Sweet 16

By Brian Spencer

Don’t mind this hastily snapped photo.

I wasn’t in the mood — yikes, no bad pun intended; they just come out — to carefully execute a close-up shot of this glorious sweet-and-savory masterpiece. It’d somehow been more than two years since my last dance in Bangkok with In the Mood for Love’s signature Sweet 16 roll, and this time a quick, cursory photo was fine. There was long-overdue business that needed tending; I needed to make this thing disappear.

Now that you’ve let me off the hook for the photo — thanks for that — please also, dear friends, turn your cheek to the lack of flowery prose concerning In the Mood for Love’s design and decor. I could bore you with all the grisly details from the travel-writing playbook, but… not today. It’s moody and extravagantly furnished and the type of place where you wouldn’t mind having sex on the sushi counter, as long as they cleared away the fish first. It’s pretty fucking hot in there.

Got it?

But not as hot as the Sweet 16 roll, a most unlikely marriage of eel, creamy avocado, spicy tuna and, of course, ripe strawberries. It sounds bloody disgusting, I know, and the idea alone is likely enough to send snobby sushi traditionalists running for their bottle of Xanex. Skepticism is okay, for I too once found the idea of strawberry-topped eel about as appetizing as warm feces over ice, but there’s nothing poopy about this combo, my friends.

It’s genius, a delicate waltz of contrasting textures and temperatures ultimately as complementary as peanut butter and Nutella. Pair it with the C4, a decadent roll with deep-fried barbecued eel and mozzarella topped with healthy hunks of spicy salmon and drizzled in a gooey nitsume sauce.  Cocktails are killer too.

In the Mood for Love is located at 9/9 Sukhumvit Soi 36, +66 (0)2 661 5076. Open Tuesday–Sunday, 5:30 p.m.–midnight; Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

More from the BKK Must Eats Series:

+ Early Evening Pad Thai on Soi Chidlom
+ Salmon Agemusubui at Sukishi
+ Spicy Tuna Roll at Yaki Ten
+ Grilled Squid at Pantip Plaza
+ Pumpkin Hummus at May Kaidee’s
+ Seared Tuna at Pla Dib
+ Mexican Food at La Monita
+ Salmon Mania Roll at Zen Cucina
+ Feasts at Jae On

The “Must-Eat Food in Bangkok” game is one without end, kind of like Monopoly. This ongoing series is not comprehensive, nor does it exclusively list foods I feel are “the best” of anything (though occasionally it might). The modest goal here is to simply, randomly, spotlight damned delicious dishes in Bangkok that I’ve indulged on many occasions, and that you should consider indulging on your next visit too.