At Kom-Ba-Wa, the focus is a modern twist on traditional Japanese cuisineby Christopher Scott Dixon
I like to think I’m an experienced and well-rounded citizen of the world … perhaps too well rounded, so it is a revelation to find an eating establishment that is not only a superb dining venue, but that has also changed my opinion of a nation’s cuisine.
Such is the case with the Kom-Ba-Wa Japanese Restaurant based in Suan Plu in Bangkok, a stone’s throw away from the Marriott apartments.
It is the brainchild of genial French-born entrepreneur Frederick (Fred) Mayer. His impressive business portfolio includes the Avril Production company, the Issaya Siamese Club, Issaya La Patisserie, Pizza Massilia and Asian gastro bar Namsaah Bottling Trust.
Look for the high glass-fronted entrance and the glow of the lights from within and the red/orange walls, but don’t expect to see a sign with the name because there isn’t one. It is all part of the relaxed and nonchalant charm of the place, which reflects both the owner and his concept.
Kom-Ba-Wa (Address: 39/19 Suan Plu, Sathorn, Bangkok; www.kombawa.com) comprises a downstairs eating area, with a rear sushi bar and a more intimate upstairs private dining area, which can be reserved for various functions.
That description, however, does limited justice to the beautifully diverse décor, which is a potpourri of Gallic charm and Asian influences.
Sadly, space does not permit me to describe the full glories of the extensive menu. The high quality fresh ingredients are imported directly from Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market. We started with a delightful avocado puree’ and passion fruit, and sipped on a sparkling Hokkaido Bellini – a signature cocktail.
Any misconceptions I had about sushi were swiftly removed with a succession of beautifully presented and distinctly flavorful dishes. Highlights for us were the tender scallop and a crunch-filled golden beetroot sushi.
A delicate Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Blanc 2013 was imbibed, as the procession of food continued.
The three-day marinated Tajima Wagyu beef steak with ponzu jelly and thyme was simply delicious. A trio of desserts was a revelation. Moreish Yuzu (orange) cheesecake and a Mount Fuji peach mousse and moji, with red bean mousse beggared superlatives. I am a happy convert!