Sky-High Sushi and Sake

Posted on December 17, 2012

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With a spectacular view of the city, Taihei at Banyan Tree Bangkok offers authentic Japanese favourites and delicious sake infused cocktails. BY REENA KARIM

(featured in Masala Magazine in December 2012, Thailand)

[For original click on the link below]

SkyHigh

We held on to our stomachs on the high-speed elevator ride to the 53rd floor of the Banyan Tree Bangkok. Once there, we popped our eardrums and stepped into Taihei, where ladies in heels would be well advised to watch the pebbled entry path. The stark red and black walls are contrasted by the glass windows, which provide unobstructed views of the Lumpini Park and the winding banks of the Chao Phraya. The decor here is a minimal, replacing the expected Oriental accessories with streaming daylight. Taihei, meaning “peace” in Japanese, takes away the stiffness that comes with eating at a fine dining restaurant and serves traditional meals in a laid-back ambience. We loved the feeling of walking into a private home when the staff offered us soft bedroom slippers before ushering us into a private dining room with tatami mats. Once settled in, we got wet towels with traces of jasmine, along with chilled glasses of green tea and pairs of virgin bamboo chopsticks. Soon after, the food manifesto arrived. The menu at first seemed intimidating as the dishes are spelt in Romanised Japanese with a brief description of the items. But luckily we didn’t have to order based on instinct because the informative and helpful staff quickly pointed us in the right direction.

THE FOOD
The split-level restaurant features a sushi and sashimi bar on the lower floor and serves teppanyaki on the upper floor. We ate downstairs with the Sashimi Tairyo set (B1,500), a selection of seven sashimi, namely sardine, tuna, Spanish mackerel, barracuda, salmon, squid, and sea bass. Next we tried the scrumptious spicy salmon hand roll (B450), lined generously with avocado and cucumber and with satisfying bits of crispy salmon skin in the middle. At the urging of our waitress, we ordered the three-course Yakisakana set (B550), one of many set options at Taihei. Our starter arrived in a platter with small portions of Japanese pickles, squares of prawn cake, stir-fried mushroom, a bowl of mashed potatoes, and boiled taro and pumpkin with minced shrimp. Our main course featured a light, flavourful cod fish fillet with crispy skin, covered in a layer of miso sauce. Dessert was mouth-watering homemade green tea ice cream, a portion of fresh fruits, and a soft red bean pudding topped with powdered sesame. Chef Masami Okamoto from Hokkaido likes to mix things up by changing up starters and desserts at every meal, so if you come in twice a week, expect something new in your set meal. If you’re into teppanyaki, try their juicy 160g Kobe beef (B2,700). Ours came with a generous portion of onion, two types of mushroom, bell pepper, and asparagus.

THE DRINKS
Taihei’s beverage menu features an elaborate list of sake-infused cocktails. Their tangy signature cocktail, Fuji Sunset (B350), came with a heavy bottom layer of strawberry liquor topped with sake, triple sec, and lemon juice. For something sweeter, we went with the Sake Cooler (B350), which resembled a Hawaiian tropical punch complete with a lemon wedge and an orchid flower. The taste reminded us of candy, thanks to a mix of grenadine, amaretto, orange juice, and soda. Our favourite was the Osaka Caipris (B350) that gave a mojito-like kick but with a smoother sake undertone. The restaurant also offers guests over 10 different types of sake (B450 for a 200ml carafe and B650 for a 300ml bottle).

Banyan Tree Bangkok
21/100 South Sathon Road
Open 11:30am–2:30pm, 6–11pm
02-679-1200, banyantree.com/en/bangkok

[For original click on the link below]

SkyHigh

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Posted in: Dining