What about some Japanese delights. You find Shunbo Sumibiyaki rather deep into Sukhumvit Soi 11. Don’t let that scare you off, but take the opportunity to visit this Izakaya for a good Japanese meal before stepping out into one of Bangkok’s more famous clubbing zones.
Izakaya is a kind of informal Japanese drinking establishment, but one that serves food to accompany the drinks. Linguistically it’s a compound word of i (to stay) and sakaya (sake shop). In general, they are casual places for after-work drinking. And with drinking, darkness is a follower, and Shunbo isn’t any exception to that. The room is on the dark side, but the service on the other hand is excellent, with close follow up, so no need to start searching it all out on your own.
I’m a big fan of Japanese food due to it’s simplicity of combining ingredients, with no temptation to overload your taste bud with a war of flavors. A not to be missed dish is the grilled saba (Shimesaba Aburiyani), meaning mackerel. It’s really on of the best mackerels I have ever tasted (when served this way), and also the best dish out of the four I choose to test.
The waitress bring the mackerel to your table, together with a blowtorch, so step back because she puts on max fire, carbonizing the skin to a golden crisp delight. The mackerel itself has been soaked in vinegar and salt for about 20-30 minutes before it’s put on fire. It comes with hips of pickled ginger, seawead and real wasabi (not your fake supermarket tube look-a-like wasabi). It’s a real delight of a dish that makes your tastebuds run wild (B 350).
Horenzo Gomade – sea spinach with a sauce of sesame seeds and peanuts (B150). It’s a very delicate dish. Fresh and light with success factors being the cooking of the spinach and the making of the sesame and peanut sauce. It should be a bit fluffy and airy and not compact and nutty.
Sunomano Mariawase (as shown in the top picture is pieces of shrimp, squid, mackerel on a cucumber salad in Japanese vinegar (B180). A very pleasant surprise that was very balanced with really good quality in the seafood ingredients, especially the squid was astonishing.
The last dish I tried this evening was the Yaki Gyoza, which is a kind of “Japanese ravioli” if you may, filled with minced shrimps and pork meat. Comes with a dipping source of Japanese vinegar and sesame oil (B180).
I enjoyed my food with some cold sake (alcohol level like wine) with a price of B350 for a small carafe. That’s one of the cheaper once on the menu, but they rally have a good selection of Sake for those attempting to dive into that world. Shunbo did surprise me with the quality of the food. All the dishes was tasty with a good philosophy behind the paring of the tastes, with the mackerel in it’s own league. I will certainly come back.
The waitress Dao speaks good english and the menu comes with decent explanatory pictures. I would certainly not shy of any of the other dishes on the menu. They also have sushi and all that stuff for those interested, but I’m difficult to surprise in that area as I’ve had my fair share for a while. On the other hand, the sushi area makes it easy to bring children there. But why don’t you dive into some of the other Japanese delights.
Name: Shunbo Sumibiyaki
Food: Japanese (Izakaya)
Price: Moderate to expensive. The four dishes and the carafe with taxes added up to B1650.
Open: 5:30pm – midnight
Address: 33/5 Sukhumvit Soi 11
How to get there: BTS to Nana station. Then walk into Sukhumvit Soi 11 for some minutes. You walk down until you sea a bigger parking lot opening up to your left with KOREAN in colorful letters lightning up one of the facades just inside the parking lot. It’s on the left side when heading into the parking lot, desecrate sign saying Shunbo.