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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kaizen Sushi and Hibachi - Japanese restaurant Review - BTS Ratchathevi

Kaizen Sushi and Hibachi - Japanese Sushi and Teppanyaki Restaurant at BTS Ratchathevee Bangkok 

Overall Score  9/10
Taste   4.5/5
Ambiance  4/5
Service  4/5
Value   4.5/5

Kaizen Sushi & Hibashi - Japanese Restaurant on BumRes.com

In the competitive market of sushi restaurants in Bangkok, it wouldn’t be so easy to open up a restaurant that sells only sushi to compete with other ones.  I am sure many of you tend to go to the same sushi joint for the trusting quality and the familiarity with the chef and the atmosphere.  But sometimes, it is worth trying a new spot that has more to offer than just Sushi.  The Kaizen Sushi and Hibachi is one of them, serving Sushi specialties and also Grilling stuffs.  It has been in business for only a couple of months.  Its location is next to the Asia Hotel, near the BTS Ratchathevi.     

Kaizen Sushi and Hibachi is a good name.  It has a good meaning.  Kaizen means continuous improvement, which is the vision of the owner to always be a move to the brighter side.  In Japanese writing, you can see the spread, which can be interpreted as prosperity.  The Kaizen Sushi and Hibachi serves a full on Sushi menu.  The fish supplier is the same as Hommono Sushi (which has 5 branches all over Bangkok), so freshness wasn’t the problem as fish is delivered six days of the week.  If you look for a special order, you can request to the chef (For example, one usual customer once ordered 3 Kg of Taraba to enjoy with his colleague, I heard).  About the Hibachi, in Japanese it means charcoal grill but it is commonly used for referring to the Teppanyaki.  At Kaizen, besides the Sushi, you can also enjoy the art of cooking on flat pan show, similar to the Benihana.  There is only one table of Teppanyaki available for performance.  For other tables you won’t get to see the show but you will still get the teppanyaki food ready to eat for you. 

The menu at Kaizen is inclusive of all the mainstream Japanese restaurants usually have to offer.  The average price is very reasonable, some items are cheaper than most sushi places in the CBD.  The Kaizen Sushi and Hibachi is like the Japanese restaurants in the shopping mall, where it is opened for business throughout the day.  So, you can go there to enjoy the sushi any time of the day.  Be noted that a glass of draft beer is only 59+ baht all day long.

There was so much food in this meal, so we’ll talk about each category.  The first group was Sushi; we had three choices.  The first one was the Sexy Roll (450 baht) – basically it was salmon and akami with avocado and topped off with ebiko, tempura crisps, and spicy sauce.  This dish was creatively presented but the taste was not much different than the Salmon/Akami rolls elsewhere. It was an enjoyable roll, no doubt.  The second roll was the Curi Maki (280 baht), which was like Futomaki (mixed roll sushi) but instead of seaweed this one was wrapped in thin cucumber and there was no rice.  I liked this roll for its refreshing taste and it was a no carb style.  The last roll was the highlight, the Snowman Roll (320 baht).  At Kaizen Sushi & Hibachi, it was made with Enkawa.  I have never had the Enkawa roll anywhere before but I like the Enkawa when it is really fresh.  It was a great roll, very delicious.  The sauce made the Enkawa much more enjoyable.  Sometimes it is unusual to have too many pieces of the Enkawa because of its fattiness but in this case, more was better.              

For Sushi and Sashimi, there were two choices.  The first one was the Otoro Sashimi (1,800 baht).  The fatty pattern on the Otoro looked amazing.  The presentation and the cut showed much skill of the sushi chef.  The pieces of Otoro were firm as we picked up with chopsticks but it melts in the mouth nicely.  The second choice was the Kaizen King Sushi (1,800 baht).  This sushi set came with three bites of Uni variety; Uni alone, Uni with Enkawa, and Uni with Tobiko and tuna.  I tried the last one and it was pretty delicious.  We still had five other pieces in the set, which were all top choices; Otoro, Chutoro, Enkawa, Kinmedai, and Hamachi.  I must admit that the fish was fresh but the packing of the Nigiri wasn’t the best since the rice was still loose and it wasn’t the Edo traditional style.   It was the To-favor Thai people style, with too large of a cut size compared to the rice portion.  The proper proportion of fish and rice was the trick for me, it’s called Edo style.  I would have liked the Nigiri more.  

In this meal at the Kaizen Sushi and Hibachi, we still have three more dishes and one from the teppanyaki to talk about.  For the Teppan, we got the Hibachi set of Kobe and Seafood (1,490 baht), which included the Kobe beef, Salmon, Tiger prawn, veggies, and garlic fried rice.  For the price, it was all worth it.  The portion was huge; it could easily be shared with a friend as a meal.  But for my two friends and I, this set was just a quarter of a meal, lol… we are big eaters.  The kobe beef was so tender; Salmon was standard; veggies were done right; nothing to complain about.  I was told that the Teppanyaki chef was working in the U.S. for about 10 years.  I am not surprised at all because the set was really nicely prepared.       

The Salmon head steamed in soy sauce as the highlight.  The head was gigantic (and it was only half of the head).  At first I was scared by its bizarre look (usually for Thai people, not so much since we eat whole fish regularly).  You may be somewhat upset with it ugly face but it was garnish beautiful with the colors and all.  I had to try it anyways.  I couldn’t believe my eyes the fish head later disappear.  The whole thing was scavenged.  It must be the sweet soy sauce flavor added to the absolutely fatty and fine texture fish meat from the stink-less fish head.  Great dish, highly recommend it if you don’t mind about the head thing and its eye staring at ya, lol… Oh the price was 280 baht, not bad at all. 

Two other dishes were just alright.  The Wagyu Salad (300 baht) looked great when it came to the table.  I thought that the dressing just didn’t hit the spot.  The Wagyu meat was pretty delicious and came in a generous amount.   In terms of the contexts, for 300 baht it was well spent.  Last dish to talk about was the Zaru Soba (140 baht).  The presentation was appetizing; soba was curled together nicely, glimmering in the light.  Once tried, it was rather disappointing.  Compared to soba dish I have had, this one was below average. 

My overall experience of this fine Japanese lunch at the Kaizen Sushi & Hibachi was more than satisfying.  The food was delicious and the service was great.  The dishes came in good portion.  Most of them are reasonably priced, if not lower than Japanese restaurants Bangkok standard.  Not all the dishes impressed me greatly but majority of them did.  For a new comer to the sushi business, I can promise you that this Japanese restaurant will do well.  Being the One-stop service, the Kaizen Sushi & Hibachi will surely attract wider range of customers.   The convenient location for sky train commuters is a plus, not to mention that it has a parking lot in the back.  So if you want to try various Japanese specialties in other areas besides the hectic Thonglor or silom area, the Kaizen Sushi & Hibachi is a smart choice.  

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