We have heard a lot of about a fusion Japanese restaurant/ sushi bar from friends. They say that Isao is now one of the best on Sukhumvit and even in town. Oh really??? That meant we had to go try ourselves and see that all the talk is about.
Isao was inspired by the master of sushi, ‘Isao,’ from Green Tea Restaurant in Chicago, the leading-edge females, Chef Karuna Sangaroon and Manager Pornsawan Semangoern, hatched the à la mode sushi bar named after the master himself.
We decided to go on a Sunday to Isao for lunch around 13:30 (no reservations), walked into the shophouse and was shocked that the place was packed. Luckily for us; there was one table available on the second floor.
The simple decor from basic wooden chairs & tables to the bamboo and contemporary styled paintings hanging on the walls of the first and second floor, can surely boost your mood for the show that was about to begin...the food.
One of the nice aspects of Isao...the cold green tea. They put a big pitcher of the stuff on your table so that you can serve yourself.
The first dish was Spicy Tuna roll...220 baht. The appearance of the roll was simple and well portioned. No fuss; just the lovely roll on a white plate. The tuna was fresh and had good flavour. However; the seasoning was not well balanced and it was not 'spicy'. I also thought the consistency of the tuna was too much like baby food. It was too 'mushy'. I am used to the 'chunky' spicy tuna rolls where the tuna is hand chopped and has a kick with the first bite.
The next dish was Spider roll...240 baht. The spider roll was beautifully presented; the roll was well made and compact sitting on a lovely painted Japanese dish. The colours of this dish surely stood out. The crab was deep fried perfectly & still had a nice crispness to it and the other ingredients such as the avocado, etc. were fresh and the whole combination made this dish really good.
The next dish was Sushi set A...480 baht. The 7 sushi set was a colour feast to the eyes. Each sushi was prepared well and were nicely portioned pieces. The fish were fresh and had good tastes. However; I thought the fish was too warm; which made me wonder how they stored their fish. I am not assuming anything bad, it could have been that the dish was just sitting on the counter too long before being served. But whatever the reason; my personal feeling is that fresh fish like this should not be served warmer than room temperature.
The entrance of dinning room on the second floor.
Located on the very busy street of Sukhumvit soi 31. Since Isao does not have parking, parking can be a hassle.
Overall; honestly its good, but personally I do not think it is the 'best' in town. We have had better spicy tuna rolls and sushi (though the spider was was amazing). However; I understand why Isao is the talk of the town; the food is good, the sushi menu is so extensive & very very creative that its mind blowing from the choices, the service is good & friendly, the atmosphere is pleasant and the prices are just right. A combination like this...no wonder its so popular.
Address: 5 Sukhumvit 31,
Tel.: 02 258 0645,
Open Mondays-Fridays 11am-2.30pm for lunch,
5.30pm-10pm for dinner,
Saturdays and Sundays 11am-10pm.