The Japanese word “omakase” roughly translates to “I’ll leave it to you”. It’s a unique dining experience where we trust the chef completely to serve us the best dishes he can think of. Unless it’s absolutely necessary for you to tell him or her about your allergens and dietary don’ts, it’s pretty much a surprise on plates – as many as 20 minimalist plates, all assembled with exotic and seasonal ingredients.
Prestige visited Senju Omakase Teppanyaki & Sake Restaurant in Plaza Indonesia. The restaurant is quite secluded in a corner of the mall on level 3. As we entered, we were greeted with the servers’ friendly smiles and the warm ambience the restaurant exudes. Senju has an inviting bar, where you will be sitting when you try the omakase menu. The teppanyaki kitchen is on the other side. A large window offers views of the hustling city outside.
All of the ingredients at Senju are fresh, flown in from the famous Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo each week on Tuesdays and Fridays. The 38-year-old Head Chef, Safaruddin, specialises in sushi and sashimi. He learned all of his techniques from a top Japanese chef, Masayuki Tatemukai.
Chef Safaruddin points out that omakase requires a lot of creativity and the ability to quickly adapt ingredients to the diner’s taste. “It will start with a conversation and, of course, if they have any allergies they have to tell me right away,” he says. “After that, it’s pretty much up to me and the ingredients to impress the diners. I would love to serve authentic omakase to all customers, but we have to adapt to Indonesian tastes sometimes.”
The drink’s menu includes signature cocktails, such as Pink Flamingo (Rp 75,000++), made with fermented milk, sake, cranberry juice, apple syrup, lemon juice and triple sec, and Okuno Midori (Rp 75,000++), a dry sake mixed with midori melon liquor, lemon and vanilla syrup.
As for the food, our Kyoto Omakase (Rp 750,000++) began with chawanmushi, an egg custard dish filled with crab and shiitake mushrooms. The chefs then prepared salmon belly sashimi and continued with assorted nigiri-like toro (the fatty part from tuna found in the belly), hirame (Japanese halibut), delicate kanpachi (yellowtail), tai (sea bream), unagi, scallops and botan ebi.
We could taste the freshness of the ingredients, from the raw fish to the wasabi that’s grated from the plant in the kitchen. One of the highlights was when we were served salmon belly Aburi with foie gras sushi. The omakase way to make Aburi dishes is not by using a blowtorch, but by putting two metal hot plates on top of the dish to obtain that grill aroma without losing the taste of the fish.
Our feast continued with beef sukiyaki Aburi sushi and mixed ebi maki Roll, and then a mini chirasi don with tuna, salmon, rice and tobiko served in a cocktail glass. Kinoko no hoiru-yaki, a mixed mushroom soup with a nice umami taste cleaned the palate and the meal ended with panna cotta for dessert.
Senju Omakase Teppanyaki & Sake Restaurant
Plaza Indonesia, Level 3, Jl. M.H. Thamrin No.28-30, Menteng, Jakarta 10350
Tel: +62-21 2992 4567
Open: Lunch 11am-3pm; Dinner 6-11pm