Michizure Japanese Restaurant

Affordable and different Japanese

The Michizure Japanese Restaurant is one of three, with the other two being in Bangkok and Korat.

It is not a large establishment, but even from the outside is unmistakably Japanese, with wood and rectangular shapes predominating. There is also the short Japanese ‘curtain’ hanging down over the doors.

On entering it is still not a large area, but clever use has been made of the space. Along one wall is a sit-up sushi bar where you can watch the young chef make those wonderfully artistic food creations, all rolled up and sliced into bite sized shapes. I do profess ignorance between sushi and sashimi, despite having been appraised of it. However, having closely watched the specialized chefs, I do know that there is much painstaking skill and culinary artistry involved.

The rest of the floor space has been used to provide a traditional Japanese eatery where you sit on the elevated floor and dine off low tables. For Thai people, and those who are young and fit, this poses no problem, but for the rest of us, it might be better to stick with the sit-up bar! The various tables are separated by low Shoji style screens, and the rest of the decor tends towards bamboo and Japanese minimalism along with the mandatory photo of Mt. Fuji.

The menu is a photographic one, which certainly makes sense for any restaurant that may have an international clientele looking to order cuisine that it is not totally sure of. Fish and chips may be universal (was that all the Brits gave the world?), but Futo Maki is not so well known!

Set menus are offered for those who have totally no idea of Japanese food and are probably a good idea for the tyro. There are four of these, with the BBQ, the Tempura and the Saba sets at B. 150, while the more expensive Eel set comes in at B. 350.

There are a couple of soups, with the better known Miso at B. 50 while the not so well known Butajiru is B. 95. The various sushi items are again presented in visual form, with the aforementioned Futo Maki offered at B. 200. Another Japanese favourite is grilled Pacific Saury at B. 130.

There are also some surprisingly different items, such as a Japanese pizza at B. 100 and an item called an ‘Asparabacon’ roll, which is simply a roll made up of asparagus and bacon! This is B. 85. Most other items in the menu are under B. 100.

Michizure provided us with a range of items to try, and the first was a beef and schnitzel dish with rice, potato and carrot. This did not seem like traditional Japanese fare to us, seeming to be more of a cross between Asian and Euro, and predominantly from the West. Whatever its origin, it was actually very pleasant.

Futo Maki was next, which came with its own serve of Wasabi (Miss Terry Diner’s favourite addition to any food). Again very pleasant.

The next dish was another new taste for all of us. A Japanese pizza! A thick crust pizza, complete with Japanese writing on the top (which probably said “pizza!”). This was another dish we all enjoyed.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by Michizure. The food is of a high standard and is not expensive by Japanese restaurant standards, even though the maitre d’ was apologizing for some items as she uses the more expensive imported ingredients, rather than the locally available (and cheaper) ones. The Japanese ‘pizza’ was a real eye opener, while the beef and schnitzel dish with rice, potato and carrot seemed as if it would have been at home in any European restaurant. In this way, Michizure has elevated itself above ‘simple’ Japanese to give itself a more international appeal. Worth a try one evening. Take along a bunch of people and experiment.

Michizure Japanese Restaurant, 164/102-3 Changklan Road (in front of Wachirawit school), telephone 053 818 523. Open every day 3.30 p.m. until 11 p.m. and for lunch on Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. until 1.30 p.m. Street parking. Free home delivery within Chiang Mai City.