[Jakarta] “Is this Tokyo or Jakarta?!”
This was what went through my head as I slide the door to enter this hidden eatery.
My eyes were greeted with the tons Japanese writings on the wall. The wooden interior, tatami setting, bookshelves filled with manga books & magazines, and the television airing Japanese TV channels made me feel like I am in Nippon all together.
Not mentioning that majority of the customers here are Japanese expats – a good sign that food should be more authentic.
Kashiwa – the ONE PRICE concept Izakaya in town.
Yes, you read that right. All items here priced at IDR 28K (SGD2.80) excluding taxes and service charges
Kashiwa is one of many numerous Japanese eateries that occupy Blok M area or better known as the “Little Tokyo’ area in South Jakarta.
Well, a supermarket, hotels, cafes and nightclub can be found in this little square.
Kashiwa occupies the second story of Echigoya Ramen. It might be hard to find this place, as they only have a small signage board.
Your best bet is to look for Echigoya Ramen instead, with a staircase leading you to the 2nd floor.
The very first time I visited Kashiwa was 4 years back. It was full with Japanese expats then, so much so that my friend and I were probably the only Indonesians there (besides the waitresses).
Nowadays, Kashiwa has more varied patrons… probably due to some exposure provided by local food blogs. I guess it is not so ‘hidden’ anymore.
I do remember vividly that their Yakimono(s) was superb – the ‘kawa’ was probably the best I ever tasted.
To me, the Tori Kawa was the highlight of the meal, although they acknowledged that Chicken Nanban is the signature dish.
This Tori Kawa had perfectly charred skin, crunchiness in every bite. Best of all? It came in a pair.
A generous portion.
The huge juicy sticks of Negima & Momo were probably the biggest in town. Definitely a steal for just IDR 29,800 (SGD 2.98).
The chicken thigh meat was nicely grilled, till it was tender and juicy.
However, the Gyutan Negi was slightly disappointing with a lack of flavours and seasoning. But considering the low price and portion, I guess it was still considered acceptable.
The Chicken Nanban is the signature dish as informed by the waitress. To be honest, I didn’t taste anything THAT special.
It could have been slightly greasy as well.
One of my must order dishes here – the Gyuniku Enokimaki comprised of enoki mushrooms wrapped in thinly sliced beef.
The Hanpen Butter was another dish worth mentioning. Petite in size, big on flavours. Salty savoury on the outside, soft and juicy in the inside.
This reminded me a lot of Furaibo’s Hanpen Cheese.
With vast Japanese food varieties here, ranging from Yakimono(s) to Oden to Sashimi, Kashiwa is a reasonably priced and a wallet friendly restaurant.
Although there were some misses, their ‘Kawa’ would keep me keep coming back for more.
Jl. Melawai VIII, RT.3/RW.1, Melawai, Kby. Baru, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12160, Indonesia
Tel: +6221 739 6063
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 12:00am (Mon-Sun)
Google Maps – Kashiwa
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Benedict (Grand Indonesia, Jakarta)
* Written by DFD͛’s Jakarta Food Correspondent Wilson who loves exploring NEW food places in both Indonesia and Singapore. DFD pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.