Japanese omakase has within the space of about three years become one of Bangkok’s most successful niche restaurant sectors. The word “omakase” means “I’ll leave it up to you”, as patrons let the chef decide what to serve, rather than having an a la carte.
This in turn will depend on what is fresh in from the market. In Bangkok, this will generally mean from Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, the world’s largest wholesale fish and shellfish market, with the best of our omakase restaurants bringing supplies in every one or two days. Sashimi and sushi are the mainstay of any omakase restaurant, although some will add other items. The restaurants, here and in Japan, tend towards the small, some of them having only half-a-dozen or so seats, usually placed along a counter, with the chef working within arm’s length so that he can hand each item across.
One other feature of an omakase restaurant is that it tends to be difficult to find, tucked away somewhere, and with only a modest signboard (if that) to advertise its presence. The best of them succeed through word of mouth, rather like a secret being passed on.