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Bites from a fairy tale – Kaguya Japanese Gastro Bar

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Forget what you know about Japanese food, and try Kaguya Japanese Gastro Bar. You’ll be surprised.

by Lucie Barke.

After attending high school in Canada and studying to be a musician in Boston for a year, Chef Kongwuth Chaiwongkachon got back to his real passion: cooking.

Born of a Chinese father and a Thai mother, Chef Kong is a talented multicultural food artist, who mastered his cuisine technique at the Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School in Bangkok. His natural creativity and his French techniques are found in each dish he delivers at Kaguya Japanese Gastro Bar (137 The Third Place Building, Thonglo Soi 10, Sukhumvit 55, North Klong-Ton, Bangkok; 02 714 9974; 086 881 7299), which opened its doors July 15, 2013.

kaguya-japanese-gastro-bar-2Take your time to sit back, relax, and indulge in a drink before starting your meal. Kaguya offers a beautiful range of wine and a unique list of beers (beer lovers, try the Hitachino Nest, Japanese craft beer collection). But the stars of the drinks menu are the cocktails. Fresh, fruity, and light, perfect for the weather nowadays, the Okinowa Sour is a must.

Kaguya is the name of a character in an old Japanese fairytale,” says Chef Kong. “She was born of the moon and raised by humans. Basically, it is a story full of natural details, and we came up with ideas of sceneries of bamboo deco and stone walls,” he tells us, and adds, “the aesthetics of the story motivated the deco.”

The hardest thing about dining at Kaguya is to make up your mind on what to choose from the mouthwatering menu. So you had better forget what you know about Japanese food and perhaps start your experience with the Kaguya spring roll. With the look and shape of a maki, but served warm, it is made with glass noodles instead of seaweed, and it’s filled with moist, delicious tiger prawns.

kaguya-japanese-gastro-bar-3For something crispier, choose the giant tiger prawn stuffed with truffle and wild mushroom tempura. Tempura is still a classic of Japanese cuisine, but Chef Kong has used his knowledge of French cuisine and mixed both cultures in a blissful bite. The tempura crust is crunchy but not overdone, while the tiger prawn melts in the mouth. After your fist bite, the flavors of truffle and cèpes (more popularly known as porcini mushrooms) will literally explode in your mouth.

When in Japan … you must have a miso soup! And another winner on Kaguya’s menu is vanilla miso soup with scallop. You will definitely get the taste of the classic Japanese soup in your palate, but also feel the vanilla seeds bringing a velvety touch to it, along with some sweetness. Bites from a fairy tale, truly.