From the outside, only a wooden plaque with its carved kanji characters in black lacquer tells you where you are. Walking into the light coloured wood exterior of Ginza Sushi Ichi, a softly lit corridor leads you to two private rooms behind more wooden slide doors.
Two chefs in yukatas stand behind the long hinoki counter in one of the rooms. You'll notice that every object in the room is placed with meticulous precision, from the small blossoms on the chopstick holders to the bowl of fresh wasabi roots in the middle of the room. The atmosphere parallels the nature of the traditional Edo-mae styled sushi we're about to have: a skillful manipulation of the highest quality of ingredients to bring out their utmost charms.
At the exclusive Ginza Sushi Ichi, diners are seated by the hinoki counter, and it's quiet. Devoid of any ambience music, you are forced to observe the perfected movements of the chef preparing exquisite sushi one piece at a time. As you ought to know by now with the popular omakase style of sushi service, the chef will add an ideal amount of soy sauce and wasabi in each bite. Therefore, expect an extremely bare personal dining space, without even a dispenser of soy sauce in sight.
As the chef finishes a piece, he places it on a shiny lacquered plate to be eaten right away. Besides the chef's creations, the house prides itself on its unsurpassable authentic Japanese dining ware. Everything, even the decorative leaves and flowers, flies in directly from Japan daily.
The omakase course starts with a plate of hors d'oeuvres to stimulate your palate. Appetisers may include delicacies such as tobiko, sweet chestnut and smoked salmon sushi made into the shape of a pumpkin. As the course progresses, the colours of the rice and fish tend to darken, a sign of increased umami. Brown amazu rice is used in lieu of typical white rice, and fish meats with stronger tastes and smells come into play.
The meal ends on a sweet and light note with a delightful serving of Japanese soy pudding layered with green tea sauce. The sweetness of the dessert kept to a tasteful Japanese mild, the earthy fragrance of soybean is just heavenly.
Ginza Sushi Ichi
LG Floor, Erawan Bangkok
Open Tuesday-Saturday noon-2:30pm, 6-11pm; Sunday noon-2:30pm, 6-10pm