It’s not that often you can say that you just eat in one of the oldest restaurant in Jakarta.
Well… I just did. 🙂
It’s called Kikugawa, and they have been known as the first japanese restaurant in Jakarta.
The restaurant was founded by Mr. Kikuchi Surutake in 1969 together with his Indonesian wife. After some serious googling, I found out that he was one of the soldier from Japanese that fell in love with Indonesia, he decided to go back to Jakarta after the war has finished and opened Kikugawa, the first kind in Jakarta.
I went there the first time a year ago (I know it took some time for me to write about it, but somehow I wanted to keep it to myself first. 😛 ) and I’ve been coming back ever since.
The place is located at a small road in Cikini area. It’s quite hidden, but if you google it in your google map, you’ll find the way.
The first thing you’ll see when you arrive is a small old japanese style house that makes you think that you’re in Japan. Give it a time… and you’ll realize that it’s still in the middle of Jakarta (damn it).
The interior inside was kept to minimum and original (some might say it’s vintage), which is why I really love it. It gives you the feel of their culture. Even the table and the chair were using a kind that I believe wasn’t changed much from the old days.
One thing I notice directly when I first came here was how quiet the place was. They don’t have that many tables and there were some people inside but it was so quiet. I only heard the japanese instrumental music playing in the restaurant. How should I say…. hmm… it’s quite a bliss for me personally. People come here to engage with the food and to have quality time with their friends, family, or loved ones, without having to boast their conversation. I really like it.
As Japanese restaurant, their menu is quite wide, ranging from appetizer, japanese curry, sukiyaki, udon, soba, sushi, sashimi, and also a lot of set menu. But, don’t expect to find various kind of sushi and sashimi in here because they only serve salmon sushi and sashimi. I don’t know the reason, but by doing that, you can always expect a really good quality and fresh salmon from their kitchen. As someone who loves salmon, this suits me just fine.
My recommendation would be the set menu. The portion quite big and the price is very affordable remembering that this is an authentic japanese restaurant in Jakarta. Yet, the set menu is available through lunch and dinner, unlike some other japanese restaurants.
I personally love the Ume Set. The portion is really big and you get a little bit of everything from their menu! You get salmon sushi, salmon sashimi, a bowl of beef sukiyaki, tempura, two-part yakitori (this is soooooo good!!), and miso soup.
I also like their Salmon Teriyaki set. The cut is big and not slim and small like we usually see in other restaurant. The taste? Damn good!
Yet, my favorite would be these two dishes… Tori Kara Age and Salmon Sashimi!
For me, they serve the best Tori Kara Age in town! It’s really juicy inside and crispy outside, just how it should be plus really good flavor. Couldn’t complain about it at all.
The Salmon Sashimi was super fresh and it melts in your mouth. They also serve you thick slices which is a big big point. (HAIL THICK FRESH SALMON!)
I haven’t tried the other dishes, but the smell from other tables who order the udon and curry was quite good, it makes me wanna order more. Maybe in my next visit. XD
Overall, this is one restaurant you have to visit if you love Japanese food. Regarded as the first Japanese restaurant in the middle of so many modern Japanese style restaurant in Jakarta doesn’t make them lose for one bit. It’s a special one, and you bound to have a great time if you decided to visit.
Jl. Cikini IV No. 13, Central Jakarta, Indonesia
Phone: +62 21 315 0668
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11.30 – 15.00 (last order 14.30), 17.30 – 22.00 (last order 21.30)