Welcoming the new kid on our lovely neighbourhood of Pluit, North Jakarta, the modern izakaya, Izakaya Kai by chef Adhika Maxi, pastry chef Karen Carlotta and tempura master chef Hitoshi Kimura.
UPDATE: Visited Izakaya Kai for the second time to try the food on the 2nd floor – Izakaya Dining area. Check below of this post for additional review of their menu.
The Japanese casual dining restaurant, Izakaya Kai will be open for reservation for public on 17th September 2016 (check the end of this post for the opening hours information and phone number for reservation).
As a huge fan of Japanese food and North Jakartans, AnakJajan are eagerly waiting for the opening day of Izakaya Kai. Since we’ll be out of town during the soft opening day, initially we were planning to visit Izakaya Kai after returning to Jakarta but it turned out that they’re already open for walk-in customer only for their all day cafe on the first floor, so we decided to have a quick visit.
The all day cafe on 1st floor serves limited menu from snack, rice, set meal, pasta and cake with price ranging from IDR 45k to IDR 125k, then for izakaya dining on 2nd floor, they offer wide variety of menu from rice, noodle, bento, soup, yakitori, tempura, etc with price ranging from IDR 15k to IDR 220k.
The restaurant has a nice homey vibes. It is decorated nicely with modern decor with touch of Japanese vibes using shades of grey color and wooden accent. It’s simple, modern, chic and cozy. One thing that AnakJajan really love from this place is the music playlist!! The restaurant played amazing playlist of easy listening Japanese songs, Me and Mr. Jajan can sit there for hours.
For a new restaurant, AnakJajan must say that the staff are very well trained and polite, the waiter explained to me that the main highlight of Izakaya Kai would be their tempura dish since the tempura master chef Hitoshi Kimura has more than 30 years of experiences. Here are some of dishes AnakJajan ordered from the all day cafe:
Truffle Cheese Choux IDR 45k
6 pieces of small choux pastry filled with cheese truffle filling and topped with grated cheese, best eaten warm. This savory choux was uhmazing with smooth truffle cheese filling, the cheese and truffle were complementing each other nicely without overpowering. The choux reminds us of AMKC Atelier‘s Truffle Choux, but AnakJajan personally prefer this one better.
Ocha by Kaya Tea Organic IDR 15k (refill)
Crispy Salmon Soy Orange Donburi IDR 80k
The donburi or rice bowl came with miso soup and pickles, there are three options of donburi, Grilled Pork Belly, Crispy Salmon and Bacon Black Angus Beef Fried Rice, AnakJajan opted for Crispy Salmon.
The salmon was cooked nicely, juicy and buttery while crispy on the skin, as for the seasoning the soy orange sauce was more on the sweet side but still delightful. The dressing for chopped cabbage was very nice and refreshing with hint of onion, ginger, carrot and lemon.
Fillet Mignon Steak Brown Butter Soy Set IDR 125k
Our fillet mignon was cooked nicely with appetizing pink color in the middle, the beef was very tender and juicy with nice panfried crust on top. It was served with rice, miso soup, pickles. Miso soup was a tad salty and the brown butter soy sauce was also more on the sweet side, it’s still enjoyable for our personal palates but we’re not sure if it will be suitable for other people’s tastebuds in general.
Chocolate Red Velvet Cake IDR 50k
Both of us smiled widely after the first forkful, the Red Velvet Choco Cake was DA BOMB with strong hint of rhum!!! It tasted just as good as Karen Carlotta’s Red Velvet Cake at The Union, only with the addition of rich bitter sweet chocolate taste. Me and Mr. Jajan got to say that this one is a better version of Red Velvet Cake since it’s not overly sweet.
Kaastangel Brulee Pie IDR 50k
There were around 8 options of cakes/ pies from the cake display, and as a huge fan of Kaastangel, I simply cannot resist the temptation of Kaastangel Brulee Pie. It was a nice sweet and salty combination, smooth creamy cheese filling with caramelized sugar on top and salty kaastangel pie crust. Love the salty buttery aftertaste from the pie.
After returning to Jakarta, me and Mr. Jajan had a dinner the next day at the 2nd floor – Izakaya Dining area since we were curious with the food. AnakJajan highly recommend you to make a reservation in advance if you want to dine on the 2nd floor – Izakaya Dining Area.
Brioche Bakpao IDR 35k
This bun is actually available on the 1st floor All Day Cafe area, but you can also order it on the 2nd floor. The brioche was served warm, crispy on the outside while soft on the inside, it was filled with yummy minced pork and salted egg yolk, major love for the minced pork that was sooo flavorful and juicy. It’s a unique idea to combine Brioche and Bakpao filling but I personally prefer soft fluffy texture from steamed bun.
Prawn Tendon IDR 120k
The prawn tendon or tempura rice bowl consists of prawns, fish, squid and mushroom tempura served over rice and glazed with special tendon sauce. As one of the signature dish of Izakaya Kai by tempura master chef Hitoshi Kimura, AnakJajan must say that the tempura here is superb! Lightly battered, deep fried into perfection, crispy, not greasy and easily melts in the mouth. Prawn, squid and fish were cooked perfectly, it was sweet and fresh.
Yakitori – Ebi Bacon IDR 45k // Tebasaki IDR 20k // Tsukune IDR 15k
Izakaya Kai offers various yakitori or Japanese grilled skewer with price ranging from IDR 12k to IDR 45k available in Shio (salt seasoning) or Tare (sauce), with additional IDR 30k you can also get Rice, Soup and Pickles set.
AnakJajan ordered Ebi Bacon, Tebasaki or Chicken Wing and Tsukune or Chicken Meatball skewers and we requested Tare or sauce seasoning for all of the skewers.
Ebi Bacon was amazing!! The shrimp was fresh and sweet, paired nicely with the salty bacon with amazing smoky aroma, Tebasaki or Chicken wing was also amazingly delicious!! On the other side the Tsukune was a bit disappointing since it was a bit plain (it came without tare sauce that we requested) with unpleasant bitter after taste.
Nozaki A5 Wagyudon IDR 220k
A luxurious and scrumptious bowl of wagyudon made with Nozaki A5 wagyu beef, pickles, shreds of tamagoyaki and crispy garlic served over rice. This one was the main highlight of our dinner, both of us agree that it’s one of the best beefbowls in town!! The wagyu beef was cooked nicely with appetizing charred aroma, it was sooo tender and flavorful with soy-based sauce, savory with subtle hint of sweetness and truffle oil aroma. So good that the flavors still linger on my mouth until the next day. To make it into more festive bowl of wagyudon, you can order additional topping Foie Gras IDR 50k and Hokkaido Uni IDR 150k.
Goma Cake IDR 45k
Layers of black sesame sponge cake with cream and sweetened sesame seeds in between. The cake was soft, fluffy and moist with delightful sesame aroma, but Chocolate Red Velvet Cake is still our top favorite here.
Overall, love the food and ambiance of Izakaya Kai, it is definitely an exciting and great addition to Pluit food scene. Looking forward to revisit again. Let’s Jajan!
Jl. Pluit Kencana Raya No.59
Pluit, North Jakarta
Phone: (+6221) 22663966
1st floor All Day Cafe 11.00 – 23.00
2nd floor Izakaya Dining 11.00 – 15.00, 18.00 – 22.00
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