Best Japanese Brunch Buffet In Jakarta: ENMARU

Enmaru (rated 4.8 on Google, 4.8 on Zomato and 4.5 on Trip Advisor at the point of writing) is part of a group of three restaurants called Altitude, located on the 46th floor of The Plaza. From there, you get to enjoy one of the finest 360 degree views of the city + a spectacular view of Jakarta’s bay with boats lining the coastline.

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Bird’s-eye view from where we were seated in Enmaru.

Since opening its doors in 2006, Enmaru has been highly regarded as Japan’s no.1 Izakaya restaurant. (Izakaya is a Japanese dining style where one sits down for sake after a long day at work.) In Japan, Enmaru won the champion award for two nationwide restaurant competitions — the “Izakaya Koshien 2010” and the “S1 Server Grand Prix 2011”.

ENMARU has a total of 13 restaurants in Japan, Jakarta, Singapore, Hong Kong and most recently in Shanghai.

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Enmaru – bringing the authenticity of Japanese culinary to you.

Enmaru Jakarta’s interior is like that of a traditional Izakaya restaurant tucked in a corner of a busy Tokyo street. The dark solid timbers, stone slabs, and rustic wood decor give the entire place an authentic Japanese ambiance. The atmosphere is lively and warm,  great for all occasions from family gatherings to romantic date nights.

Since its opening, Enmaru’s top priority has been to ensure the freshness of its products (I guess that’s what Japanese food is all about right!). Their seafood is air-flown from the world’s biggest fish market, Tsukiji in Tokyo.

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Visiting Enmaru when my parents were in town.

I’ve been wanting to check out Enmaru’s all-you-can-eat weekend brunch for the longest time ever. And I finally got down to it earlier this month, when Dad and Mom visited Jakarta over Chinese New Year.

The weekend brunch buffet runs every Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday (12pm – 3pm). Unlike the usual buffet where you have to walk around to get your food, you can place your orders directly with the waiter, a la carte style. Thus, you can be assured that every dish comes to you freshly prepared from the kitchen.

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All-you-can-eat weekend brunch menu (IDR 385k++/pax).

Renowned for its classic Japanese cuisine and iconic homemade dishes, the variety of food on their menu is pretty extensive. And I’ve to add the quality is good too.

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Table flatlay of our first round of orders (appetizer round 1.0).

I won’t be reviewing all the individual dishes we had; that’ll take me forever as we tried almost everything on the menu. I’ll post up some pictures though. 🙂

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Tofu Agejako Salad.

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Tori Momo Kushiyaki 3 Kinds Moriawase (1 was devoured by Agent D).

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Sashimi 3 Kinds (I requested for all salmon) – LOVED IT.

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Unagi Tempura & Cream Cheese Ika Sumi Roll.

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Aburi Salmon Spicy Roll – one of my faves.

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Wagyu Tongue & Gyu Suji Miso Nikomi Gratin Soup Shitate.

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Grilled Eringi Mushrooms.

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Unagi Gohan – one of my faves.

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Mushi Buta Ponzu – pork belly was so good.

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Buta Kakuni Wasabi Potato.

Special mention goes to these two items on the menu:

This is seriously the best chawanmushi I’ve had in Jakarta. The texture was just right and the egg custard literally  melted in my mouth. The pairing of foie gras on top was an excellent combination. I would definitely go back to Enmaru just for this. ❤

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Foie Gras Steak & Yaki Onigiri.

Another AMAZEBALL dish is the Foie Gras Steak & Yaki Onigiri. I ordered 3 portions of this all to myself. The sauteed foie gras, together with the teriyaki sauce, was SO YUMMY. The grilled onigiri helped to neutralize the strong foie gras taste.

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Our faces one inch wider.

The desserts, though limited, was of impeccable quality. I loved every bit of the Ice Cream Zenzai which contained all my favourite things — matcha, azuki, and mochi. ‘Twas was a nice sweet finish to a very filling brunch.

You don’t have to travel all the way to Japan to satisfy your Jap cravings — just head down to Enmaru! 🙂 🙂 🙂


Enmaru Japanese Restaurant
Altitude, The Plaza level 46,
Jalan M.H. Thamrin No.28 – 30
Menteng, Jakarta 
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My One Year ‘MRS’ Mark.

Can’t believe a whole year has flown by since Agent D and I said our “I dos” in the presence of God and all our loved ones.

