Bangkok Post reviews
Riding into the sun
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: November 8, 2013 at 8:15 am
Home-grown eatery offers Japanese fare with an American touch
The value-for-money Sheriff’s pork chop set.
Ai Japanese Village, a three-year-old home-grown Japanese restaurant that rises amidst the multiplication of imported counterparts, has confirmed its success by launching another sub-brand to cater to the needs of fast-paced diners.
Tokyo Cowboy is the recent addition to the five existing culinary genres offered at Ai, a dining complex that gathers together teppanyaki (griddle grilled meat), ramen (noodle soup), tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet), shabu-shabu hot pot and sushi eateries. As its name suggests, Tokyo Cowboy is where Japanese fare is matched with an American touch.
The two-storey, 600m2 Ai Japanese Village at Megabangna was where we decided to try the new offering. Other locations include The Nine Neighborhood Centre and Terminal 21 mall.
The Cowboy's menu features a variety of steaks a la East-meets-West. The presentation is simple and the prices more than reasonable.
There are many appetiser options to enjoy. We were gratified with the mixed platter (159 baht), consisting of deep-fried chicken wings, onion rings, calamari rings and french fries. However, the prawn salad (99 baht), presenting boiled prawns with a salad of finely sliced cabbage, corn kernels, onions, tomatoes and sweet mayo dressing, failed to impress.
Tokyo Cowboy, the latest brand of Ai Japanese Village restaurant.
Our party of six tried several choices from the main course menu. Almost all of them were praiseworthy, starting with Southwest chicken (169 baht), the best-seller from the steak menu. A grilled chicken thigh, simply topped with bacon strips, slices of cheese and tomato-bell pepper salsa, was well seasoned and cooked to offer a delectable mouthfeel. It came with french fries and a modest portion of cabbage salad.
The Sheriff's pork chop (295 baht) was next to strike. Served on a sizzling metal plate and in a set with bowls of salad, garlic fried rice and miso soup, the succulent pork, which was also accompanied by teppanyaki vegetables and french fries, was of superb quality and taste given its price. It's a dish you don't want to miss.
From the Sheriff's set menu, we also sampled a more pricey option, Australian wagyu steak (495 baht), and found that it exhibited a flavourful quality, however the over-cooked texture was a bit of a letdown.
Another value-for-money dish was the barbecue pork spare ribs set menu (325 baht). The decent-sized rack of ribs proved super tender and juicy and were enhanced by the well-flavoured barbecue glaze.
Should you wish to enjoy two choices of meat in one go, order the cowboy combination (199 baht), which allows you to mix and match your favourites. The combo of deep-fried fish and mixed sausages (garlic or smoked ham) proved to be of excellent quality. It featured a crispy golden piece of deep-fried, battered dory with two tasty blocks of tight-skinned, supple-centred sausages.
At this dining complex, guests are welcome to order dishes they like from the menu of all six kitchens. And we were truly impressed with Ai's No.1 best-seller, salmon-ikura don (330 baht), or sashimi rice bowl with fresh salmon and fish roe, from the sushi bar.
The restaurant is packed on weekends so reservations are recommended.
Southwest grilled chicken steak.