As JKTGO team members we often get asked the question “Which is the best _____ in Jakarta?” Now while we can’t answer that, we can tell you what our favourite ones are.
For a long time now, Indonesia has had a long relationship with Japanese culture from its food to its fashion and even its pop idols. Jakartans have been spoilt with a large selection of Japanese dishes that can be found in the smallest of warungs and the most upscale of fine dining establishments. With plenty of traditional, modern and fusion restaurants to be discovered, come with us and see which ones we deem our favourites.
Daitokyo Sakaba, Casual Izakaya
If you’re a lover of Japanese food, then no doubt you have heard of Daitokyo Sakaba, the reigning king of Little Tokyo, Blok M. A no-nonsense place for grilled skewers and beers reminiscent of small back-alley izakaya in Japan. The food is simple, drinks are limited but good times run aplenty. A word of warning, call in advance to reserve your spot or put your name on the waiting list because while the food is good and the price is fair, waiting an hour or more does tend to sour your mood. We recommend ordering the Gyutan Don and Tori Karaage. If price isn’t a big deal, asking for a private booth on the second level is a good idea, it’s a minimum charge of IDR 150,000 per person there but that’s still not too expensive.
When: Monday – Saturday; 18:00 – 1:00am
Sunday; 17:00 – 23:00
Where: Jl. Melawai 9, No 26
Blok M, Kebayoran Baru
More Info: +6221 7222 047
Kaihomaru, Traditional Casual
Kaihomaru, known by few but loved by all who have ever visited it. It’s hard to find such an understated quality Japanese restaurant that stays true to its traditional roots. The best part about Kaihomaru is the relaxed dining experience – no snobby waiters, no imposed silence – just a great meal with friends and family.
While their set meals and cooked dishes are nice we highly recommend getting their fresh sashimi. Prepared to order and always of the best quality, Kaihomaru is the place to go when you’re craving fresh sashimi and nigiri.
When: Monday – Sunday; 10:00 – 22:00
Where: CityWalk Sudirman, Lv. 1
Jl. K.H. Mas Mansyur
More Info: +6221 2991 8916
Oku Jakarta, Modern Fusion
Oku Jakarta at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski is one of the newer high-end Japanese restaurants in Jakarta. While most five-star hotels in Jakarta lean towards simple, traditional fare, we think Oku Jakarta stands out simply because it goes against the grain. Chef Kaz, the executive chef, mixes his training in French cuisine with Japanese flavours and dishes. One of the must-try dishes, if only for sheer curiosity, is the Oku Karaage, a black chicken karaage injected with garlic sauce which keeps the meat juicy and tender while the batter stays nice and crispy.
Read more about Oku Jakarta in our article: OKU: A Chef’s Playground
When: Monday – Sunday
12:00 – 15:00
18:00 – 22:00
12:00 – 15:00
18:00 – Late
Where: Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta, Ground Floor
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No 1, Jakarta 10310
More Info: @okujakarta / +6221 2358 3896
Marutama Ramen, Casual
Jakartans now are spoilt for choice when it comes to good, authentic Japanese ramen, but we owe it all to Marutama Ramen. A lot of us still remember Marutama Ramen but don’t visit it as often. The old dog is still going strong and we think it’s still the best place to go when craving some good old fashioned Japanese Ramen. If you do go there, we recommend the Marutama Ra-men and the Tori Paitan. Don’t forget that they’ve since moved from their old location in eX Mall.
When: Sunday – Thursday; 11:30 – 22:00
Friday – Saturday; 11:00 – 22:00
Where: Plaza Sentral Senayan 1
Basement, Unit #10 BC
More Info: @marutamaramen / +6221 5724 050
Sakana, High-End Izakaya
A far cry from our very first entry, Sakana, Mid Plaza gives you all the comforts of simple home cooked food in an elegant atmosphere. We also like that they have private booths for lesehan which turns a simple lunch into an intimate affair between close friends and colleagues. The place is popular with nearby office workers and is almost always full for lunch and dinner. They have a wide range of dishes on their menu including ramen, sushi, don and small side dishes. Prices are reasonable and food is guaranteed to be tasty. We recommend picking something out from the Seasonal Chef’s Recommendations which changes every three months.
When: Monday – Sunday;
Lunch; 11:30 – 14:30
Dinner; 17:30 – 20:00
Where: Mid Plaza 1, LG
Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav. 10-11
More Info: +6221 5746 452
Sumire, Traditional Fine Dining
While we tried to make this list as accessible to as many people as possible, it just wouldn’t be fair to write a list of our most favourite places if we didn’t include at least one fine dining restaurant. Nowadays Jakarta has a great many Japanese fine dining restaurants but the one that constantly comes to mind is Sumire, Grand Hyatt. A simple restaurant serving high quality traditional Japanese dishes. A restaurant with a hard-earned reputation for being consistent with quality. Eating here isn’t cheap but we do hope that one day you’ll be able to try Sumire, Grand Hyatt.
When: Monday – Sunday
Lunch; 12:00 – 15:00
Dinner; 18:00 – 23:00
Where: Grand Hyatt Jakarta, Lv. 4
Jl. M.H. Thamrin, Kav. 28-30
More Info: +6221 2992 1431