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Spanish and Japanese cuisine meet in the delectable middle at Japan-ISH

by Aiden

Christmas is over, but you can still mix and mingle with a jingling beat.

By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales

Despite the fact that my days often revolve around food (with a constant refrain of, where to eat, what to eat, and with whom am I eating), I’m far from a food purist. While I’ll give authentic, heritage recipes their due, I’ll also happily tuck into fusion dishes of all combinations. I firmly believe that integrating different culinary techniques, ingredients, and flavours will often lead to surprising and delicious outcomes; two distinct parts elevating each other into an even better whole. So when I first heard of Japan-ISH, an apt portmanteau of Japanese and Spanish, the two cuisines it serves, I was intrigued.

First Impressions

On the 18th floor of the Ramada by Wyndham Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 hotel, tucked into the infamous Sukhumvit Soi 11, Japan-ISH aims to charm and astonish from the moment you exit the lifts. A staircase of mirrored walls broken up with red panels beckons you upstairs, while as you ascend, a curated selection of masks look down at you in a riot of emotions. LED lighting bathes the staircase in a festive red glow, reflected off the ceilings, walls, and the staircase itself.

Upstairs, the crimson theme continues, infusing the room with the kind of energy that one needs after a long day at work. The space gives the impression of a work of art, from its undulating ceiling, to the stylised sconces on the walls, to the Samurai armour that greets you as you walk in. The outsized bar runs the length of the room, tempting you to sip on a few tipples before you start; parallel to the end-to-end windows that look out on to the bustling streets below. On the right, as you walk in, is an al fresco area with inviting, red-cushioned seats that allow you to enjoy sundowners with a view, while above, fibre optic lights gently sway in the breeze, adding an ethereal quality to the scene.  

Food and Drink

Having just opened in the last year, Japan-ISH has refined their menu, which now offers a range of Japanese and Spanish classics, as well as delectable fusion dishes, brought to you by Chef Jesus Pascual, whose extensive experience includes working in Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain. We began with the Mushroom croquetas (THB 280), made with eryngii and shiitake, classic Japanese ingredients that made the croquetas melt in your mouth, paired with a healthy dollop of truffle mayo that we couldn’t get enough of. If you’re looking for a starter that leans more Japanese, their Salmon piri (THB 310) is a great shout, made with salmon, avocado, spring onions, kaiware, tobiko, and a spicy piri sauce to offset the flavours and give the dish an unusual kick.

We then tucked into the Hamachi escabeche (THB 450) with great gusto, which was fresh and perfectly balanced with the acidic elements of the yuzu oil and the yellow chili e citrus sauce, while topping the dish are tiny moreish spheres of fumi arare, a Japanese-cracker made from glutinous rice, to give it that extra crunch. I personally love Japanese kushiyaki, and if you share my love for skewered meats, their Tsukune moruno (THB 210) won’t disappoint. Made with Iberico pork instead of the traditional use of normal chicken, pork, or beef, and marinated in Andalusian spices, it’s the perfect marriage of Japanese and Spanish flavours. Don’t forget to dip it in the runny egg on the side; an indulgence I’ll never get tired of.

The Snow crab kani sarada (THB 230) is not to be missed, an interactive dish made with snow crab meat in a spicy mayo dressing beautifully plated in a crab shell, with toasted garlic and butter bread on which you can spread lashings of crab for a truly decadent mouthful. Finally, end your meal with the Yaki imo churros (THB 230), made with sweet potato and cinnamon sugar but with spiced chocolate to round out the flavours and ensure you won’t be able to get enough.

Make sure to pair your meal with their array of signature or classic cocktails (or indulge in their freeflow option, available from 5.30pm to 7.30pm daily for only THB 499, an option that I solemnly noted down). Their signature cocktails are named after Japanese gods, and certainly taste divine. If you prefer gin-based drinks, I would recommend the Bishamonten (the Japanese god of luck) (THB 350), which is sweet with an acidic kick from the lime juice, with vanilla syrup balancing the flavours to create a drink that’s almost too easy to drink. The Amaterasu (sun goddess) (THB 350) is made with vodka and apple juice, with refreshing Japanese flavours in the form of sake and yuzu. However, if you’re more in the mood for a classic Negroni, the Fujin (Japanese god of the wind) (THB 350) is their version of this viral cocktail, made with acai, a homemade liqueur comprised of ingredients from Japan.

Surprising, vibrant, and a haunt you won’t soon forget, Japan-ISH is definitely a strong contender in Sukhumvit Soi 11’s array of dynamic and delicious options. 

Masala Recommends

The Cod miso (THB 520), made with black cod and white miso, and served on an eye-catching leaf with roasted garlic aioli on the side. A treat for both your eyes and the palate, the dish was prepared perfectly and is at once delicate and packed with flavour.


155, 23-24 Sukhumvit Soi 11
Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110
Open daily from 5.30pm to 2am
Tel: 096 049 9973
Facebook and Instagram: @japanishrestaurant

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