Well, if you ever find a place that offers such fare in Bangkok, please let us know because we don't know the answer.
The sad news is that new Japanese eatery Hattori Shokudo doesn't offer any recipes that help one become a ninja like I hoped, but instead it focuses on home-cooking recipes like your okasan makes and offers a no-fuss dining and drinking experience.
Hattori is quite mysterious in terms of location, hidden away among shops selling clothes and fashionable items in Thonglor Art Village. It sits where D'Secret used to be, but alas that's the fickle nature of Bangkok's dining scene. Decor-wise Hattori says, "I'm not trying to impress you with my appearance" as well as "Let's get drunk until you don't mind sitting on plastic beer cases". Sadly, you can only sit on either a wooden plank or beer cases with cushions on top. The closest thing to actual decorations are Japanese vintage beer ads and picture frames on the wall.
This perhaps isn't a place where men should take a girl on a date (or they might have to buy her some girly gifts from nearby shops afterwards). Also, if you're as small as ninja Hattori in size (born-in-the-90s people, Google it), you'll probably be OK with the venue's modest dimensions, but for someone who is approaching sumo size like myself, it feels cramped. Fortunately, it keeps a decent culinary arsenal to impress you with.
Like a ninja anticipating an alcoholic attack, I line my stomach with some heavyweight dishes like Japanese hamburger curry rice (B168) to build up my defence. There are seven toppings ranging from fried cheese to fried chicken (B18-B48) to super-size it up. Doused with curry, the juicy patty with a circumference bigger than a baby's head sits on top of a generous amount of rice.
Otoko mae sukiyaki (B188) is an onsen of flavours. The plain tofu contrasts well with the tasty soup while thin slices of beef are cooked quickly. Another strong-flavoured dish is Hattoridon (B98) which is basically Japanese grilled chicken rice with teriyaki sauce that is spiced with wasabi over a rice bowl. It only slightly tickles your nose with faint hint of wasabi but you can add more if you really want to clear you nostrils.
Hattori's take on Yakisoba (B158) may have you raising an eyebrow over the commonplace dish again. First, it's served with beautifully fried egg on top while soba noodle is cloaked with katsuobushi (dried fish flake) dancing because of the heat. If you're a slow eater, the good news is that the noodle doesn't lump up.
From the izakaya menu (available from 5-10pm), Yagennakotsu peperonchino (B88) may look like leftover fowl but it doesn't taste foul at all. The bone is just crunchy and chewy enough without breaking into a shuriken and hurting your mouth while the well-seasoned chicken is slightly crisp and lean. The opposite can be said of Ehire (B98), which is spicy grilled fin of ray served with mayo and chilli dipping. Its texture feels like a hybrid between OTOP dried squid and fish. It also takes effort to chew but I guess you probably don't care after you get drunk on delightfully sweet Chu-hi (B78), shochu mixed with fruit syrup and soda, which comes in six flavours.
Mochi ice cream (B59 per two scoops) comes in four flavours - green tea, chocolate, Thai tea and black sesame. They give nice contrast between soft dough and colder and icy stuffing inside.
The food is decent. The pricing is reasonable. The ambience is zero. The no-fuss-no-frill dining at Hattori may feel like a breath of fresh air for some but I came away feeling so-so about it. While it's a kind of place you wouldn't feel too bad if you can't hold your belch, it's not a place to go if you want to make dining an occasion or a photo op.
Japanese Thonglor Art Village, 352/2 Sukhumvit Soi 55 Tue-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm, 5-10pm 088-088-7800 facebook.com/Hattorishokudo