It’s Always Tea Time at Lewis & Carroll Tea Jakarta

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. LEWIS

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Lewis & Carroll Tea.

Lewis & Carroll Tea is an artisan tea house that has been around for some time in Jakarta. I’ve been wanting to check the place out (since early last year!) and finally got to do so last week. And I loved everything about it — the earth-toned, brightly lit space and the entire collection of lovely tea.

The cafe’s interior is very spacious and white, with loads of daylight. It seems like a great place to have good conversations over tea, or to simply sit in solitude with a book and a cuppa tea.img_16351

Inspired by two tea-loving literary icons C.S Lewis and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll), Lewis & Carroll works at crafting each and every blend into a masterpiece of aromatic attraction and visual artistry.

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Colourful pretty tea sets.

The tea is sourced from suppliers all around the world, including reputable tea plantations in Indonesia. Their entire tea leaves collection is impressive — a whooping 12 categories (Black, Black Blend, White, White Blend, Herbal, Green, Green Blend, Oolong, Oolong Blend, Spice, Fruits, or Flower) and 54 different flavors.

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Spoilt for choice by their comprehensive selection of tea blends.

Prior to ordering, you can either walk up to the counter to sniff the tea samples or request for them to be brought to your table. This experiential process enabled me to make a more informed choice on my desired flavour. 🙂

PS: Teas are priced differently with Signature teas at IDR 40k and Heritage teas at IDR 60k.

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After much sniffing, I finally picked this out.

Whilst waiting for your order, you can browse Lewis & Carroll’s teapots and tea leaves that are for sale. All of them are really PRETTY. I was so tempted to get one. 😉

I can imagine they would make lovely housewarming gifts.

To accompany your tea, Lewis & Carroll’s main menu offers a wide selection of choices from light to heavy, including all-day breakfast, salads, pastas, sandwiches, and sweets.

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Flatlay of our beautiful lunch.

The food was well presented and tasted good. Their teas were even better.

I particularly enjoyed the Crystalline Mojito (crystalline fruit tea with mint leaves and lemon water) from their craft tea fusion. It was sooooo refreshing to the throat!

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Truffle fries (IDR 50k) – Could have had more truffle!

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Pan-fried Salmon (IDR 115k) – Salmon was cooked well and the lemon butter cream sauce added a nice touch.

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Chicken Penne (IDR 80k) – Generous portions of chicken breast in fungi truffle sauce.

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Atlantic Bites (IDR 115k) – This one was a disappointment. The smoked salmon was off-colour and wasn’t fresh. I could hardly taste the truffle oil in the crab claw.

We ended off the meal with a really nice dessert (of which I can’t remember the name of!) that we selected at the counter.

“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”

― William Ewart Gladstone


Lewis and Carroll
Jalan Bumi No. 4
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12120
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Authentic Indonesian Food in an Elegant Colonial Setting: Kembang Goela Jakarta

When friends or family visit Jakarta, they always want to eat good Indonesian food. I am constantly on the lookout for new and interesting places to bring my guests, where they can experience the complex flavours of Indonesian cuisine in a traditional elegant setting.

In today’s post, I am going to share with you a list of my 5 favourite Indonesian restaurants in Jakarta – all tried and tested. One of them being Kembang Goela, a restaurant I recently brought my parents to (and they loved it).

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Entrance to Kembang Goela.

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Beautiful handcrafted mirror and chandelier overhead.

Kembang Goela feels like a mansion of some rich tycoon with many private dining rooms. I absolutely adore its high ceiling, which makes the entire place much more classy and roomy.

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One of the private rooms (it’s HUGE).

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Lovin’ the grand hanging lights.

Its interior is colonial yet elegant with old photographs on walls, pots of pretty flowers, dark wood furniture, and a grand piano by the side. #nostalgic

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Excited to order!

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Colonial-style architecture.

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Live piano music – a great dinner accompaniment.

Kembang Goela serves traditional Indonesian cuisine influenced by the various regions within Indonesia. What makes this restaurant unique is that its menu has a Peranakan twist as well. Indonesian food + Peranakan food = TREAT FOR THE TASTEBUDS.

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Table Flatlay of mains (not including the appetizers we ordered).

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Bon appetit!

The food was well-presented and excellent. Special mention goes to their Oseng-Oseng Ketjipir (sauteed wing beans) and their Brinjal Panggang (grilled egg plant with red chilli), which I loved.

I’ve also heard that their Dendeng Balado (deep fried beef carpacio) is good too but we weren’t feeling beefy that night and so didn’t order it.