The past year has been a surprisingly smooth journey for us (some have said that the first few years are the toughest?!). Perhaps it’s because we are living away from home in a foreign land and have only each other to lean on.

Throwback pictures to our wedding last year, 18 July 2015.

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Looking back at the pictures, I’m thankful for so many things — family, friends, Agent D and above all, God. God has been faithfully joining the dots in my life to create one beautiful story.


So how did we celebrate our 1st year anniversary in Jakarta??

Agent D has been particularly busy these few weeks (well actually he has always been busy) so we decided to keep things simple. We had dinner at Asuka Japanese Dining @ JW Marriott Hotel, not far from where we live.

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Anniversary date night at Asuka Japanese Dining.

I must say their salmon sashimi is one of the best I’ve tasted in Jakarta. It is apparently air-flown fresh from Japan. Prices were on the steeper end (ouch) but oh well a wedding anniversary is a once-in-a-year-kind-of-thing right. JUST SPEND.

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My highlight of the night (IDR 250K).

This post isn’t intended to be on Asuka so I won’t go into all the foodie details. That said, both Agent D and I had a lovely dinner accompanied with impeccable service.

Some food photos to make you hungry hee hee.

I heard Asuka’s lunch sets are pretty good and affordable. You may want to check those out! For the dinner menu, our bill  for two came out to about Rp 1.5 juta (just for your info). 🙂

Agent D has this habit of checking his phone every 5 seconds (ok maybe I’m exaggerating) during dinner, which annoys me when I’m excitedly recounting to him my highlights of the day. For our anniversary night, he made special effort not to touch his phone – which I really appreciated. Instead, I was the one guiltily taking out my phone to snap all the food pictures. :/ :/ :/

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Slurping up this cup of goodness – a mixture of lychee, mango, orange, and yoghurt.

Sadly, the restaurant didn’t have desserts on the menu. What’s an anniversary without some cake right! (The anniversary’s just an excuse actually…I was having cake cravings heh.) So anyway, we bought a slice of blueberry cheese cake from Marriott’s bakery to indulge my sweet tooth. ❤

Timely enough, I finally got down to getting our cross-stitch wedding portrait framed. It was a handmade gift from my helper (back in Singapore) to us for our wedding. Her half-blind sister in Philippines did up the background, while she sewed in the words and date.

Just look at the number of x-stitches involved…#effort indeed. How apt that it was ready for collection on our anniversary day itself, one year on.

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Cross-stitch wedding gift, 18 July 2015.

I can’t wait to hang it up in the new home! 🙂

Before signing off, I’d like to share this poem © By M.S.Lowndes:

God has said
That we should not
Live our lives alone
But to have someone
Close by our side
Together to make a home

He gave to me
Someone like you
So I could share my life
Together we stand,
Whatever may come,
With God’s love inside.

Thank you, Agent D, for not having me live my life alone. Thanks for sharing life and making a home together with me. With God’s love inside, here’s to many many more years ahead. x

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You’re my favourite sunflower!

Authentic Ramen in Jakarta: Ikkudo Ichi

My food cravings often change with the weather. On cold rainy/cloudy days, I weirdly crave RAMEN. So far (on grey overcast days in Jakarta), I’ve tried ramen from Marutama, Bariuma, Menya Sakura, Ippudo, Hokkaido Santouka and some of the lesser known stores. Just last Sunday, I had a taste of Ikkudo Ichi’s ramen for the first time. BOY WAS IT GOOOOOD. I actually think it is the best of the lot. *personal opinion*
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Ikkudo Ichi in Grand Indonesia.

Ikkudo Ichi has a number of outlets across Jakarta. Agent D and I visited its central branch in Grand Indonesia. We had to queue for a table but thankfully not for long due to the quick turnover (guessing the tiny tables and chairs aren’t too comfortable for long chats).
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A very crowded Ikkudo Ichi.

Ikkudo Ichi is apparently from Fukuoka in Japan – a city renowned for tonkotsu ramen sold at street stalls.

The restaurant interior is very homey; the light brown wooden walls, tables and stools bring to mind a neighbourhood shop with homemade grandma soups.

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Kitchen behind the bar counter.

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Pretty paper lanterns and artificial Sakura trees covering the ceiling bring about a Japanese feel.

At Ikkudo Ichi, customers can customize their ramen bowls in four ways — firmness level of noodles, strength of flavour, richness of broth (the amount of oil filtered from the soup), and type of noodles.

