Friday, June 27, 2008

Taiko 51

We were recommended to try this Japanese restaurant on Sukhumvit soi 51. Our friend has been going here for a while and told us to try it out. I am always happy to try a new Japanese restaurant. I am always looking for something unusual and new.

Taiko is in a house in the soi and thank goodness there was parking. The decor was nothing special but it did have a nice lay out.

The first dish was the amuse bouche. A small bowl of clear cold noodles sauted with vegetables.

The next dish was Sashimi Mori. The sashimi was very fresh and it had the usual selection of fish. The only thing I hated was the fake crab. I think they should avoid this at all times. What is unusual about Taiko is how they cut the sashimi. The sashimi pieces are huge. You sure get your money's worth. You actually have to take two bites out of each piece.

The next dish was Tekka Maki. A simple sushi but one of my favourites. The tuna was fresh, had a nice colour and the rice was perfect.

The next dish was Atarime (roasted squid). This is normally eaten as a snack when drinking. But, we just felt like having this dish for dinner. It has a very strong smell & taste of squid. The roasting of the squid makes it very chewy, almost like jerky.

The next dish was Ebi Shioyaki (grilled & salted prawns). This was a great dish. The ebi was rubbed with rock salt before being grilled. After you peel off the skin of the ebi, your fingers left salty from the rock salt and it rubs off onto the flesh of the ebi. The sweetness of the fresh ebi, the rock salt and a squeeze of lime were a great combination. The colour of the ebi was intensely pink.

The next dish was Hiyayakko (cold tofu). This is a favourite of ours. So, simple, but when you add the green onion and fish flakes into the soy sauce, this dish is wonderful. When the tofu is fresh and has a velvet like texture, its even better.

The next dish was bacon salad. I know it does not sound very Japanese, but they have turned it into Japanese with the salad sauce. But I have to say, this was a very nice dish. The bacon was not the industrial kind, but thick and juicy fresh bacon. The rocket salad had a strong flavour. The combination of bacon, rocket and Japanese salad sauce was a hit with us.

The next dish was Hamaguri Sakamushi (clams in sake). When I saw this on the menu. I decided we needed to have it. There is another Japanese restaurant in town that also has this dish and I really like it. However, I was disappointed that the clams in sake at Taiko is not as good. The soup was not as flavourful, but the clams were fresh. I think they did not use a very good sake for this dish.

The dishes were all washed down with a giant bottle of Kizakura Karakuchi sake (served cold). We normally cannot finish the entire bottle. What is great with all the Japanese restaurants in town is that you can leave your name on the bottle and keep it on storage in the restaurant until the next visit. This sake was smooth and easy to drink.

This was a very good recommendation from our friend. This is a good address and we will return because the food is very good. But because we also have a huge bottle of sake waiting for us. The only issue I have is that the staff were not very good. I had to ask for the menu several times, I had to call for a wait staff more than once when we wanted to order something else, and I had to call more than twice for the bill. I am not sure if this is normal for this restaurant. We will try this place again and see.

61 Sukhumvit soi 51, 02 662 5062

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