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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sushi Den - Central Ladprao, Bangkok (English)

Sushi Den Japanese Restaurant Central Plaza Lad Prao, Bangkok 

Overall Score  8/10
Taste   4/5
Ambiance  3/5
Service  3/5
Value   4/5

Sushi Den Japanese Central Ladprao on www.bumres.com

Sushi has become so popular in Thailand, to the point that it becomes technical to choose the best one out of the many.  Whether it is the delicacy or the idea of healthiness, numbers of Sushi lovers are increasing among the metropolitan citizens.  Sushi shops can be found in almost every corners of the central business district.  Especially in all shopping malls of Bangkok, only the Central Ladprao alone has no less than five Japanese joints to choose.   The one that we choose to review this time is the Sushi Den on the ground floor of the recently renovated Central Ladprao.  A trendy hang out spot for the city people, where many come to shop and eat.  Sushi Den is a friend’s recommendation, so I must give it a try.

One of the serving styles at Sushi Den @ Central Ladprao is to serve through the conveyor belt surrounding the cold kitchen.  Sushi chefs prepare common specialties to line up on the belt where customers can easily choose as they will.  Prices of each pick are determined by the color, as a list on the table.  Different colored plates determine the price, which are shown on the table list.  In Japan, this serving technique is called “Kaiten Sushi,” which intended to save a labor for serving each menu.  Besides the conveyor belt, a line of connecting flat-top boats floating to Sushi delivery is another playful idea, though not applied here.  I can’t quite recall where is doing it this way.  Ready plates will only last so long on the belt to stay fresh, so the chef must weigh out the demand and carefully prepare the common favorites.  My friend mentioned that in Japan, all plates will be trashed after one hour.  But, we were unsure if the sushi has time limits here so we ordered from the menu to serve at the table.

Seeing the store front from distant was deceptive of the size.  Once at the front of the Sushi Den, the depth of the dining area was surprising.  I thought to myself, this is a serious Den, almost like a cave.  The core decoration was the vertical arrangement of bamboos, lengthy side as the façade and the chop side as the ceiling.  Overall interior design was very oriental and post-traditional.  The cold kitchen where Sushi gets made covers a larger area right in the center of the restaurant.  We were there in the evening during the weekdays and there were a good amount of customers, so Sushi Den was absolutely lively.

The name speaks for it all, Sushi Den.  Their concentration is the variety of Sushi specialties such as Nigiri, Maki, Chirashi, etc.  They have such a vast selection.  I was a bit overwhelmed and didn’t know what to pick.  So, I went with the set.  Among three guys we had four large sets, a few small sets, and many other single bites that probably totaled to about fifty pieces.    The assortments were diverse and there were several of the matching to choose from.  I liked the good sized cuts of fish that almost covered all the rice.  The quality and freshness of our picks were acceptable.  One mix that stood out was the three bites Salmon; fresh, seared, and seared with topping.  The rest of the sushi bites were simply good enough that should easily please most of the hungry shoppers of Central Ladprao.  We also had the Kani Salad.  This place has the same owner as the “Kuu” Japanese restaurant and Central World.  I had the same exact Kani Salad at Kuu and I must say that both places were equally delicious.  In the end, we added the Udong with Mentaiko Sauce and egg white, which was yummier than the appearance.  Throughout the meal we had unlimited refills of the iced green tea to refresh us constantly. 

My two friends have much experience with Sushi as they have traveled to the native land of Sushi, Japan.  And the fact that they have gone a few upscale Japanese restaurants in town, their opinion is no doubt trustworthy.  Both of them said that this meal was nothing impressive due to their high standard.  But, they agreed that for the Mainstream grade Sushi, this place was above average.  Since I wasn’t a Sushi expert, I enjoyed my Sushi dinner experience at Sushi Den.  Personally, I would recommend this spot to cure your Japanese cravings while you shop at Central Plaza Ladprao. 

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