If Japanese cooking is all about pristine ingredients and perfect presentation, then omakase is its highest form of execution, its haute cuisine. Omakase, which translates to ‘I will leave it up to you’ in Japanese, is a chef-curated meal of many delicate courses that highlight the freshest fish and most premium seasonal produce. All you have to do is let the chef know if you have any dietary restrictions, and then you’ll be surprised and delighted by  a delicious array of morsels. Aside from the freshness of the ingredients and the skill of the chef, a good omakase  experience should be well-paced and offer guests an opportunity to interact with the master chef.

Omakase dining is an essential part of any visit to Japan, of course, but fortunately you can enjoy this unbeatable experience without buying a plane ticket. For high-quality sushi and a meal you won’t soon forget, check out our picks for Bangkok’s best omakase restaurants.

Meruto Sathorn

Meruto Sathorn

A handful of seats along the L-shaped counter and a display case of the freshest and most appetising fish are all the comforts one needs at this charming sushi bar. Head chef Billy leads the talented team over at Meruto Sathorn, where the menu focuses on quality produce and meticulously embellished appetisers, nigiri, maki and sashimi. The lightly grilled ankimo is hands down one of the best things we’ve eaten all year – the kind of revelatory mouthful that makes you stop and savour in silence. Chef crafts this spectacular starter by warming the delicate monkfish liver over binchō-tan and setting it atop cool ponzu, finished with mint blossoms and a touch of yuzu. Nigiri from the day’s offerings has brought pristine shirako, honeyed sujiko and incredibly rich, fatty slices of otoro.

Meruto Sathorn, 39 S Sathorn Road, Khwaeng Thung Maha Mek, Khet Sathon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Bangkok, +66 92 369 7924

Umi

Umi omakase Bangkok

You can enjoy the omakase experience without spending a fortune at Umi: at THB 5,000 for 15–18 pieces plus tamago egg, miso soup and dessert, the full-course omakase offers great value. We like Umi for its consistency and the freshness of the exquisite seafood. Each piece of fish is meticulously prepared, and occasionally seasoned with a dab of ponzu and yuzu.  Umi also stands out for being one of the few omakase restaurants with two Thai chefs at the helm: Chef Banphot and chef Chokchai.

Umi, 46/4 Soi Sukhumvit 49, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, +66 2 662 6661

Ginza Sushi Ichi 

Ginza Sushi Ichi omakase Bangkok

Ginza Sushi Ichi started off as a hidden spot in Tokyo spearheaded by chef Masakazu Ishibashi, but these days it operates in four cities — Tokyo, Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta — two of which have been awarded one Michelin star. In Bangkok, the 11-seater restaurant serves authentic omakase starting from THB 7,000, and all the assorted sashimi and nigiri are sourced from Tsukiji Market on a daily basis. Diners get to savour wild Japanese tuna that are specifically purchased from a preferred supplier named Hicho, as well as the freshest sea urchin auctioned at Tsukiji.

Ginza Sushi Ichi, 494 Ploen Chit Road, Bangkok, +66 2 250 0014

Sushi Zo

Sushi Zo omakase Bangkok

Under the Osaka-born and Tokyo-trained chef Keizo Seki’s care and guidance, Sushi Zo’s first branch in Los Angeles was awarded one Michelin star back in 2009. With its early success, Sushi Zo opened a second location in LA, a third spot in New York City – which was later recognised with two Michelin stars – and now, its fourth outpost in Bangkok, headed by chef Toshi Onishi. Here, the sushi is accentuated with complementary ingredients that aren’t exactly traditional. For example, past offerings included luscious, olive oil-marinated shima aji, and smoked tai adorned with a delicate touch of Sichuan pepper. Though prices may fluctuate based on seasonal availability, a typical 18-course meal ranges from THB 6,000–8,000.

Sushi Zo, 63 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Bangkok, +66 2 168 8490

Sushi Ichizu

omakase Bangkok Sushi Ichizu

Former sous chef at one-Michelin-starred Sushi Sugita in Tokyo, executive head chef Toda Riku brings 12 years of experience and skilled knife work to Sushi Ichizu. Nestled in a Japanese-style house, the restaurant offers traditional Edo-style sushi. Priced at THB 8,000, the premium 16-course omakase has previously featured exquisitely handcrafted bites such as lightly touched kinmedai, four-day marinated kohada, and kasugo accentuated with kombu seaweed. The 16-seater restaurant is very particular about reservations and timing, so we suggest you book well in advance for this one and arrive on time.

