I am a huge fan of sushi. I lived in Japan for 6 years and every now and then the craving hits me. Fortunately, Bangkok offers a variety of Sushi Bars that vary up and down the wallet scale from super high-end, needing a reservation months in advance, to 5 baht sushi street stands (a little scary for me). Recently I discovered that there’s a mid-range priced sushi restaurant in my neighborhood, called Fatboy Sushi (official Facebook page). With a name like that, it’s worth investigating!
Fatboy Sushi – Same same, but very different!
As soon as I walked into Fatboy Sushi I immediately recognized how different it was from other sushi bars. First off, I wasn’t yelled at (to be fair it’s a Japanese greeting). Instead of a loud greeting, I was met with a warm smile and ushered to an available table. I began with a couple of appetizers and an ice cold Asahi draft beer (120 baht).
Taste the difference…
I started off with Tako Wasabi. I originally tried this dish in Kyoto and wasn’t thrilled with it. But I am a firm believer in giving food second (sometimes third) chances. The Tako Wasabi at Fatboy Sushi is delicious, and if you’re having beer you’ll want this to accompany it. It differs from the experience I had in Kyoto in that it doesn’t taste fishy. The raw octopus (tako) had a nice crunch (as opposed to being chewy) and a light saltiness. Also different was the wasabi. At Fatboy Sushi they use fresh wasabi root and many of the dishes include pickled wasabi root which tastes slightly sweet while retaining the heat of wasabi. I must warn you, this is not a pretty dish. But with a beer or sake you would find this to be an excellent accompaniment!
In addition to the Tako Wasabi dish I enjoyed a Hamachi Chili Ponzu appetizer. Much prettier, and less apt to raise eyebrows, it consists of thin slices of yellowtail topped with garlic and a thin slice of bird’s eye chili. Normally this dish is adorned with slices of jalapeño–but this is Thailand where the bird’s eye chili is practically the national flower. It works, too! The heat from the chili is tempered by the sweetness of the ponzu sauce and garlic. A hint of citrus from the yuzu zest accents the dish very well!
Next I enjoyed their Nigiri Sushi Set. The set came with salmon, tuna, yellowtail, amaebi (sweet prawn), and unagi (fresh water eel). Fatboy Sushi differs from many other sushi bars in that if there’s one thing you don’t like in a sushi set, you can swap it out with a similarly priced sushi item. The presentation of each sushi item was simple yet elegant. I especially enjoyed that they put a small dollop of pickled wasabi root on most of the items.
Time to sushi overload!
I’m the type of person that can eat my weight in sushi. If they keep bringing out delicious bite-sized treats, I will keep eating them. The Nigiri Set was just the springboard to the real feast. Afterwards I enjoyed three of their Fatboy Sushi signature items: two different sushis, and one sushi roll.
A sushi you can’t refuse…
One of the signature sushis I ordered was the Godfather. This sushi is a large sweet prawn adorned with foie gras, truffle paste, caviar, and edible gold flake. Pink Himalayan salt dusts the serving board in case you want a little salt kick with each bite. It is incredible and decadent!
Continuing the feast…
The other signature sushi item I had was the Ikura. A small pad of rice is wrapped with dried seaweed and then filled overbrimming with salmon roe, a dash of truffle oil, and edible gold flake. The salmon roe is marinaded for two days which removes most of the “fishy taste”. After this process the roe turns into little pearls bursting with flavor. It’s a sushi that is as tasty as it is Instagrammable.
I finished off the sushi portion of the dinner with a signature Fatboy Roll. This thing of beauty consists of thin strips of wagyu beef with unagi sauce and truffle oil, roe, and thin slivers of fried Japanese onion. The brazed beef is draped over a roll which contains foie gras, cream cheese, and avocado. It looks and sounds like a lot to take in, but it’s crafted perfectly so that it provides a “layered” taste effect. The first layer of taste is the truffle oil, beef, and crispy onion. This fades away, and the taste of unagi sauce and foie gras surfaces. Finally the cream cheese and avocado takes over with its creamy rich flavor and texture. Normally I shy away from rolls with cream cheese (as they sometimes take over the flavor). Fatboy Sushi uses imported Bega Cream Cheese and you can really taste the difference. It’s rich!
Something from the grill!
Fatboy Sushi offers more than sushi. They have a full service grill station which is encased in glass. You can watch them cook, and not worry about smoking out the place. I finished off my meal experience with a mix of yakitori items from the menu: pork belly, chicken liver, thighs, wings, skin, Japanese leeks, garlic, eggplant, and shitake mushroom heads. With the grilled goods I enjoyed a tall Suntory Whisky Highball (120 baht).
A chat with the owner…
I was very fortunate to be able to chat with the owner of Fatboy Sushi, “Bye”. His story is so interesting. He always wanted to own a restaurant, and has always had a love for sushi. Before he made his investment he wanted to learn the ropes of running a restaurant. He decided to buy a pair of second hand shoes and go undercover. He was hired for an entry level job at a Japanese restaurant. Here Bye spent 3 months gutting fish, cleaning kitchens, and eventually learning the business. After 3 months of “abuse”, he walked away from the Japanese restaurant and opened Fatboy Sushi!
Bye is passionate about providing an unpretentious atmosphere where customers can enjoy high quality cuisine at fair prices. Their signature menu items are developed through experimentation and discovery for the benefit of customers who want something bold and delicious!
This is a place where you unwind from work by enjoying the company of good friends with good food. The Fatboy Sushi staff are incredibly welcoming and provide great service. Fatboy Sushi is open Monday through Saturday with daily Happy Hour Specials from 5-7 pm in which house drinks (draft beers, sake, umeshu) come with a free yakitori skewer set (1 protein/1 vegetable). They are certainly worth a visit just to try their signature sushi items!
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