Being the unadventurous people that we were, both of us opted for normal noodles, normal flavour, normal richness with small noodles. But the taste turned out to be BEYOND NORMAL!!

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Signature pork ramen (IDR 55K).

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Sliced pork belly ramen (IDR 55K).

The pork broth was…just right. There wasn’t a strong overbearing pork flavour as with Menya Sakura’s and the soup had the right intensity. The soft boiled egg was perfectly cooked and the pork slices melted like butter in my mouth. YUM.

PLUS I felt that the soup was less oily than most other ramens and lesser (if not no) MSG was used. Truly authentic!

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Ikkudo Ichi – Japanese ramen specialist.

If you’re in Grand Indonesia and craving some ramen, Ikkudo Ichi is the way to go! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Next on my to-try ramen list would be Hakata Ikkousha – reserved for yet another cloudy day.

Ikkudo Ichi
Grand Indonesia West Mall
Lower Ground #27,
Jalan MH. Thamrin No. 1, Jakarta


Yesterday, I was a happy girl because I accompanied Agent D for a reception at Raffles Hotel = DON’T HAVE TO COOK. Whoop whooop. As I mentioned before, cooking has never been my passion (and will never be) but I do it anyway for health’s sake.

The past (lebaran) week has been an especially tiring one because my part-time help went back to her kampung. Am so thankful and glad that both she and my driver are finally back with us.

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Pardon our dirty lift mirror :/

Back to cooking again tomorrow. *cooking woes*

Good night. x

Japanese Dining Series: Value for Money Japanese Food at Akane

Akane Tokyo Cuisine is one of the first few Japanese restaurants I tried when I moved to Jakarta. It is located in a secluded corner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Lobby, which is just behind Atma Jaya University (where I had my daily language classes for 4 months).

A quick google will reveal that Akane is given a pretty high rating of 4.7 on Zomato; On Trip Advisor, Akane has a rating of 4.5. So how did I find the food there?

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Entrance of Akane Japanese Restaurant.

The few times I dined at Akane, I noticed that the crowd consisted of a mixture of locals and Japanese expats. Hmm Japanese expats at a Japanese restaurant…should be not bad right.

Akane offers a really value for $$$ lunchtime special, available from 1130-1430 daily. For IDR 98K (about S$10), one can choose either a combo lunch set [1 rice + 1 noodle] or a eraberu wazen [1 rice + 3 dishes].

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Combo lunch set.

For the rice option in the eraberu wazen set, guests can choose between white rice, dried bonito rice, braised shiitake, leek & miso rice, spicy dried fish rice, or california roll.

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Eraberu wazen set.

Both sets come with a complimentary starter, dessert, and free flow of ocha.

Here are some pictures of my eraberu wazen set [1 rice + 3 dishes]. From the menu selection, I got for myself a california roll + grilled salmon + stir-fried liver & leek + plain omelette.

And of course, the combo lunch set [1 rice + 1 noodle] which Agent D ordered. He got for himself a wakame seaweed udon + chicken & garlic chives rice. His set came with a complimentary Japanese salad.

Verdict: The Japanese food at Akane is no doubt very affordable (!!!). 1 rice + 3 dishes + starter + dessert + drink ALL for IDR 98K. This is even cheaper than some food court options in the Jakarta mega malls.

While many reviewers have raved about Akane’s truly authentic Japanese cuisine, I beg to differ. The food was okay tasting with nothing really spectacular about it. In fact, I think the standard has been slowly dropping. (Read somewhere that this could be attributed to a change in the head chef.)

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When my folks were in town a few weeks back.

On the topic of Japanese food, Agent D said he’ll bring me to check out Akira Back and Edogin Restaurant at Hotel Mulia sometime soon. I’ve heard many good things about those two. Can’t wait!!

Akane, Tokyo Cuisine
Hotel Crowne Plaza 
Jl. Gatot Subroto Kav 2-3, 
Jakarta Selatan 12930

2-in-1 Goodness: Eat Quality Japanese Food & Buy Fresh Seafood in Jakarta

Eat Quality Japanese Food at Sushi Masa (3rd floor)

I was first introduced to Sushi Masa by my food connoisseur friend, Sasha. Sushi Masa is unlike other Japanese restaurants located in malls/buildings; it is located inside the Muara Baru Port beside the sea (hence the fresh sushi!), at the northernmost point of North Jakarta. The location is pretty ulu. No one can rival my driver’s savvy sense of direction and his memory for even the smallest of roads around Jakarta…and we got lost inside the port.