Sushi Ichizu, Siam Food Enterprise, First Floor, Sukhumvit 39, New Petchburi Road, Bang Kapi, Huai Khwang, Bangkok, +66 65 738 9999

Sushi Masato

Sushi Masato omakase Bangkok

Tucked away in Sukhumvit 31, Masato truly resembles a hidden sushi spot in Japan. While talking to the chef may be an integral part of the omakase experience, sometimes you might feel like you’re disrupting an artist at work. That’s not the case at Masato, as chef Masato Shimizu creates a friendly atmosphere while he slices fish behind the L-shaped sushi counter, and he’s always eager to let you know where the fish originated and how it was prepared. Prior to opening his own namesake, omakase-only restaurant here in Bangkok, chef Masato was in New York City, where he worked as a head chef and earned Jewel Bako a Michelin star. Here, the 20-course omakase is priced at THB 4,000, and past dishes include otoro aged two weeks, delicate monkfish liver, and iwa kagi rock oysters with mozuku seaweed and ponzu.

Masato, 3/22 Soi Sawasdee 1, Sukhumvit31, Khlongteoi Nua, Wattana, Bangkok, +66 2 040 0015

Sushi Kanda

Sushi Kanda omakase Bangkok

Headed by chef Takahiro Hato, Sushi Kanda serves up some of the city’s most aesthetically pleasing sushi. From the shape of the nigiri to the beautiful lustre of the sashimi slices, every aspect of the dishes here is beautiful. Sushi Kanda’s menu leans more traditional than other omakase meals, so expect less fusion and modern flavours. The star attraction here is the prized selection of sea urchin. For instance, they often feature murasaki uni, which boasts a golden-mustard colour and a sweet, delicate taste and giant slices of Hokkaido’s famous hadate uni. Enjoy a mix of hot and cold dishes by ordering the omakase menu, with prices ranging from THB 5,300–7,300.

Sushi Kanda, 88 Sukhumvit 53, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, +66 2 712 6639

Sushi Misaki

Sushi Misaki

Located in Rain Hill on Sukhumvit, Sushi Misaki is a 10-seater, omakase-only restaurant. Originally from Suizuoka, chef Masahiro Misaki aims to please his customers, eagerly offering to educate them on lesser-known ingredients. After making a booking in advance, you’ll choose between the 18-course (THB 4,000) or the 20-course (THB 6,000) omakase menu on the morning of your reservation. Either way, you can expect items such as velvety monkfish liver, decadent uni, and luscious otoro. Take special note of the tuna, which chef Misaki cures and ages to produce unbelievably tender results.

Sushi Misaki, Rain Hill, Ground Floor, 841/11 Sukhumvit Road, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Bangkok, +66 2 258 1783

In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love omakase Bangkok

For those who enjoy fusion flavours and pungent tastes, In the Mood for Love is the perfect omakase for you. Rather than featuring traditionally sparse Japanese décor, the restaurant boasts dim lighting and comfy, floral sofas. Besides unconventional maki rolls, In the Mood for Love offers two omakase options: a 9-nigiri menu (THB 5,000) and a 12-nigiri menu (THB 6,500). Chef and owner Wacharun Iamarramsak designs the omakase sequence himself on a daily basis, depending on the seasonal produce that is delivered from Japan. Highlights of the menu include richest foie gras nigiri and fresh daisen uni from Aomori prefecture.

In the Mood for Love, Ekkamai 1 Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Bangkok, +66 2 392 8477

Mizu by Sankyodai

Mizu by Sankyodai omakase Bangkok

Slightly different in appearance to most omakase spots, Mizu by Sankyodai is furnished with dark hardwood and sleek, black upholstery. Head chef Charoensri Somsook curates a combination of Edomae sushi in two omakase set options: a 3-course menu including 9 pieces of sushi (THB 2,000) and a 5-course menu featuring 12 pieces of sushi (THB 3,500). In addition to traditional nigiri pieces, you’ll get to enjoy cold and hot appetisers throughout the meal. Expect items such as fresh awabi abalone, tobiuo flying fish, aged Bluefin otoro, and salt-grilled yagara cornet fish.

Mizu by Sankyodai, Charn Issara Tower, First Floor, 942/43 Rama 4 Road, Bangkok, +66 2 632 6660

Tama Sushi Bangkok

Tama Sushi Bangkok omakase Bangkok

A 6-seat authentic sushi bar, Tama Sushi Bangkok specialises in shellfish, and offers an exquisite selection of sake for food pairings. Their 20-course omakase (THB 6,500++) not only focuses on sushi, but also showcases seasonal appetisers in the mix. For instance, chef Seiji Sudo, formerly at Ginza Sushi Ichi in Bangkok, serves up sea urchin soup, iwashi sushi rolls, and briny grilled rice with Japanese hairy crabmeat. As seats are extremely limited, you’ll have to book well in advance if you’d like a taste of this exquisite experience.

Tama Sushi Bangkok, 46/10 Piman 49, Sukhumvit 49, Wattana Bangkok, +66 91 871 0666