Industrial-chic sushi bar Seiryu Sushi has opened to a warm reception in Bangkok’s central business district.
Fancy Sukhumvit sushi restaurants are multiplying, packing in diners throughout the week. But the recent opening of Seiryu Sushi on Soi Sala Daeng has generated a bit of a buzz as well. Thanks to an industrial decor and a pared-down menu of favourites, the new sushi joint is seeing a crush of office workers and expats during lunchtime, and fielding reservations in the evenings as well.
The ground floor establishment stands out between towering residences with its black matte facade and pebbled entryway. Inside, the place steers away from the usual Oriental stereotypes, going instead with black walls and ceiling, bare concrete pillars, and dark wooden furniture. Rows of incandescent light bulbs add to its industrial vibe. It’s not all dark and gloomy, though—during the day, the 50-seater restaurant is filled with sunlight pouring through the glass windows. Taking colour reference from its name— seiryu means blue dragon—subtle touches of royal blue can be found in dried flowers on the tables and in stool tops by the marble sushi bar.
Despite the sleek space and a clear effort to design a new kind of ambience, “the focus here is on the food”, according to co-owner and general manager Yasin Kerdkitsadanont. Their fresh selection of fish, they say, comes imported from Japan and Norway, two to five times a week. A white board placed on the bar lists specials of the day, which varies depending on what’s fresh from the suppliers. The preparation is led by Chef Sieng, who has over 20 years of experience in Japanese restaurants around the city.
When Yasin and his friends teamed up to launch Seiryu, their intention was clear—a sushi bar and a menu that gets straight to the point. Divided into four sections, theirs features a selection of sushi such as unagi [eel], ikura [salmon roe], hamachi, and saba [mackerel] among others. Their nigiri sushi specials include foie gras (B260) and a marinated grilled Matsusaka beef (B320). The second half of the menu serves up premium sushi and sashimi sets ranging from B330 to B650. They also offer a range of maki rolls such as tempura (B200), seafood (tuna, salmon, avocado, and sesame, B350), dragon (Japanese cucumber, sweet egg, and eel, B380), and salmon (salmon, avocado, and mayo, B250). Also on the menu are all the usual donburi with a choice of salmon, beef, and tekka [sliced tuna]. They also serve a chirashi, which is rice topped with assorted sashimi (B330–B600).
Starting with their specials, we ordered a signature roll, the Seiryu Rollmantic (B450). The heart-shaped sushi, wrapped in minced tuna belly, comes in five pieces and is topped with foie gras. We also gave into healthy eating with a big helping of crunchy Seiryu salad (B320), comprising the usual veggies with a nice surprise of sliced avocado, raw salmon, and seaweed, topped with a sesame dressing and salmon roe. Next, we went with sushi set B from their premium selection. The set comprised of soft and creamy uni [sea urchin roe]—Yasin’s favourite—smoked foie gras, grilled beef, and chutoro and otoro [different sections of the blue fin tuna belly].
The beverage menu gives diners a limited choice of sake, shochu, Sapporo beer, a sake smoothie, along with green tea and soft drinks. The reasonably priced sake selection offers five different types and ranges from B300 to B1,350 for 300ml and 500ml, respectively. Yasin recommends the Kuranama, which he says is good value for money at B750 for 500ml. If you want to skip the afternoon buzz, opt for green tea, which has a lingering sesame flavour.
Featured in Masala magazine, April 2013, Thailand
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