, but don’t expect Thais to jump on a plane. They already have Koi, It’s expensive, stunningly stylish - cool, California-Zen-like minimalism and a cozy, clubbable interior - and a male diner should avoid showing up in his Johnny Cash outfits or some patron might ask him for another round of sake. (The staff dresses entirely in black.)
Only the freshest and most varied seasonal sushi is available–Koi casts its nets worldwide, from Japan to New Zealand. The toro, chunky and buttery in texture, is wonderful. Ditto the tuna, salmon and sea eel. This is sushi as good-as-it-gets.
Less traditional is the melt-in-your-mouth yellowfish carpaccio, drizzled with grape seed oil and ponzu sauce, topped with just the right kick of wasabi tobiko. The spicy seared albacore with crispy red onions is tangy and crunchy.
Be strong and forge on to the main courses. The black cod glazed with miso is marinated for 48 hours and then quickly baked to remain crumbly fresh. Koi serves what may be the ultimate surf-and-turf: nori-crusted tempura prawns, carrots, coriander, spring onion and mushroom all wrapped inside charcoal-seared Wagyu tenderloin and covered in a glistening ginger soy glaze.
You might want to hang around the cinematically chic bar afterwards: Koi’s policy is to allow fashion models to drink for free. - Charles Earl