Long appreciated by Bangkok’s Japanese community and those in the know
Whilst sushi and sashimi are considered top of the Bangkok foodie menu, traditional gourmet Japanese dishes are actually shining out the brightest on the city’s dining scene. Perfectly executed—using the finest ingredients, to create complex works of culinary art presented with a sense of innate simplicity that only comes from years of culinary craftsmanship and experience—Kisso Japanese Restaurant has the same measured sense of accomplishment, exquisite quality, and impressive aplomb as a refined Geisha girl.
Located on the 8th floor of the Westin Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok hotel for over 20 years—a lifetime in Bangkok years—the quiet, sophisticated restraint of this minimalist restaurant with formal private dining rooms gives it a feeling of gourmet gravitas that is not to be taken lightly. For all its longevity, dining at Kisso inspires in newcomers a genuine sense of discovery that has long been appreciated by the Japanese community and those in the know.
A wonderful mix of set lunches and dinners, as well as an à la carte menu at both sittings and bento boxes, each dish is standout and perfect for sharing. Chef Chatree Pangsil leads the kitchen with pride and passion, with close to 20 years’ experience preparing high-end Japanese cuisine, 13 of them spent at Kisso.
On the grill, meats and fish are cooked with pure Japanese finesse, using three separate charcoals made from tamarind, mangrove, and eucalyptus to create different heat and flavour intensities.
On the Charcoal Grilled and Grilled Dishes menu the Kurobuta Sumibi Yaki (B420) presents succulent pieces of terrifically tasty pork with three dipping sauces that enhance the high quality of the meat to beyond brilliant. Unagi No Sumibi Yaki to Foie Gras Balsamic Teriyaki Sauce (B890) is a cooked-to-perfection eel fillet that works exquisitely with the luxurious foie gras to create a rich, velvety dish that epitomizes fine-dining Japanese at its absolute best. Thirdly, the Mutsu Shioyaki Matawa Teriyaki (B610), snowfish with teriyaki sauce, is so delicately cooked that the moist flakes seem to almost float away; a stunning example of skilled chefmanship.
Shirauo Avocado Salad (B420), with little fried ice fish, is light and moreish with a dressing created from freshly made stock. The level of detail is astounding. Premium tuna belly Ootoro Nigiri (B380 per piece) is, as would be expected, simply divine, adding a gold-star seal of approval.
The Shokado Bento(B720)—a Lunch Bento Box—includes three types of sashimi with three big slices of each, and comes with grilled chicken and yellowtail fish, plus tempura and a braised pork that is melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Great value lunch plates for kids and a buffet deal at the weekend add to the appeal of this Bangkok institution as a Japanese restaurant tour de force.
By Nadia Willan
Kisso Japanese Restaurant
8F, Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok
259, Sukhumvit Soi 19
Open daily: noon-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm
Tel: 02 207 8000