The Gem in Little Tokyo

by Julius Kensan
16th January 2014
Izakaya Taichan provides an instant mental excursion to Japan with a menu of classic Japanese dishes.

How do you gauge the authenticity of a foreign cuisine? Is it the chef or food itself? Well, one easy solution is simply the patrons. Such is the case for Izakaya Taichan. Located in Blok M, in an area where it is nicknamed as little Tokyo, it’s not hard to find Japanese regularly dining in this establishment. In a way, their patronage symbolises an invisible seal of approval.

Inside, Izakaya Taichan mirrors not just how a Japanese eatery would look like but the experience as well. After removing footwear, guests will be tucked into a “booth” with wooden room dividers where a cozy atmosphere is instantly established. Expect familiar dishes such as tempura, ramen and sashimi that feel like comfort food, especially for the Japanese patrons. This is why the experience is better felt among friends while, say, digging into a warm bowl of Yakiniku (Grilled Meat) Don and sipping hot green tea.

With its emphasis on the food and ambience, it’s easy to feel as if you’ve been transported overseas when dining in Izakaya Taichan. In some way, a trip down to this establishment plucks one away from the chaotic and busy life of Jakarta, giving this odd and amusing feeling of being a tourist in your own country.