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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Yamazato Japanese Restaurant Review - Okura Prestige Hotel, Bangkok

Yamazato - Premium Japanese Restaurant and Kaiseki Course at Okura Prestige Hotel, Bangkok

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

Yamazato  - Japanese Restaurant on BumRes.com (For more pictures and menu)

In Bangkok, there are more and more Japanese restaurant opening up recently.  They are just everywhere.  However, to find a Japanese restaurant that serves the Kaiseki isn't as easy as the mainstream Japanese cuisine.  Kaiseki is like a set of tasting menu, originally meant for serving the royals in Japan.  The Yamazato is truly one of a kind Japanese restaurant.  There, besides the seating in the common area with the picturesque sky view of Bangkok, you will find a full size Sushi bar, Teppanyaki tables, and private rooms.  The Yamazato at the Okura Prestige Bangkok.  

The Yamazato is the official Japanese restaurant, and the only name for all the Okura worldwide.  The name, Yamazato means mountain and forest.  Located on the 24th floor of the Okura Prestige Hotel Bangkok, which offers the panoramic sky view of Bangkok.  Serving all day long; breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Hotel guests can enjoy the picturesque view all day along with awesome Japanese food. 

The Yamazato pays attention to every little detail.  Dishware and tableware are specially selected for each type of dish.  The Japanese head chef chose all the table accessories himself.  The furnitures and the decoration inside the restaurant all follow the elegant concept, the Art of Craftsmanship, Origami.  Wall facade had the vertical lines imitating the folding of Origami.  Origami is an art of folding papers into three dimensional shapes.  At each of the Okura hotel rooms, there is a piece of paper with instruction for guests to fold themselves, to interact with the actual concept of the hotel, which creates a memorable stay at the Okura Prestige.  About the service team at the Yamazato, all women service staffs wear a full on Kimono suit.  Customer service was flawless, top notch, superior, well manner; like being in the Japanese restaurant in Japan.  

At the Yamazato, nearly all Japanese specialties are available; pretty much any categories you can imagine.  If you want Sushi, you can go to the Sushi Bar.  If you want the Teppanyaki, there are the Hibachi table, where chefs can cook right in front of you.  At lunch time, the Yamazato offers the lunch set, business set lunch.  Being in the business district, this place gets pack daily during lunch time.  In case your business guests really like Japanese food, the Kaiseki set at dinner will surely impress them.   

In this meal, we had 3 lunch sets and 2 Kaiseki course sets.  I will cover each set one at a time. 

Nigiri Sushi Gozen (Nigiri sushi and sushi rolls, today's special dish, miso soup and fruits - 880 Baht) This sushi set must be the simplest one.  Fish in this set were all typical ones that can be found at any Japanese restaurants.  Considered the freshness of the fish and the sushi rolling skill, this sushi definitely set itself apart from the average.  Coming in the set was the soft omelet, which was superbly done and super delicious. The mushroom was good side and the miso soup couldn't get any better.  

- Beef Shougayaki Gozen (Stir-fried beef in ginger sauce, stir-fried vegetables, chilled tofu, steamed rice, miso soup, pickles and fruits - 830 Baht) speaking of the beef (I believe it was sirloin), it was not overly tender; just right texture.  Being sauteed with the ginger sauce made it just delectable.  In the sizzling pan was just a simple stir-fried veggies.  Among all the side, it must be the chilled tofu that impressed me most.  It was perfectly firm and soft, chilled, and really tasty.  The Japanese rice coming with was also wonderful.  My friend said it reminded him of the rice he had in Hokkaido.  The rice was enjoyable all by itself and surely made the beef even more delicious. 

- Shokado Bento Box (Japanese steamed egg custard, sashimi, grilled dish, simmered dish, tempura, steamed rice, miso soup and dessert - 1,500 Baht) This one is the most expensive lunch set of all.  Of course, its extravaganza came with the high price.  It was like a Kaiseki at lunch.  Mainly, we had simple Sashimi (Maguro, Tai, Kampachi), really fresh and sweet.  In the bento, we had four items; grilled beef, tofu, grilled fish, and pickled veggies.  The royal soft omelet soup also came in this set.  This set was just amazing, only for rich folks I supposed; who is in on the 1,500 Baht lunch set? 

Now, we are talking, the Kaiseki

Icho Kaiseki (Starter, steamed egg with shrimp, fresh sashimi, simmered dish, tempura, steamed rice, miso soup, pickles and dessert - 3,500 Baht) Normally Kaiseki is served one course at a time.  Kaiseki is unique for each restaurant, some only serve 5 and others serve 10 course.  Kaiseki is the set of variety premium Japanese cuisine to demonstrate the different cooking techniques applied in each course; raw, boil, grill, steam, etc.  In this set, we had the nigiri, the grilled fish, Chirashi sushi, the Tempura, the soft omelet, and other vegetable sides.  All of which was tastefully done, fantastically presented in the luxurious hand painted ceramic dishware.  Along with the top notch service, we just felt like the King.  Speechless feast! 

- Sushi Kaiseki (Appetizer, special arranged steamed egg dish, seasonal grilled fish, nigiri sushi, clear soup, and dessert - 4500 Baht) In this set, we may get less items than the Icho Kaiseki because we go the large plate of sushi.  The soft omelet soup was more special with the addition of the ikura and  shrimp.  The sushi plate consisted of ten bites; mixed of basic fish and expensive fish.  Nothing to complain about the fish quality here, supreme grade.  The grilled fish was amazing too, texture like snow fish, not sure if it was gindara or what.  

In fact, there is so much to describe about my experience at the Yamazato.  However, I don't want this review to be too long.  All I want to say was that this lunch was absolutely incredible, one in a life time sort of thing.  The Yamazato really impressed me and the whole blogger crew.  This visit was beyond memorable.  For you who is looking for the one of a kind Japanese restaurant and you are willing to pay for this kind of Japanese culinary experience, Yamazato will blow your mind away.  Or if the case was to impress your Japanese clients, this is the place to be.  

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