Authentic Japanese Dining Series: Sakana in Sudirman

Sakana Japanese Restaurant was recommended to me by my Indonesian foodie friend. Shortly after, Agent D’s friend also raved about the Japanese food there. Last weekend, we decided to check it out for lunch.

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Sakana Japanese Restaurant.

Located in the basement of Midplaza 1 office tower in Sudirman, the restaurant is easily recognizable with its big red lanterns. Interestingly, Sakana is an izakaya — a type of informal Japanese gastropub for casual after-work drinks (perhaps that’s why it was so quiet on a weekend??). According to my friend, it is quite popular among the Japanese community and it is a common sight to see Japanese men chatting over sake and snacks on weekday evenings.

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Entrance of Sakana. The wine cellar is up ahead on the left side.

The restaurant’s interior is dimly lit and has a quaint Japanese charm. Made to look like a izakaya in Japan (or maybe just to save $$$), the floor area + corridors are narrow and the cashier area is tiny.

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Cashier area and private rooms on both sides.

Sakana’s classic Japanese decor gives diners an authentic Japanese experience. The restaurant consists of private rooms with full-length wooden panels. The rooms can accommodate two or more diners – some have regular tables and chairs whilst others are tatami rooms where you are required to take off your shoes before entering. There is also bar seating.

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More private cubicles. The entire place feels like a maze.

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From inside our private room.

Sakana offers a traditional Japanese menu at reasonable prices. I read online that Sakana’s Takoyaki (fried octopus balls) is the “it” thing in Sakana and one of the best in Jakarta. Other signature dishes are the Yakitori (skewers of choice morsels, grilled with tare or salt), Sushi Mori (assorted Sushi), and Tempura Mori (assorted tempura).

Here’s the menu for your viewing. 🙂

As we went during lunch time, Agent D and myself ordered from the bento set menu. I had the Unagi Don Set (IDR 142k) while Agent D had the Oyako Don Set (IDR 67k). Both sets are served with miso soup, pickles, and dessert. Such a pity we had a filling breakfast before lunch…if not I’d definitely have ordered the Takoyaki to try.

The grilled eel was not the best I’ve tasted in Jakarta, but it wasn’t too bad either. Oh and the cut was quite fatty too (in case you like/dislike fats).
Agent D liked his chicken-egg-onion mixture though. He finished every drop of his rice. :/
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Happy diners.

I guess we’ll be back to try out the much acclaimed Takoyaki. And the Yakitori. Oh and the Sushi Mori too. Perhaps with some sake the next round. 😉
If you are craving for casual Japanese food without burning a hole in your pocket, Sakana may be the place to go! X

Sakana Japanese Restaurant

Mid Plaza 1 Basement Floor 
JL. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 10 -11

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Authentic Japanese Dining Series: ASUKA at JW Marriott

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Asuka Japanese Dining.

Asuka Japanese Dining at JW Marriott is a fine dining restaurant offering FRESH cuts of sashimi, sushi, and seasonal food. According to the hotel staff, majority of their ingredients are flown in directly from Japan’s Tsukiji & Fukuoka fish markets. WOAH now you no longer have to fly 7 hours to eat fresh Japanese sashimi.

Decked out in modern zen furniture, Asuka’s interior feels very woody-cosy. The restaurant has a limited seating capacity with a few private tatami rooms, sushi bar counter seats, and less than 10 small tables. I love it that all the waitresses wear kimonos and white socks…totally adds to the Japanese experience.

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Japanese sundate.

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Our view by the window.

They have a good omakase menu featuring exotic Japanese delicacies like shirako (fish sperm??!), fugu (tiger blowfish), assorted sashimi and sushi etc. Some of the courses consist of seasonal ingredients which are available only at certain times of the year. The omakase doesn’t come cheap though — be prepared to set aside IDR 2,000,000++/pax on average. 😉

If you’re not prepared to fork out a lot of $$$, do not despair. They have really affordable, good quality BENTO SETS. Available 7 days a week during LUNCH time. Whooooop.

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‘Sashimi, Unajyu Bento’ (IDR 290k).

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‘Barachirashi Bento’ (IDR 260k).

Agent D’s ‘Sashimi, Unajyu Bento’ (IDR 290k) came with sashimi slices on the side, which is more value for money than ordering sashimi independently. (We had dinner at Asuka a few months back and a plate of salmon sashimi set us back by IDR 250K.)

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Salmon Sashimi (IDR 250k), about the price of a bento set.

 The lunch bento sets are served with a small bowl of salad and fresh fruits after.

The salmon slices in my barachirashi were very fresh and nicely cut. I must say the quality of ingredients is pretty unparalleled for Japanese food in Jakarta.

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Close-up of my ‘Barachirashi Bento’.

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CHEERS to awesome possum sashimi in Jakarta!!!

Agent D really liked his unagi + tempura + sashimi slices. I tried the tempura egg plant and it was so goooood. The tempura batter was just right.

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Close-up of ‘Sashimi, Unajyu Bento’.

Now you know where to go if you’re cravin’ for some good quality authentic Japanese food! 😉


Asuka Japanese Dining
JW Marriott Hotel