Obviously this can’t be the ultimate-ultimate best Japanese resto in Jakarta kind of list because to justify that you would need to taste thousands of Japanese restaurants in Jakarta (according to Zomato there are 1180)
That’s not my aim though (at least for now), the shortlist here is a few of proven ones. The ones that have stood through times, the ones that are frequented mainly by Japanese patrons, the ones that have gone popular from one foodie to another. To start with let’s explore Melawai, the Little Tokyo of Jakarta. This area is densely populated with Japanese food from Sushi Restaurants, Izakaya, Ramen Shop, to Japanese supermarket.
I’m gonna kick-off with three restaurants, although this list might be updated from time to time. So keep coming back. Ready? Here goes!
1. Echigoya Ramen
Well known for its made-in-house noodle, Echigoya serves ramen that are guilt-safe. Their Tonkotsu and Chicken Ramen are rich in flavor but does not leave you with a bloated-fat-and-umami-overdosed kind of aftertaste. Also, their IDR 35K Gyoza is superb and Ocha is free!
Address: Jl. Melawai 8 No. 2A. Find Papaya, its just a few stores next to it
Phone: (021) 739 5962
An all-around kind of Japanese resto. Their menu is very extensive, but some of their heroes are fresh sashimi, authentic old-school kind of sushi, and oh, top-of-the-notch Agedashi Tofu. If you have the budget, their Kaihomarumori (Sashimi Platter) is a must try. Consisting of Ootoro (the fattest part of a Tuna), Hamachi (Yellowtail), Prawn, and several others – the IDR 550K menu is worth every penny of it.
Address: Jl. Melawai 6 No. 23
Trivia: If you are curious how does it feel using Japanese famous toilet with all the heater, ‘undercarriage washer’ and stuff come here. 😉
3. Kira Kira Ginza
It literally feels like a typical restaurants hidden in Tokyo small alleys. Dim lighted, sushi bar, and stacks of sake collections. They also have private rooms with tatami if you feel like going the whole nine yards. Foodwise, I find their Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki are the must-try. If you have the extra belly add in Mabo Tofu (tofu served with beef, mushroom, and gravy) and Curry Nabe.
Address: Jl. Melawai IX No. 30
Though Marufuku is a bit dowdy and has definitely seen better days, the food quality doesn’t deteriorate with age. There’s no particular dish that Marufuku specializes in, but its salmon sashimi is super fresh—on a par with that famous sushi restaurant in North Jakarta—and it simply glides smoothly in your mouth like butter. Soba and ramen are great too!
Address: Jl. Melawai 6 No. 11
Phone: (021) 7267777
Kashiwa is like a portal straight into a dining scene from early 2000s Japanese anime. You can find an endless option of Japanese food here, all priced at IDR 29.800++, accompanied by J-Pop songs, Japanese reality show on TV, and original manga books. It’s a bit tricky to find dishes that are that good, but I would certainly be back for some more Yakitori and the amazing ambience.
Address: Jl. Melawai 8 No. 2A
Phone: (021) 7396063
6. Daitokyo Sakaba
After a while most restaurants at Little Tokyo start to look the same, but not Daitokyo Sakaba. After going home, it’ll be the one that leaves a lasting impression on you. Be it the dingy, dark, and mysterious atmosphere that makes you think of one of those places where heavily tattooed yakuza meet, or the flavorsome Gyutan Don, you’ll find yourself captivated by Daitokyo Sakaba.
Address: Jl. Melawai 9 No. 26
Phone: (021) 7222047
Yes, Papaya is technically not a restaurant, but with its variety of bento, it might as well be one. Japan enthusiasts are most likely familiar with this specialty supermarket, famous for imported products from Japan. The reasonably-priced bento (starting at around IDR 35k) is generous in portion and quite tasty, a great value for money! Pair it with UCC canned coffee or Kirin milk tea, and you’ll get a true Japanese konbini experience.
Address: Jl. Melawai Raya No. 28
Phone: (021) 72793777
It is a risky business trying to come up with a “Best Japanese Resto In Jakarta” list. However, I’ll take the chances this time and open myself to feedback from anyone of you. Drop a comment below if you have your own favorites and tell me why it deserves a feature.
Will not stop scouring the city for good food,