Doing sashimi in style
Banish thoughts of your usual Japanese restaurant in a mall. A new import from Shanghai, Shintori is of a different class – and price range – entirely. Staff in stylish black uniforms usher you past a monumental sliding wooden door and into the huge, open-plan dining hall by Duangrit Bunnag, one of the country’s foremost architects and a master of minimalism.
It’s a fresh, high-ceilinged space where polished concrete is offset by simple black furniture, overhead spotlights contrast with shadow, and the sushi bar, kitchen and cocktail bar get a wall each. But it is to the fourth wall, with its floor-to-ceiling window stretching its entire length, that your eye is drawn. The view – of the lawns of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club framed by a skyscraper-filled skyline – is epic.
If Shintori is starting to sound like a pricey spot, here’s the bad news: it is. However, if you’re looking for a dinner that impresses on all fronts it could be worth forking out for, as the combination of a thrilling setting and exciting food is still hard to find in this town.
Like the décor, most of the food here is a far cry from what you find in the usual mall joints, with a strong lean towards ysō hoku, or western-style Japanese cooking. Starters that prove the point include the avocado tuna paste cocktail, with hints of wasabi and Japanese spirit shochu (B320), and the dainty Peking duck crispy spring rolls served with tender beef cubes and Pollock-like drizzles of eel sauce (B450).
Both the above are tasty, but neither is a patch on the codfish monomiso (B650), a Shintori signature. Marinated for five days, it’s flaky, soft and packed full of miso flavour – a joy. For those who like their Japanese food more mainstream, there are sashimi platters, the biggest one just about justifying its price tag with its fresh, fat-sliced otoro tuna, yellow tail, red snapper and flounder (B1590).
As good as the food is, Shintori could, if word gets out, work just as well as an uber-stylish cocktail bar. Given the size of the bar stretching along the back wall, it’s clear that the tipples (B350) are meant to be another highlight.
On our visit, fruity Japanese-inflected concoctions such as the Mr Miyagi (shochu, honey, watermelon) and Sakura Season Change (sake, umeshu, lemon juice, cherry blossom syrup, sparkling wine) confirmed it. เซนทรัลเวลิ ร์ ถ.ราชดาํา ริ
Level 18, Zen World, Zen Department Stores | 02-100-9000 shintoribangkok.com | 5.30pm-late