Up Above with Henshin

by Julius Kensan
15th September 2017
As Jakarta’s highest restaurant-cum-rooftop bar, Henshin paired the city view with their down-to-earth yet elevated take on Nikkei cuisine.

To reach Henshin, one must pass through a long and dark narrow tunnel before getting whisked up to 67th floor where the establishment resides. Understandably, this initial process builds up a high expectation for Henshin but that is something that the restaurant-cum-rooftop bar takes care of easily.

Apart from being Jakarta’s highest rooftop bar, Henshin is also part of Westin Jakarta Hotel where the building is currently the tallest in the city. Separated into three levels, each floor serves a clear purpose. The rooftop bar lies on 67th where cocktails are served with panoramic view of the city. On a good day, you could spot Salak Mountain as well as the sea all the way up north.

On 68th floor is where the dining takes place, under the helm of Chef Hajime Kusaga. As a third-generation Nikkei (Japanese emigrants) from Peru, it’s not surprising to find Nikkei cuisine that combined the influence of Peruvian and Japanese in Henshin.

It is absolutely recommended to start with the deceptively simple Ceviche (or Cebiche in Spanish), where fresh raw fish is cured with citrus juice. If you prefer heavier option, there’s Pachamanca where the tender lamb chop and short rib are served with a side of corn puree and fava beans. But on offer is not just Nikkei cuisine, diners can also take comfort at the familiar yet well-executed platter of sashimi to go with the view. Plus there’s down-to-earth fried rice and noodles to counter the imposing interior.

Right above the dining floor, the area is reserved for private bookings where diners often celebrate special occasions. The eye-catching interior, filled with mirror planes and bright carpet featuring lush Japanese landscape, easily serves as a pleasing distraction for those who are worried about vertigo.

It’s easy to scoff at Henshin’s status as the highest rooftop bar in Jakarta. After all, what kind of view can Jakarta offer? But once up there, you’d be surprise to learn that even this chaotic city is capable of possessing a sublime view. That is, when it is viewed from 67th floor above and you’d have Henshin to thank for that.