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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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

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