In the shape of OKU, Jakarta has a new, semi-formal Japanese fine-dining restaurant that Hotel Indonesia Kempinski General Manager Alex Pichel hopes will appeal to business and leisure diners alike. The 128-seater eatery occupies the space formerly occupied by Casa D’Oro, which was an Italian restaurant. The floor-toceiling glass windows surrounding OKU offer a peek into a marble-floored interior, where private dining spaces are available as quiet alternatives to the main dining room with its water feature centrepiece.
OKU’s well-stocked bar serves as a tranquil pre-dinner drinking space. The cocktail selections include OKU signature cocktails like Geisha’s Karma (Rp 175,000++), which consists of sayuri nigori, vodka, strawberries and raspberries, orange and cranberry juice, and whisky cocktails, such as Akai Old Fashioned (Rp 175,000++), made of Bulleit Kentucky bourbon, orange, maraschino cherry grenadine, angostura bitter and ginger ale. The restaurant also boasts an extensive range of premium sakes, including such notable brews as Hakuryu Junmai Daiginjo (Rp 4.5 million++ per bottle) and Ozeki Osakaya Chobei Daiginjo (Rp 3.35 million++).
The menu is made up of cold small eats, hot small eats and soup, sushi, sashimi, charcoalgrilled main dishes, rice dishes, udon noodles, desserts, and ice cream and sorbets. Among the cold small eats is ajitama (Rp 50,000++), which features smoked organic egg with Shiguren beef; truffle-sprinkled karasumi pasta with piquant bottarga (Rp 155,000++). The restaurant’s hot small eats feature unique OKU karaage (Rp 110,000++), three pieces of deep-fried chicken thigh topped with shichimi.
The rice dishes include truffle gyu don (Rp 295,000++), featuring U.S. beef, black truffle sauce, and a runny onsen egg on top of rice. The choice of charcoal-grilled mains includes salmon teriyaki (Rp 195,000++) with lotus pickle, and Australian Angus tenderloin (Rp 360,000++). The kitchen’s piece de resistance, priced at Rp 1.2 million++, is 150 gram Japanese highest marbling A5 OMI sirloin.
OKU is helmed by Chef Kazumasa Yazawa (better known as Chef Kaz), who counts renowned Japanese Chef Tetsuya Wakuda among his heroes and mentors. He was Executive Chef at the Japanese restaurant Izy Dining Restaurant & Bar in Singapore, which he opened in 2013. Prior to that, he oversaw Waku Ghin Restaurant at Marina Bay Sands. Chef Kaz’s says his food philosophy is simple. “All of my creations are made with absolute respect towards all the products and ingredients that are used. In Japanese culture, we believe that we take the spirits and souls from the ingredients’ origins and use them to replenish ourselves, so we are giving honour and gratitude to the organisms that originally housed those spirits.
Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta
Jl. MH. Thamrin No. 1
(62-21) 2358 3800
Open 12 pm to 3 pm for lunch and 6 pm to 10.30
pm for dinner, Monday to Sunday. Bar open
from 12 pm to 12 am Sunday to Thursday and 12
pm to 1 am Friday to Saturday