Each dish on the menu comes with an English description, which I find really helpful. Saves me the hassle of googling to see what the dish looks like. 🙂

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Thank you for the lovely experience, Kembang Goela!


List of my 5 favourite Indonesian restaurants in Jakarta

1. Kembang Goela
Plaza Sentral Parking Lot
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav 47-48
Central Jakarta 

2. Bunga Rampai
Jl. Teuku Cik Ditiro No. 35
Menteng, Central Jakarta

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Bunga Rampai (photo credit: JKTGO).

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Dining at Bunga Rampai.

3. Kila Kila by Akasya
SCBD Gedung Lot 4, 7th Floor
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav 52-53
Central Jakarta

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Kila Kila (photo credit: Akasya).

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Delish.

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Dinner at Kila Kila, when Jia visited Jakarta.

4. Harum Manis 
Pavilion Apartment Retail Aracade
Jl. KH Mas Mansyur Kav.24
Central Jakarta

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Harum Manis (photo credit: JKTGO).

5. TeSate Menteng 
Jalan Dr Samratulangi No. 39
Menteng, Central Jakarta

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TeSate (photo credit: Sari Rasa Group).

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TeSate with Indo girlfriends, when Juli visited.

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Vibrant Peranakan Culture and Cuisine at Meradelima Restaurant

Meradelima Restaurant is a reflection of how two different cultures used to and still coexist side by side in perfect harmony.
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Meradelima Restaurant.

Commonly referred to as Peranakans, they are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay archipelago (which includes Indonesia and Singapore) between the 15th and 17th centuries. Peranakans are a unique heritage to Southeast Asia, an intertwining of the Malay and Chinese culture.
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A Peranakan wedding couple (taken from Wikipedia).

Meradelima beautifully embodies the vivacious and spirited Peranakan culture both in its design and cuisine. Housed in a two-storey building featuring Jengki architecture, patrons are welcomed into the restaurant by a red-carpeted wooden deck and servers dressed in red oriental cheongsams.
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One of the private dining rooms in Meradelima.

On entering the restaurant, I felt as if I was transported back to a bygone era. The interior was decorated with vibrantly coloured Peranakan-style porcelain collections, vintage replica becak chairs, and exquisite kebayas encased in large glass frames.
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Pretty porcelain on tables.

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Our first visit – dining against the backdrop of intricately embroidered kebayas with floral motifs.

According to the owner who was born and raised as a Peranakan, each kebaya is uniquely designed and the display stands as a tribute to the lives of Peranakan women of the past.

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An assortment of Peranakan-style porcelain ware.

A set of stairs leads from the first floor of the restaurant to the upper floor. The decor of the second floor is equally enchanting. A pair of gigantic doors made of teak wood is fixed to the wall and inscribed on it are four Chinese characters (which I could hardly make out with my sad command of Mandarin).

Since my dad is a full Baba (which makes me  half a Nyonya I guess), I thought that he might like dining at Meradelima. And I was right. My parents loved the setting of the entire place.
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Our second visit – seated at the exact same spot.

Food wise, their menu has a mix of Indonesian, Malay and Chinese food — thanks to the influence of the Peranakan era.

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What we ordered.

Meradelima makes a lovely place for a family get-together or a private party. It is also a good place to take your tourist guests to. If you want to dine in privacy, there are various private dining rooms on both floors as well as an enclosed al fresco dining area.


Meradelima
Jl. Adityawarman No. 47, Senopati

Jakarta

Legit Pastries at Chicory European Patisserie, Menteng

 I think I’ve just found a new favourite neighbourhood pastry shop!!
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Chicory European Patisserie.

Located in the heart of Menteng right next to the Indonesian Post Office, Chicory European Patisserie resembles that of a salon de thé in France. It is distinctly recognizable from the other houses on the same stretch of road with its unassuming European-style brick walls and full-length glass windows.
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French bakery cum cafe in Menteng.

The inside feels like a cosy European house, with clean white walls and large windows that allow plenty of sunlight in. The decor is old-fashioned yet whimsical with its wooden bistro tables and chairs and illustrations on the wall. Although the floor area is pretty small, it feels very homey-comfy. All that is lacking is prolly a fireplace.

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Lovin’ the interior!

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Perfect window seats.

At Chicory, there is a whole range of European pastries available — tarts, pies, croissants, financiers, profiteroles, éclairs, etc etc. Apart from sweets, they also serve savoury sandwiches, wraps and quiche.

The menu changes daily because the pastry chef at Chicory only uses the freshest ingredients available for that day. Prices are on the steep side though, a pastry averages IDR 60k and up.

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Pastries on display – simply pick and make yourself comfortable.

