A Japanese term for sea urchin gonads, uni has gained immense popularity due to its creamy, custardy and caviar-like taste and texture over the past few years. Being a new favourite among foodies, if you’ve stumbled across any food Instagrammers, chances are you will have caught a glimpse of at least a shot or two of various uni concoctions.
Aside from adding richness, depth, and awe-inspiring beauty to any dish it lands on, uni also brings along to the plate a jam-pack of nutrients. The little gem is full of glutamic acid, vitamins B1 and B2, and also good protein, and is thereby fully blooming into Bangkok’s culinary scene, with many eateries listing it as a star and showstopper on the menu.
Haven’t yet gotten your taste of briny ocean treat? No worries — we’ve handpicked a few best of the best restaurants about town where you can enjoy all the glories of the sea-made delicacy in Bangkok.
Featured and hero image credit: Meruto Sushi
Nestled in Sukhumvit 26, Kitaro Sushi has truly embraced the uni trend, serving a much-loved uni donburi bowl, a sea urchin rice bowl with an avalanche of thickly sliced raw tuna surrounding the sunshade treat. Crave for more fun? Order off the secret menu and get the epic sushi roll (THB 1,800) composing of uni, raw salmon, tuna, wagyu, and crab meat, that will sure guarantee the true taste of Japan with each bite.
Wipe out the idea that uni should only be eaten with rice and march your way to Mugendai Honten to indulge in the goodness of the uni tori sandwich (THB 1,500). The buttery soft brioche is topped with finely chopped tuna and, get this, a shower of uni and Deutscher caviar to top it off as a finishing touch. Looking for a dish with an Instagram aesthetic? This is the one. Situated in Thonglor 10, the Japanese joint is also serving a range of sushi, sashimi, and tonkatsu. Our recommendations? Go first for the uni sandwich and then follow with the seafood paradise sushi, a medley of sea urchin, salmon, amberjack, red sea bream, salmon roe and sweet egg.
Mugendai Honten, 145 Soi Sukhumvit 63 (Thonglor 10) Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, +6627 269 222
For Meruto Sushi, seasonality is king. Known for their Omakase (starts approximately at THB 9,900), this sushi bar often features under-the-radar and seasonal ingredients imported from Japan. The venue promises a true culinary experience where the menu takes you from Thailand to Japan with each mouthful. Every day the restaurant participates in a uni auction, ensuring that their diners are served the most premium uni available during each season. Excelling at simplicity and freshness, don’t forget to try their uni sushi, consisting simply of the delicate sea urchin gems on rice. Down-to-earth yet divine in taste, reserve your spots now as Meruto Sushi gets filled up pretty quickly.
Meruto Sushi, 39/579 Sathorn Gardens, Bangkok, Thailand, +6692 369 7924
If you’re hankering for the perfect spot to enjoy good Japanese food, Honmono Sushi provides a true Japanese market-style setting and an array of sumptuous uni fare that will put you right up in the zone. The highlights include uni in tuna wrap (THB 300), a sashimi platter (THB 1,300), and uni donburi (THB 1,150) with a choice of toppings. Want to taste the pureness of this sea urchin delight straight up? Go for the uni-plays-hero dish where this delicacy is served on ice alongside fresh seaweed (approx. THB 3, 500).
Honmono Sushi, 17-19 Thonglor Soi 23, Bangkok, +662 185 1447
Nestled within 72 Courtyard, comes Toro, a Spanish tapas bar known for its made-to-order paella and gourmet Barcelona-inspired fare. Started by the James Beard-awarded chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, the venue prides itself in single-serve tapas plates as well as family-style platters. Try the uni paella de mar y tierra (THB 3,200)— an aromatic Bomba rice cooked with spices along with plump clams and shrimps, served in a sizzling hot pan with a confetti of uni pieces all over.
Toro Bangkok, 72 Courtyard, 72 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), Bangkok, +662 392 7790
Izakaya-style Japanese restaurant Teppen in Sukhumvit Soi 61 serves up not only juicy wagyu grilled on an opened flame but also a range of donburi rice bowls topped with a variety of sashimi of your choice. The highlight here goes to Kegani Uni Don (THB 1,180), which is the gigantic hair crab served up on warm short-grain rice with salmon roe and umami uni. Don’t forget to pair your meal with refreshing beer or sake cocktails since they go hand in hand with the fantastic ocean taste of the uni.
Teppen, 14/2 Sukhumvit Soi 61, Bangkok, Thailand, +662 714 1412
Touka in Saladaeng Soi 1 is another spot to check out if you’re on the uni hunt. Known for its uni and ikura don (THB 399), the restaurant boasts a menu collection heavy on Japanese comfort fare such as Hokkaido kegani–horsehair crab (THB 1,180), kanimiso ikura yaki–salmon roe served with egg yolk encased in crab shell (THB 420), and yakitori–meat skewer items (THB 420). However, the stars here are definitely the wagyu uni (THB 540), a sushi wrapped up in a fatty thin slice of wagyu beef and topped with a plump piece of uni and salmon roes, and the wagyu uni carpaccio (THB 880), consisting of a plate of sumptuous medium-rare wagyu served with yellowy yolk and uni. Fatty, chewy and creamy, the restaurant succeeds in combining contrast textures and flavours. Delish.
Touka, 75/1Saladaeng Soi 1, Bangkok, Thailand, +662 236 8230
Operated by Gaggan (the chef behind the world’s 5th best restaurant) and Takeshi Goh Fukuyama (chef and owner of La Maison de La Nature Goh), Mihara Tofuten is a tofu-focused joint, even serving up a 16-course meal (THB 4,900++) with every dish consisting of organic tofu made by the Mihara’s, the tofu makers of Fukuoka. Putting a twist on uni fare, this omakase-style venue is introducing a new match made in foodie heaven: tofu and uni. Presented in a tofu-uni bowl, the meal is showered heavily in soy sauce with sides of wasabi and roasted Nori seaweed. An interactive experience, diners can spoon and swoon over this do-it-yourself sushi roll and unwrap the wrapped goodness all on their own.
Mihara Tofuten, Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Soi 5, Bangkok, +6683 655 4245
Image credit: That Food Cray
Dining at Crab and Claw is like walking by New England’s seaside and enjoying a fresh catch of the day. The seafood joint situated at EmQuartier is dressed up in concrete elements with wall paintings of the sea throughout. The menu features many seafood dishes like a traditional lobster roll (THB 950) or New England clam boil (THB 1,800/2,600), which consists of a bucket filled with juicy clams, boiled corn and potatoes with a heavy sprinkling of the old bay spice blend. Don’t miss their signature dish on offer at the moment, the uni-ara (THB 480), which is a house-made squid ink fettuccine coated in organic uni butter before the whole dish gets showered in parmesan ribbons and uni pieces.
Crab and Claw, 7th floor, Helix Building, EmQuartier Mall, Bangkok, +6665 449 2899