I thought I would try something a bit new this year and add some reviews.
Neta Grill is an all you can eat fish and sushi restaurant in the vibrant and busy Thonglor soi 13 Bangkok. It is located within Seenspace 13 a modern entertainment and restaurant complex with a cool industrial look and feel. It is a mid-range sushi restaurant that is prepared freshly in-store. The restaurant has an all you can eat model but is made to order rather than laid out as a buffet or rolling sushi. The posters all say that 50% of the income goes to support local fishermen which add to the enjoyment knowing that its is helping to support the local fisheries.
There is a time limit of two hours to eat within but I found this to be plenty and was full up well before this. This seems a pretty common feature in Thai buffets and with Sushi places in general.
When you arrive you are presented with a menu of the different dishes, as well as, a small card full of tick boxes. To make the order all you do is tick the items that would like three at a time. Once you have done this the waiting staff will take your slip and the chefs at the open kitchen will prepare it for you.
The first dishes arrived promptly along with long trays of dipping sauces including soy sauce and Thai seafood sauce.
I ordered the cuttlefish which came dressed with a light soy sauce. It was perfectly grilled and tasted extremely fresh. It was complimented perfectly by the Thai seafood dipping sauce which is a mix of spicy, sour and sweet.
Cuttlefish is very much like squid in it texture but with a subtlety different taste. They make a great starter as they are a perfect mouth full. I love the way that most of the fish was not heavily seasoned with sauces. This gives you the chance to really taste the fish and add your own sauces to your taste. One of the Issues I have in Asia is my tolerance to chili is a lot lower than the locals.
Soon after the cuttlefish the cheerful waitress delivered a plate of sushi salmon.
The salmon was a really great test of the freshness of the fish. The Salmon did not disappoint and was moist and fresh tasting. The portions were also very generous and did not skimp on the fish.
My wife ordered the oysters. I am not a big fan of oysters myself which is a big crime for someone who studied in Falmouth, that has its own Oyster festival. Im not sure what it is i don’t like about oysters; it’s probably a texture thing. They delivered three of them on a plate served with crispy fried shallots. My wife said they tasted very good and seemed to enjoy them. But i’m really not the best person to review oysters.
Using a new slip, I then ordered some more food this time I ordered the river prawns, mantis shrimp and scallops.
This time the order came all at once, on a single plate. The scallops are a bit smaller than the kind we tend to have in the UK. This seems very common in Thailand but they make up for it in the quantity. They were served in the shell with a thick oyster sauce which kept them moist and tender. The sauce was a little bit salty but did not detract from my enjoyment of them.
The giant river prawns are one of my favorite things in Thailand and not something I could normally afford to eat back at home. The river prawns were massive and juicy – coming straight from the grill. Again, they did not hold back on the portion. I know that you could just order more but its nice to get served a proper portion rather than having to go back again and again.
The mantis shrimp might actually be my new favorite thing. I can be honest and say that they are not something I have had before. They are a little strange looking and the shell is extremely hard more like a crab than a prawn. It was a bit of a battle to get into them but the staff kindly offered to crack them open for us.
Once you have battled your way past the shell the reward is well worth it. They are like a very large crayfish with a more full flavor.
I liked it so much that had to instantly order up a plate of mantis shrimp sushi.
The sushi was delivered with two whole mantis shrimp tails on sushi rice and a hot sauce. ( I couldn’t help myself and ate one before I took a picture) Again I really loved this mantis shrimp and would definitely get it again, if i get the opportunity. The sauce struck a good balance with the Shrimp and did not overpower it but added just a little bit of heat.
I was really keen to try lots of different things on the menu so I ordered up some more food.
I ordered squid and it turned up within about 3 minutes. Much like the cuttlefish it came dressed with a light soy sauce. The squid was again cooked perfectly and was not even slightly chewy.
For me, it’s a new thing to eat squid or octopus tentacles. I used to avoid them due to the look but I am glad I got over it. I now really enjoy squid a lot more eating all of it. If anything this portion felt a little bit large as the squid themselves were big so having two of them felt more like a portion you would get as a main meal not a buffet.
About the only slightly dissapointing item during the night was the clams. These had been cooked just a little bit to long and had dried out, but there’s nothing a bit of Thai seafood sauce couldn’t help.
I decided to order some cockles. Cockles are one of the things that Wales actually does very well and I have enjoyed since a child, so I was eager to try them. These unlike the clams were not over cooked. They tasted fresh if not a bit drier than I am used to back home. I think this is to do with the way they are cooked on a grill or skillet. Rather than steamed in a pan Like back home in Wales.
Finally, I decided to go all out and order some crab. I decided to order some local blue swimming crab as well as rock crab. Truth be told – I love crab and its was the range of crab that drew me to this restaurant. Unfortunately they did not have any Frog crab or horse shoe crab, Two things I would have liked to try, but at 10pm it’s hardly a surprise some items might have sold out (we were told this on arrival).
The crab was great and was delivered with the proper tools to eat it. The waitress was also very good and made sure we knew about not eating the dead mans fingers. I was already aware of this but it was good that the restaurant checked. She also offered to get the chefs to break the shells if we needed which was very thoughtful of her.
Overall, I was very pleased with my experience at Neta Grill. I found the atmosphere to be very good and the staff very attentive. I also liked the modern and industrial look which is something I became accustomed to when living in Berlin.
The meal cost 499THB which works out roughly to £10 a head which is not cheap for Thailand but it’s also not very expensive and for a tourist very affordable. The range of fish on offer was all very fresh. If there is one thing I cannot recommend highly enough it is the Mantis Shrimp and I would return just for this. Mantis Shrimp and river prawns are not cheap so to have them at an all you can eat is a real bargain.
The selection at Neta Grill was also very large even allowing for some sold out items. It would have been impossible for me to try everything. What I did have was all very good with the small exceptions of the clams. I feel this, however, is more than forgivable considering the all you can eat nature of the restaurant and the other choice available. It was not the most refined Sushi or sea food on offer in Bangkok but I think that it makes up for this with good portions fast service and value.
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