Renowned Chef Kaz Takes Control of OKU, A New Restaurant At Kempinski Hotel
EveLovelle was invited to dine as guest at Oku Restaurant
A new up and coming restaurant, OKU, opens its doors at Kempinski Hotel in Central Jakarta. Chef Kazumasa Yazawa (everyone calls him Chef Kaz), a Japanese culinary expert who studied and have refined his culinary skills in Gold Coast, Australia. Australia is well known as one of the greatest culinary hub in the world, and to have been fashioned with extensive varieties of the best of the best fresh produces, we know that Chef Kaz has his skills cultivated with the right hands. He had also worked at Waku Ghin in his years of experience, a Japanese restaurant which was rated as one of the top ten restaurants in Singapore by the UK Guardian Newspaper.
I was fortunate to be invited by the Zomato Jakarta team for a #ZomatoMeetUp at OKU. Thank you Karthik and the rest of the team for arranging the meet up. Also props to Kempinski Jakarta and Oku Restaurant for the warmth welcome, we were very well treated and fed. Not being bias, but the food was really amazing!
This was a treat! I have never seen karaage in black. I have to warn you to not take multiple bites, but rather a mouthful. It bursts off mayonnaise within, and tasted a little spicy as chili flakes were added on top. The chicken was so soft as they used the thigh portions.
This Aburi Salmon Roll is better than most because the rice portion were only wee bits, but the salmon wrap was generous. Topped with mayonnaise and black caviar, it was a dance party in the mouth. I ate so many of these, unsure did I even share?
7 different kinds of sashimi and everything was absolutely fresh with thick cut portions. They were served with soy jelly, angel hair seaweed, gracilaria seaweed and sea grapes all laid on top of cold packed ice. (Ps. Sea grapes don’t taste like grapes at all, not sweet nor flavourful, they actually taste quite raw)
The angel hair pasta emits a strong truffle flavour, a mix of uni, truffle flakes and black caviar within. Stir well before eating!
The Uni, perhaps a blessing for many, was my least favourite. I am never a fan of uni and saying it might earn me some eye-rolls, but perhaps you should order them if you’re a fan of it. I have never really seen uni served on a water shield served with jelly. It looked like a unified dish but its actually two separate dishes; one where the edible contents were placed on top; and the water shield forms bubbles within the bowl covered in leaves. To be honest I forgot to ask what the purpose of the bubbles was for, but as a quiet spectator it was pretty cool to watch.
The Ajitama was an organic egg smoked with rice straws to give a smoky flavour when eaten. To enhance the taste, onion flowers and shigureni beef paste was added on top of the egg. Wow, this was worthwhile!
Cherry blossom wood smoked Japanese potato salad with a strong taste of truffle, a tad bit too much truffle for me, but some of the other bloggers liked it!
I can’t even begin on how to describe a wonderful dish as such. This was the best dish of the night undoubtedly. OKU uses OMI sirloin with the highest marbling at A5 grade. The weight of it is 150 grams, cooked very simply and tasted like heaven in the mouth. The marbling of fat was distributed so finely and was cooked in medium rare. It was one of the best beefs I have ever eaten in my life. And yes, it melts in the mouth like butter! On a side note, have you ever eaten beef steak with chopsticks?? Ha! Yes, it was my first.
If you want something filling, go for the Gyu Don. This is the best seller dish for a quick lunch and many of those who order them were working locals and expats around the area. They are also a hit amongst Kempinski hotel visitors, or even mall goers. The onsen egg paired with the beef on rice was spectacular. Rice portion was also generous!
Yuzu Chocolate Mousse, Lemon Cloud, Dulcey Sponge Cake, Crunchy Chocolate Praline
Not just beautifully plated, this dessert dish was sinful and and refreshing at the same time. The chocolate mousse was thought to be sweet and lusting but it was the opposite. Paired with yuzu, the mousse was subtly sweet but more on the sourish side. I absolutely love the chocolate praline and any dessert dish with a good crunch is worthwhile living in my belly.
The shiratama mochi sweet matcha custard with azuki was a combination of sweet and bitter-ish altogether. Bitter sensation at the end was surprisingly great and I crave for more after every bite.
The Panna Cotta was so pretty and if you want something super light and easy to end off your meal, this would be the perfect dessert for you. Another plus? It is absolutely Instagenic!
Granite – Shiso & Japanese Plum + Pineapple & Yuzu + Beetroot & Blood Orange
To end off dessert, you won’t want to trickle your system with something heavy, I suggest the Granite popsicles. They all tasted like a breath of fresh air. The flavours were all refreshing and flavour combinations are wild!
Oku Restaurant I would probably add to my list of top Japanese restaurants in Jakarta. This place is new yet already buzzing. It is perfect for casual lunches with the family or colleagues. It even suits special occasions as you can book private soundproof rooms for more privacy. Birthdays and anniversaries are great reasons to come by. Don’t worry, chef Kaz and his team has got you settled for!
OKU – Hotel Indonesia Kempinski
Jl. MH.Thamrin, Hotel Indonesia Kempinski
Tel: 021 29704981