I love sushi. Like a good hamburger, sushi is one of those things that I crave every now and then–and eventually I have to satisfy that craving. During a recent visit to the Wat Lat Prao a friend of mine recommended a nearby sushi joint called The Gallery Sushi Bar (official Facebook page).
Rather than go that day, I coordinated with him for a day when we could go together. I don’t mind eating sushi alone, but it’s a much more enjoyable experience when you can dine with a friend. Plus you can explore the menu a bit more.
I was blown away by the quality of this sushi, and the ginormous portions also made it an incredible value. It’s not cheap (and if you’re idea of sushi comes from a 5 baht sushi stand then stop reading now). But considering the quality and portion sizes it’s very inexpensive especially in comparison to sushi bars in the Sukhumvit area. Let me show you…
For this sushi feast my friend and I decided to start off simply with a Rainbow Roll, then we moved into a few signature sushi and sushi rolls. As a treat we also spoiled ourselves with the most amazing O-Toro (bluefin tuna) sashimi experiences I have ever had.
Over the Rainbow (Roll)
For a baseline assessment, the Rainbow Roll (360 baht) is an excellent choice to start with. With this roll you can easily gauge how tasty and fresh the fish selections are, as well as how perfect the rice is (good sushi can’t be had if either is bad). The Gallery Sushi Bar imports all of their fish from all around the world (Japan, Norway, Marshal Islands, Spain, and around the Mediterranean). It’s high quality.
The freshness of the fish immediately stands out from the very first bite. As you can see they don’t skimp on the portion size either. For a nice variety this is an excellent roll to begin with. But don’t deny yourself the pleasure of trying some of their signature rolls. We didn’t.
For a real treat I highly recommend their signature sushi roll the Gallery Scallopy (390 baht). The rice base is wrapped in tempura fried seaweed giving it a satisfying crunch. The top is a creamy mixture of Hokkaido scallops, ebiko, and a spicy house sauce that gives it a nice kick. Like their other sushi, this is a struggle to try and fit in your mouth in one bite. It can be done…with effort.
The Gallery Sushi Bar has the absolute best (and biggest!) Botan Ebi (290 baht/pc) sushi I have ever stuffed in my mouth. These monster shrimp are imported direct from Toyama, Japan. They’re lightly cooked so they have a little crunch and a bit of sweetness.
They’re also topped with a generous dollop of salmon roe. What I love about this particular sushi is that they pulled off the tails before serving. I get the presentation appeal of leaving the tails on (plus it makes it look bigger). These shrimp are super sized even without the tails. After a history of destroying many Botan Ebi sushi whilst attempting to get their tails off, it was a pleasure to just be able to dive in without launching salmon roe everywhere.
The Gallery Sushi Bar currently has a special on their Botan Ebi sushi where if you buy 2 you get one free.
Both my friend and I enjoy foie gras so we moved on to another signature sushi, their legendary Foie Gras sushi.
For a fun challenge try eating this Foie Gras Sushi (280baht/pc) in one bite. It can’t be done. If you can, please take a picture. I think it would be fascinating to see–like someone swallowing a Subway sandwich Coneheads style.
An almost equally impressive feat would be to actually pick it up with chopsticks. It’s just that damned big!
This gigantic serving of locally sourced foie gras is torched to perfection. It is then placed on a small seaweed wrapped roll of rice and topped with an in house made unagi sauce mixed with lemon juice to cut through the oiliness of the foie gras. It truly is an epic sized portion so if you’re a fan of foie gras you’ll feel like you’re getting an amazing deal at only 280 baht.
Our one “high ticket” item that we ordered was this O-Toro Sashimi (950 baht). I have no regrets. We asked for a recommendation and was told that this bluefin tuna had arrived 10 minutes before we did. It wasn’t going to get any fresher than that. When he said he’d serve us the belly part near the jaw I knew we were in for something special. I was right.
The only way I can describe this sashimi is that it just melts in your mouth like butter. This was the most incredible O-Toro sashimi experience I have ever had. I like bluefin tuna. I never imagined it could ever taste this good, though. At 950 baht, it isn’t cheap. But I’m confident this particular cut and quality of bluefin tuna would have been a lot more expensive at other sushi restaurants in Bangkok.
When you visit I highly recommend you ask for and follow whatever recommendations they may have regarding what’s fresh! You won’t be disappointed.
A chat with the owners…
During my visit I had a chance to talk with the owners Chef Kaew and Khun Kook. Chef Kaew manages the menu and food preparation while Khun Kook manages the books and front operations. Chef Kaew admits he’s more about the kitchen than the business. Together their strengths and talents make it a great sushi bar.
How Chef Kaew began his career is actually quite interesting because he never intended to be a chef. As a young man he wanted to be be a journalist and moved to the US to study at DePaul University in Chicago. After 6 months he was offered a job at the famous Coast Sushi, considered one of the best sushi joints in Chicago.
Though he grudgingly accepted the position, after 3 months in the kitchen he realized that cooking was in his blood. After only one year he was promoted to head chef, and 6 months later to executive chef.
After working with Coast Sushi for 8 years, he moved on to the Michelin recommended Seadog to continue working with his mentor at Coast Sushi, the famous sushi chef and fellow Thai native, Chef Sompol Chaosaowapa (known as Chef O). For 2 years Chef Kaew further honed his sushi making skills. But after 10 years of living abroad his mother made it quite clear that it was time to come home.
Returning to Thailand in 2012 he was quick to open The Gallery Sushi Bar in Bangkok on Chit Lom Road. It became very popular with expats and locals for their quality sushi and epic portion sizes. But due to increasing rent costs and wanting to be closer to family, he decided to relocate the restaurant to the Lat Prao area in late 2017.
Chef Kaew attributes his success and passion to the lessons learned from the years of being a sushi chef in Chicago, and the core values his father has instilled in him exemplified in the quote below painted on the restaurant walls:
“Honor And Appearance, Destiny In My Hand, The Progenitor Will Never Change, Love And Attention”
Both Chef Kaew and Khun Kook are wonderful people to talk with. Chef Kaew strives to procure only the best sushi ingredients, makes all of the sauces in house, and crafts each sushi roll with the love and attention required to make it special for each diner. Also important to him is to keep the prices at a reasonable rate so that locals are able to access high quality sushi without breaking the bank.
Khun Kook is warm and welcoming to all guests as she hustles around the small restaurant attending to all the front house details. Not only is it a joy to experience the sushi here, it’s a joy to support them. I left super full and happy when I left.
I’m hungry. Where is it?
The Gallery Sushi Bar is located an easy walking distance from the Wat Lat Prao. The nearest MRT station is Lat Prao, from there you will want to take a taxi (between 60-80 baht depending on traffic).
The restaurant has limited seating so if you have a large party I highly recommend you make an advance reservation to ensure they have enough seating.
If you love sushi, and especially if you live in the Lat Prao area, The Gallery Sushi Bar should be on your radar. If you visit I’d love to hear your feedback. Please feel free to contact me or comment in the below comments section!