A foodie friend of ours wanted to try a new funky sushi bar in town. We are always game to try something new; so we decided to meet at 'In the Mood for Love'. A very unusual name for a sushi bar but at the same time very cool.
If you want something sexy, cool & exciting when it comes to sushi, this was the perfect setting for it. Soft blue lighting dominated the ceiling above the room, dark glassed walls and wicker lamps hanging above the sushi counter - the mood lighting recreated the setting of the 2000 film by Wong Kar-Wai which brought us back to Hong Kong in the 60s. So; I was definately wrong to expect something Japanese with a name like In the Mood for Love.
On top of all that; the menu had the most unusual, wacky & fun named sushi. Of course it took us a while to order because we had no idea what were ordering. We had to read each ingredient carefully to make sure what we were going to eat.
The amuse bouche was Elixir Oyster Shooter (260). This consisted of a fresh oyster with quail egg in sake with elixir juice. It was unique indeed; hard to describe since there is nothing else like it. But, the contrasting textures of the oyster & quail egg was a clever idea and at the same time the combination of sake & elixir tasted good.
The first roll was Green satin. Consisted of karikama, daikon, horenzo, avo, kaware and crab mixed and wrapped with cucumber. Even though there were a lot of ingredients to comprise this roll, I was not totally impressed with it. The roll was crafted nicely but I felt it was too bland.
The next roll was Sweet 16 (400 baht). This is one of the restaurant's signature roll. The roll consisted of eel, spicy tuna, avocado and topped with strawberries and shrimp roe. At first; I thought this was too weird and when I bit into the roll, I still thought it was too weird. The taste & sweetness of the strawberry was a good contrast of the savoury flavours in the roll. But I think I am a traditionalist when it comes to my sushi rolls.
The next roll was Guilty But Happy (360 baht) Shrimp tempura, ebiko, cream cheese, scallion, mayo and red sauce drizzle with wasabi mayo and nitsume sauce. The contrasting textures was nice in this roll as well as the tastes of the ingredients.
The next roll was Hole in the Wall (320 baht). The roll consisted of seared hotate, jalepeno, tobiko, & cucumbers skewed with avocados. The flavours of the roll were nicely balanced and I could tell from the textures & flavours what I was eating (which is a good thing).
The next roll was Rainbow roll (390 baht). Everything in the sushi bar was put into this sushi. That explains the explosion of colours & textures from this roll. The ingredients were fresh and the roll was good (not the best in town but non-the-less, pretty good).
The next dish was Hirame ponzu (560 baht). Thinly sliced hirame with lemon and ponzu sauce. The hirame was sliced to paper thin perfection. The lemon & ponzu sauce added the necessary acidity and saltiness to the sweet fish. A simple but very nice dish.
The last dish was Aikamo Toban (260 baht). Pan fried duck breast with bunno sauce. The duck was of good quality. The bunno sauce was not sweet (which was a good thing). However; the duck was a bit over cooked making it chewy.
The first dessert was Green tea ice cream (120 baht). The ice cream was smooth, creamy and rich in green tea flavour. Nothing to complain about with this dessert.
Overall; a very hip & cool place to hang out due to the ambiance, decor & vibe. Unique for Bangkok but in a very good way. The service however was unattentive because the restaurant was full; but I would not use that as an excuse. The management has to teach their staff to be more concerned with the customers needs. There were staff who were just standing around but on the other side of the restaurant the whole evening. I had to wave to get their attention all the time to either ask for the menu, pour our sake or to clean our table since new dishes were arriving, etc.. This was not good.
As for the food; it was good but not outstanding. The sushi was imaginative and was aesthetically very nice. But since they combined so many ingredients into their sushi, they could pay more attention to detail when it comes to making the sushi. The ingredients that go into the sushi should not only be the freshest & best quality but also have the right colours, textures & consistency since that is the very first thing we will notice & taste. The food had a few hits but also a few misses. At these prices; I would rather they have more hits.
Honestly; I will probably forget about this restaurant unless someone brings it up. But, then again, who cares if I don't go to this restaurant. I am sure that 'In the Mood for Love' has a very strong following.
9/9 Sukhumvit soi 36