Buffets often sacrifice quality for quantity to keep the price of a meal within tolerable limits. At Takumi Japanese Restaurant in the Swissotel at 204 Ratchadapisik Road, their Japanese buffet offers not only a wide selection of the highest quality traditional Japanese items, but you don’t have to go back and forth to the buffet table, as the waiters will be standing by to take your orders for as long as you can eat what you ask for! The setting at Takumi is contemporary Japanese, with seating for 117, but be sure to make reservations (02-694-2222)as it is crowded almost all the time. Besides their buffet, you can order off the menu as well with lunchtime running from 11:30 – 2:30 and dinner served from 6:00 to 10:30 every day. The buffet will run about 700m baht nett, but it is well worth the money.

Some of the delicacies you should try to sample are the sashimi platter, deep fried squid nuggets, and their seared salmon. The chefs at Takumi also specialize in a number of hand rolled delights including a spicy tuna roll, Their famous Red Dragon Roll and the shrimp tempura roll that are a must for the serious Japanese foodie. With over 100 different menu items, it is physically impossible to taste test everything, but if you take it slow, and take time outs to sip some of their green tea between servings, you might surprise yourself on how many different selections one can enjoy. The green tea is full of healthy antioxidants and has the pleasant effect of helping to settle the food as you dine.

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The restaurant itself has been recently remodeled with spotlights and wood accents that contemporize what had become a rather tired dining environment. Customers will find the current ambiance pleasant, bright, relatively quiet, and spacious.

If you aren’t familiar with Japanese food beyond sushi, sukiyaki and sashimi, you may want to ask the staff for some help explaining the menu items. We would definitely recommend trying the shabu shabu if you have never enjoyed this traditional Japanese dish. With paper thin slices of the finest beef stirred in a boiling hot pot alongside tofu, vegetables and different sauces, this dish is most popular when dining as a group. Other dishes that should be on your “must” list at Takumi would be their agedashi tofu, or fried tofu cubes, Makimono-a variety of rolled sushi, or you might want to try the California Maki, which is a sort of inside out roll that has the sushi rice on the outside of the roll while the nori is inside. One helpful hint when eating Maki – don’t dip them into the soy sauce or they will disintegrate in your hand! Additionally, it is considered bad form to eat part of a maki and then set the rest back on your plate, so if you want to look like an experienced gourmet of Japanese Maki, eat the whole thing once you pick it up.

Whatever your choices, you will be assured of leaving Takumi a lot less hungry than when you arrived. In summary, delightful Japanese food, served in total abundance in a pleasant and comfortable dining atmosphere. A little pricey, but still a good value.

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