Chicory is like an all day brunch tea kind of place as the sweet and salty treats come in relatively small portions. (Word of caution: do not come to Chicory after working out/running 10km/swimming 20 laps.)
You have to pair your pastries with their signature homemade hot chocolate – a small (pricey) cup packed with goodness. One of the best hot chocolates I’ve had in Jakarta.
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Earl grey hot chocolate.

I visited Chicory some time back and cannot remember the exact names of the pastries + prices. Sorrrrrry.

Anyhow, their pastries are so good!!! The quiche was rich and tasty – I loved the crust.

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Savoury warm tea treats.

And I enjoyed every bit of their tarts too.

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Cold treats – Matcha Yuzu Tart and Chocolate Prune Tart.

FOOD COMA.^^


Chicory European Patisserie
Jl.Sumendep No.9  Menteng
Jakarta 10310

Best Chocolate Cake in Jakarta: Better CHOCOlate Than Never

I’m not sure how you like your chocolate cakes done but I love mine rich in taste yet moist and light, not too sweet, soft and blanketed between layers of chocolate fudge. And…I think I’ve found just that at betterCHOCOlatethannever, a chocolate dessert house located in Senopati.

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betterCHOCOlatethannever @ Jl. Senopati 41 C.

In fact, the signature chocolate cake at betterCHOCOlatethannever reminds me of my favouritest childhood chocolate cake – Lana cake homebaked by Mrs Violet Kwan. Sadly, she’s retiring and I wonder if it’ll still be around by the time we come back (you can read more about it here: Lana Cake’s Violet Kwan, 88, is retiring).

Their chocolate cake also bears some semblance to that of Awfully Chocolate‘s. Both are equally delish. One thing though, I wish betterCHOCOlatethannever had some form of Chocolate Banana Cake like Awfully Chocolate’s – two layers of fresh bananas in the chocolate cake – that would have been my ideal. Nevertherless, even without the bananas, their chocolate cake is still YUM.

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Counter.

The entire cake shop is decorated with their trademark yellow boxes. The interior is simple yet comfortable. Seems like a good place to come in your T-shirt and jeans and just bury your face in chocolate.

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Menu.

BetterCHOCOlatethannever serves all kinds of desserts made from chocolate. Apart from various kinds of chocolate cakes, they also sell chocolate pies, cupcakes, fresh handmade truffles, ice-cream + beverages.

According to them, their cakes are freshly baked from scratch using premium chocolate (from Europe!!) and fine quality natural ingredients. No artificial additives or preservatives are added to extend the shelf life of their products. #goodtoknow

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Chocolate cakes on display.

We ordered 1 Classic Dark Chocolate Baby Cake (IDR 42k) and 1 Strawberry Cheese Chocolate Pie (IDR 46k) to share between the two of us. Being a dutiful wife, I also packed back 2 slices of cakes to share with Agent D. #goodthingsmustSHARE

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Classic Dark Chocolate Baby Cake (IDR 42k).

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Moist and chocolatey goodness.

I really liked the Classic Dark Chocolate Baby Cake. It is the kind of cake I would find myself regularly craving for and yet never tire of. I could possible eat this for breakfast everyday! NO KID.

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Strawberry Cheese Chocolate Pie (IDR 46k).

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Strawberry chocolate cheese all in 1!

The combination of crumbly chocolate as the base (not sure if they used oreo?), cheese in between, and strawberry jam-like chunks on top is quite a winner as well. A nice deviation from all the chocolate stuff if you’re feeling fruity.

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Hot lime tea to wash down all the sugar and calories.

The two cake slices I took away were the Greek Yogurt Chocolate (IDR 42k) and the Black Forest Baby Cake (IDR 42k). They were packed in mini yellow boxes like this.

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Takeaway box.

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Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake (IDR 42k).

This cake was quite a refreshing change. I loved it that the greek yogurt had a creamy texture and wasn’t overly sweet. And I felt less guilty at the thought that I was eating yogurt-cake. If you’re calorie conscious, perhaps this might be a safer option heh.

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Black Forest Baby Cake (IDR 42k).

This one has generous quantities of dark-pitted cherries soaked in rum sandwiched between layers of chocolate fudge and fresh cream. Moist and tender, like the Classic Dark Chocolate Baby Cake. I prefer their Classic Dark Chocolate Cake much more though. Felt that the cherries were a lil’ too overpowering.

Here’s a list of their cakes and prices for your reference:

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BetterCHOCOlateThanNever price list.

I can picture myself ordering their Classic Dark Chocolate Cake (S) for lunch sometime soon!


BetterCHOCOlateThanNever
Jl. Senopati no.41 C
Jakarta Selatan 12190

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

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