Of all the foreign cuisines found in Jakarta, nothing is as burgeoning as Japanese food. The Senopati-Suryo belt is proof of the far-reaching popularity of this cuisine. Yet, with already a handful of Japanese restaurants to contend with, Kintaro settles its second outlet in Suryo street where it emulates a showy nihon teien (Japanese garden).
Drive the stretch of the street, and Kintaro’s expanse is a head-turner. Just outside leading into the restaurant, the garden attracts with its showy landscape and inside, the venue isn’t shy to flaunt as well. The place is reminiscent of a cherry blossom park with the few scattered trees and a small makeshift garden, yet remained composed through its graceful Japanese interior.
Food-wise, you will find just about any of your Japanese favourites. Sushi is a foolproof option, but try opting for those outside of your typical comfort zone. The Build Your Own Moriawase allows you to pick six unique sushi to make up a set served on a bridge platter. Another one, the Tornado Roll, made of gyu, unagi, tamago (Japanese rolled omelette) and truffle, invites you to dip your sushi in a soft-boiled egg yolk.
But a head-on winner at Kintaro is the Black Gyu Katsu Set. The wagyu katsu is served raw and rolled in a layer of seaweed that gives a richer taste. To savour this one, a mini stone stove will be brought along where you will cook each slice to your preference. The sizzling sound of the meat itself easily induces a mouth-watering response. The set is served with truffle rice and more egg yolk to dip your bite in.
While Japanese restaurants continue to proliferate in the city, whereby each establishment tries to up their ante with their own take on the cuisine, the fact that Kintaro strives in a neighbourhood that’s saturated with Japanese eateries proves that they are indeed, slowly but surely, making their mark in the south.