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Monday, July 9, 2012

Frienz Japanese Dining Bar - Asoke, Bangkok

Frienz - Japanese Restaurant - Asoke, Bangkok

Overall Score  8/10
Taste   4/5
Ambiance  3.5/5
Service  3.5/5
Value   3.5/5

Frienz Japanese Dining Bar on BumRes.com

The Frienz – I found its review a while back in the Kon Krua Webboard.  Photos in there were so horrible – bad quality.  But, so many comments were positive; I have to check it out for myself.  The occasion was to celebrate the coming of the New Year with my girlfriend.  At first we were thinking about going to the Polka Dot Café for their Festive Set Menu.  To be honest, I was glad that I came to Frienz instead.  Frienz is located in the Serm-Mit Building on Asoke road, opposite to the Sino-Thai building.  Parking is available inside the building.  The restaurant is located on street side, closed to Soi Asoke 1 – not so hard to find.

As approaching the front of the Frienz, I noticed the sign, “Happy Hour Asahi Draft Beer 1 Pitcher 280 -> 180 baht,” then I looked at my watch.  It was 6.45pm, so I hurried and grabbed my girlfriend to catch the Happy Hours (5-7pm).  When the server asked for what to drink, I quickly answered without thinking, One Asahi Pitcher Please! Frienz serves a great variety of Japanese food; sides, traditional, fusio, and even Thai.  Majority of the time, a restaurant with expansive menu has lower quality of food.  I thought to myself about what to order – looks like it will take some luck to order the right dishes.  So, I looked around the restaurant.  Half of the customers were Japanese.  I still didn’t know what to order.  I decided to order a lot of food as a strategy to reduce the risk of getting bad dishes.  Interesting solution, don’t you think? Lol…

Pricing of the food at Frienz is reasonable to a Japanese restaurant standard and just like I said earlier the menu is huge – I don’t know if it’s good or bad.  Let’s get into talking about the food.  Of course, the first to serve was the Asahi Beer.  Shortly followed with the Tuna Salad – I can’t remember the actual name but the server said that it was the Signature dish.  The presentation was super gorgeous and its taste was also beautiful.  Next up was the Karakae, 70 baht per piece.  Frienz amazed me for such a simple menu – oh so tasty!

Third dish at Frienz was the ground pork with eggplant.  The Chinese look of this menu actually possessed a Japanese ingredient – the Japanese eggplant.  This type of eggplant is rarely found in Thailand.  Since eggplant is my favored vegetable, I ordered the menu right away.  I liked it to an extent – delicious but not that delicious.  Fourth dish was the Omelet with little rice fish.  I thought that there was not enough mixture of fish in the Omelet, so I didn’t fully get the flavoring of the tasty little fish.  I must admit that the omelet was perfectly flavored and prepared.  My girlfriend and I were impressed with this menu.  

We still have a few more dishes.  Coming up next was the Saba Steak that my girlfriend ordered.  The large size Saba was grilled to almost perfection.  Its flavorful sauce added a nice touch to the grill aroma.  Soon to follow was the Frienz Roll for 380 baht.  This one must be the best one since it was named after the restaurant.  And it did; each one of the sushi bite was oversized.  I almost couldn’t fit it through my mouth.  I bet many people would have a hard time eating it, lol… the amazing flavor made up for the difficulty.  Choices of ingredient were well matched to create such as special menu.  Next dish was the Salmon Nigiri (180 baht) – only for two pieces, the price was too high.  To my surprise, the quality was as high as the premium Japanese restaurants in this neighborhood.  I am sorry for saying that it was too expensive.  Actually it was definitely worth it.

Final dish was the cold soba.  At this point in time, I was so stuffed already because I was eating much more than my girlfriend.  The Soba had to be really delicious to impress me at that time.  And, just as I expected it didn’t excite me at all.  The bill totaled to 2,000 baht exactly.  There was no service charge but there was vat.  Let’s give the Frienz @ Asoke a round of applaud for not charging the service.  Recently I have noticed that real Japanese restaurants don’t add service charge to the bill.  However, many mainstream restaurants is charging like it is mandatory, so lame!

For the easygoing celebration of ending the year 2010 at Frienz @ Asoke, my girlfriend and I were quite impressed with the overall experience.  The food was delicious, reasonably priced, attentive service staffs, and most importantly the beer promotion.  Frienz Japanese restaurant did a great job; I highly recommend this Sushi joint to you all.  Driving there may be a hassle due to traffic but Frienz will surely calm you down by serving cold beer and delicious sushi.  

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