Turning Japanese: The hottest new restaurants in Bangkok

The last month or so may have been devastating to many of Thailand’s street food venues, but the fine dining scene is getting more and more competitive.

With anticipation growing that Michelin may soon be arriving on our shores, the restaurant scene is really flourishing and, in recent weeks, it’s been Japanese restaurants opening up their doors in the city.

Mugendai Penthouse

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One of Thonglor’s coolest venues updates and moves to The Helix in EmQuartier.

Mugendai’s Thonglor branch is always picking up local accolades for its authentic food. Now, that branch is closing and, in its place, Mugendai Penthouse has opened up.

The menu is much the same — including the restaurant’s famous house recipe Tonkatsu — and adds a few premium additions, too including uni, eel and caviar. This see-and-be-seen venue is the perfect venue for kicking off a big night; DJs and Japanese-influenced drinks are a hot new feature.

Mugendai Penthouse, 9/F The Helix Quartier, EmQuartier, Sukhumvit Road, Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok, www.mugendaibkk.com

Kom-Ba-Wa

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Kom-Ba-Wa is the latest restaurant to get Bangkok’s trendiest excited.

Soi Suan Phlu is still hot, hot, hot, and the latest opening Kom-Ba-Wa is only going to cement its status as one of Bangkok’s coolest sois. The restaurant has already caught the attentions of the city’s foodies because it’s the latest project from Fred Meyer of Issaya Siamese Club, Namsaah Bottling Trust and Pizza Massilia.

This time, he’s turned his hand to a beautifully decked out Japanese restaurant made using ultra-premium ingredients. The restaurant opened its doors on 5 May.

Kom-Ba-Wa, 39/19 Suan Phlu, Sathorn, Bangkok, www.kombawa.com

Kitaohji Bangkok

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Come hungry for a multi-course meal of kaiseki cuisine.

This Japanese import is the very first outside of Japan and offers fresh kaiseki cuisine in a relaxed setting — think large wooden-gated entrance, bamboo gardens and a whopping nine private dining rooms.

The attention to detail when it comes to food and service is impeccable too. Expect gut-busting courses of wagyu beef or crab with sashimi, fried dishes, rice and desserts, all served up by kimono-clad staff.

Kitaohji Bangkok, 212 Thonglor Soi 8, Bangkok, www.facebook.com/KitaohjiBKK

Mikaku

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Mikaku takes its kobe beef seriously.

Another new import to the city is Mikaku, which has been famous for its teppanyaki for more than 80 years in Gion, Kyoto. Best known for its kobe beef, this speciality — along with its sukiyaki and oilyaki, which is stir fried marbled beef — isn’t to be missed. In fact, you’ll be hard-pushed to find better kobe beef in the city, or a restaurant that takes it quite as seriously.

Not in the mood for beef? You can also order from a wide range of seafood including black abalone, lobster and oyster.

Mikaku, Above Maison Eric Kayser, 103/1 Thonglor, Bangkok, www.facebook.com/MikakuThailand

Post image Related: 5 best Japanese restaurants in Bangkok

Gaby is a gym fanatic with a sweet tooth and a penchant for a well-mixed cocktail.  Follow her on Twitter at @GabyDoman.