We read about a Japanese organic vegetarian restaurant/grocer in the BK magazine. I think it is the first of its kind in Bangkok and probably in Thailand. The restaurant/grocer is called Sustaina. Since we are big supporters of the organic/bio-dynamic eating & drinking movement; we wanted to see what Sustaina was all about.
The grocer is on the first floor and the entrance to the restaurant is on the second floor by using a curved staircase. Sustaina has an orderly & neat atmosphere; everything is so precisely placed and the place is very very clean. The restaurant is plain in terms of decor; they use wicker chairs and wooden tables. The colours are browns, beiges and yellows. Nothing special stands out here. It is just clean and orderly.
The concept of Sustaina is about natural & locally grown organic produce. The restaurant has an extensive menu that is very healthy with options that feature a mix of Japanese and international dishes and NO meat on the menu. The local fish is caught in Rayong.
My friend had a fresh Carrot juice (75 baht) and I had a herb cocktail (photo above) Pineapple & mint soda (65 baht).
My dish was Home made curry with deep fried tuna (medium size 210 baht). You can always tell a home made curry due to its 'thinner' consistency as well as its natural sweetness due to all the fruits and vegetables used for the sauce...which by the way is a lovely way of making the curry. The deep fried tuna was fried to a golden brown; crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
My friend's dish was Tuna & tofu steak with grated okura (270 baht). The tuna and tofu was really good in term of the texture and flavour. The taste of the dish was nice from the herbs and spices. The only bizarre thing was the grated okura; it made the sauce too slimy...actually, it was simply weird.
For dessert we chose the Sustaina's 'choose any 4 combination petit sweets' (70 baht). Starting from top left (going clock wise); cheese cake, gateau chocolate, fruits pound cake & pumpkin pudding.
The organic grocer with fresh organic fruits, rice, etc. Besides fresh produce; they also have organic dish washing detergent, cleaning products or even 100% natural herbs anti-mosquito incense coils with key ingredients of Lemongrass, Citronella & Bergamot (I bought one for 70 baht...it really smells good).
They have organic shampoos, lotions and soaps...the soaps came in different varietal mixes; Lemongrass mixed with another ingredient or Lavender mixed with something, etc. (I can't remember all of them now...I am getting old), I bought a Aloe vera, Kaffer lime & Olive oil soap (120 baht).
The organic vegetables...all the vegetables found here come from the Harmony Life Organic farm up in Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchsima. There were Japanese sauces, dressings, home made breads & desserts, etc., etc. And on top of that; organic eggs...we bought a dozen (120 baht).
Overall; since we always have Thai organic vegetarian food, this was a good chance for us to try for the first time, Japanese organic vegetarian food (fish is included in this). It was not bad at all. The food was very fresh, well prepared and was large portions. The juices were very fresh & tasty and the desserts were made with good ingredients (they were not too sweet...which is a good thing) and they were yummy. The staff was attentive and friendly and overall prices were very reasonable; especially for the juices and desserts...super reasonable.
The great thing about Sustaina; (even though it is a Japanese owned restaurant/grocer) is that they not only support organic produce & practices but that they are growing the produce in Thailand. They have their own farms so that they can teach the farmers what 'organic' farming is all about. This in the long run is good for everyone. The farmers will know that this kind of farming is good & healthier for themselves as well as for their land. So...its a win win situation for everyone...especially the end consumers like us.
Address: 2/F, 1/40 Sukhumvit Soi 39
Nearest train: BTS Phrom Phon
Opening Hours: daily 10:30am-2pm, 5-10pm