Upon entering the port, you’ll see loads of huge warehouses on your left and right. Towards the end of the road, you can find Sushi Masa housed in a grey building. There’s no signboard whatsoever so keep your eyes peeled for the grey building!

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Helpful directions to get to Sushi Masa/ Norwegian Seafood Store.

The long journey there was well-compensated by the good quality Japanese food and seafood buys from Norwegian Seafood Store (2 floors below Sushi Masa). Rated 4.9/5 on Zomato, dining at Sushi Masa is truly an experience to behold.

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Entrance of grey building (Sushi Masa is on the third floor).

My parents were visiting Jakarta over the Labour Day long weekend and I decided to bring them to Sushi Masa. This time round, my driver located the place much more easily. 🙂

The restaurant interior is rather spacious and comes with a sushi bar where customers can watch the chef slicing sashimi. The seats beside the glass window overlook the sea (mental note to self: have to call in advance to reserve those seats next time).

Sushi Masa’s ala carte menu has an extensive list of Japanese and fusion dishes — all kinds of sashimi, sushi, makimono, live oysters and seashells, salads, udon/soba and rice sets, deep-fried/cooked/grilled dishes, and even pizzas and pastas.

My parents and I ordered a number of dishes for sharing:

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California Maki (IDR 45K)

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Spicy Salmon Maki (IDR 45K)

Being a California Maki fan (I often have California Maki for lunch when I’m too lazy to cook for myself), I must say their California Maki is one of the best I’ve tasted in Jakarta! The Spicy Salmon Maki was good too, with its rice bathed in crispy crumbs.

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Salmon Aburi Sushi (IDR 12K each)

The Salmon Aburi Sushi was cooked perfectly and addictively satisfying. I was so tempted to order another 3  pieces! :/

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Tamago Yaki (IDR 10K each)

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Kabuto Wagyu (IDR 150K)

Another perfectly cooked dish, the Kabuto Wagyu was very tender and sweet. It literally melts in your mouth.

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Black Cod Sakamushi Set with rice, miso soup, and salad (IDR 140K)

Ever tried searching for cod fish in Jakarta but to no avail?? Black cod (not the imitation Indonesian Gindara) is the answer. This tasted exactly like the cod fish back home – very fresh, slick with a delicate texture.

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Nagaimo Salad (IDR 35K)

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Garlic Rice (IDR 40K)

My mom enjoyed the garlic rice, saying it was crispy and well-fried.

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Happy diners – Mom and I.

Overall, my parents were very pleased with the quality Japanese food at Sushi Massa. Everything was so fresh and delectable!! Will definitely be heading there again soon.

PS: If you’re headed to Sushi Masa on a weekend, remember to make a reservation!

Sushi Masa
Jalan Tuna Raya No. 5
(3rd floor of grey building)
Muara Baru, North Jakarta

Buy Fresh Seafood at Norwegian Seafood Store (1st floor)

Sharing the same building as Sushi Masa is the Norwegian Seafood Store, a specialty seafood and frozen goods supermarket. Another HIDDEN GEM in Jakarta.
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Warm interior of Norwegian Seafood Store.

The store sells a large variety of imported and local fish including black cod (from Alaska and Canada), salmon, unagi, grouper, red snapper, sea bass, and so on. Some of the fish are marinated, but most are not.
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Quite a big selection of fresh frozen fish.

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The store also sells frozen meat, ice-cream, sauces, and other frozen food.

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BIG crabs from Russia, anyone?

Because cod can hardly be found in Jakarta supermarkets, I bought IDR 500K worth of cod the first time I came with Christian and Sasha. This time round, I spent IDR 833K on fish and Hokkaido ice-cream (super nice!). Apparently, if you order more than IDR 500K worth of products, it can be delivered to your home. AWESOME right. 🙂 🙂 🙂
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My spoils.

Oh, and you don’t have to worry about how your seafood will survive the journey back home. The staff will help you put everything into a large Styrofoam box and pack dry ice inside.

Now you know where to get fresh frozen seafood in Jakarta! Selamat shopping!!

Norwegian Seafood Store
Jalan Tuna Raya No. 5
(1st floor of grey building)
Muara Baru, North Jakarta

Email for online order and delivery: fishshop@coldwarehouse.co.id