I have been yearning for Japanese food and trying Asuka is on my top list to satisfy the craving. Located in JW Marriott hotel, the security is extremely strict upon entering the hotel.
I opted for their Omakase menu (IDR 1,500,000/pax for 9 course dining) while my dinner companion opted for Kaiseki menu (IDR 1,360,000/pax for 10 course dining). The only difference between the two is that Omakase will use seasonal, possibly exotic, ingredients and the customer will be able to make changes with the menu if they don’t like certain ingredients, whereas Kaiseki is a fixed menu with regular available ingredients.
First dish got my full attention: Tara Shirako, or sperm of Pacific cod fish. I was stunned for a while and stared at it a couple second, until finally burst by curiosity. It’s all milky white, jelly like with thick membrane, shaped like a mini brain. My companion didn’t like it as it smelled quite strong. It was okay for me; creamy and liquid-y, but neutralized by the citrus nori and sliced cucumber. I finished mine.
Continued with fresh Sashimi Moriawase consisting of my favorite o-toro, salmon, kanpachi, tai and mirugai. I replaced the Botan ebi with another fish sashimi I forgot * my bad *. It was all fresh and nicely cut by Asuka’s Japanese chef.
Next up is Hirame Kobujime, or kelp top on thinly sliced flounder. It was served with plum sauce with scallion that really gives a refreshing taste. The texture is more chewy compared to earlier sashimi. It can be found in most Omakase menu.
The Amadai Kaburamushi is the comfort food of the day. It is steamed Japanese abalone, topped with wasabi sauce and ginko nuts. The dish tasted like Japanese version of Lo Mai Kai. Only you replace the sticky rice with grated turnip, pork with chicken and the egg with abalone. It has a lovely scent and best eaten warm. It tasted healthy.
My favorite one of the day is the Buri Saikyoyaki. Grilled marinated yellowtail in Saikyo bean paste. It is simple yet excellently executed. The fish is soft and fragrant, tasted salty and buttery. The preserved onion gave a fresh sour hint. Ginko nuts are mild bitter, and the Japanese sweet potato is very sweet and mid crunchy, almost like honey coated. All my taste buds were seduced.
The Aizakana dish was torched marinated wagyu in sweet sauce, or Wagyu Tataki, was very tender and well soaked in the sauce. The salad also tasted great with creamy sesame dressing.
My most awaited dish was the assorted sushi, a palate of five delightful sushi. Consisting of uni, toro, squid and the half baked sushi. All were amazing in their own taste, especially the fragrant half-baked salmon. Tamago was very yummy too.
I was already full by the time my clear soup arrived. The Hamaguri Suimono consisted only of one big clam. It tasted bad for me. It is very bland, with no single salt or anything in it. Like a fresh clam put in still water.
|This is not the clam soup, it's fresh oyster from Kaiseki menu|
Finally it’s time for dessert and I opted for Matcha ice cream, instead of the Melon Ichigo. Bad move, the ice cream tasted artificial. The Lavender flavor is much better.
We also ordered Kobe Sukiyaki (first picture) that night and the dish was delectable. Well marinated juicy and thinly sliced kobe beef, with a pleasantly sweet sauce. Cooked with generous green vegetables. A healthier choice indeed.
Not the best Omakase in town, but it offered more dishes variety and used fresh ingredients freshly imported from Tsukiji and Fukuoka fish markets.
Asuka Japanese Dining
JW Marriott Hotel - Jl. Lingkar Mega Kuningan Kav. E 1-2,
Jakarta - (021) 5798-8888