Japanese at sensible prices: By Epicurean

Just say sushi, tempura or tofu and Japanese food will spring immediately to mind, although soy sauce, tea and chopsticks originally came from China. Whatever, Japanese food has become renowned worldwide as low in cholesterol, fat and calories, and high in fiber. No wonder Japan enjoys the longest human life expectancy.

While Japanese restaurants sprang up around the globe over two decades ago, Chiang Mai had only a few to choose from, and they required a platinum card to eat in them. So, even hardened chain multiple haters must have welcomed the likes of Fuji, who helped make Japanese food affordable.
Today, smaller Japanese eateries have gone a stage further by offering an inexpensive menu, where diners can eat until they bust for well under Bt200 per head. One such place is Gohanya 2 on Ratchapakinai Road – just a hop and a skip from Chiang Mai’s Sunday walking street.
There are no paper walls at Gohanya, or Japanese music, or geisha girls to pop food in your mouth and make origami animals, but in simple surroundings the service is good and the food cheap and delicious.
Starters get you underway for as little as Bt50, with sesame seaweed, maki and kani kamaboko salads to choose from – plus Gohanya shashu and okonomi yaki. Follow up with katsu curry on rice, or if that’s too hot try a cool ramen – vegetables, tomato, soy bean, ginger and pork.
Main dishes range in price from Bt40 to Bt180, sushi from Bt25 to Bt120 depending on ingredients and size, and yellow noodle soup is up for a mere Bt35. Treat yourself to a tekka don or squid meat stick, or be daring and go for unagi eel shushi.
For those who find it difficult to decide, set menus start at Bt59 with fried mixed vegetables. A saba fish grill with sauce comes at Bt75 and shrimp tempura set at Bt110. Or further up scale, an ika yaki set is Bt140 and the sea food yaki, Bt180.
You’ll have to hurry to catch the daily Gohanya promotion from 11.30 to 16.00, up until May 15th. Special prices on particular sets are on offer from Mondays to Saturdays, and a 20% discount off all items is currently available on Sundays.
A Japanese meal would not be complete without green tea to wash it down. A cup and pot of this elixir of life costs just Bt30 and Bt50, respectively, and there’s a complement of fruit juices, beverages and soft drinks.
Asahi Japanese beer is also on the list and Saki of course, but the latter comes at Bt350 per bottle.
You can take it from me that delicious Japanese food tastes even better when you know it won’t empty your wallet.
Gohanya 2 is open from 11.30 am to 10 pm and can be found at 99/6-7 Ratchapakinai Road, Tambon Phra Singh, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai - call 081 952 4963. Also, Gohanya 1 is located at 9 Moonmuang, Soi 7, Tambon Sriphun, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai – ring 089 266 1363.