Shangri-La Jakarta is probably among the few among five-star hotels in the city that possesses quality one-stop stay and dine trait. By having the powerhouse restaurant quartet of Satoo; Nishimura; Rosso; and Shang Palace, Shangri-La Jakarta is more than serious to really fulfill the needs of many Jakartans – from casual foodie to extravagant gourmet, from passersby to meeting attendees, and from locals to expatriates. A few weeks ago, Nishimura became my first stop and the only one left I haven’t tried from the hotel’s stellar restaurants.
Tucked all by itself in a quiet corner of the hotel, Nishimura resides over a vast space and like other exclusive Japanese restaurants, it separates different room functions according to what the customers wish to enjoy during their stay. They have teppanyaki bars, a sushi bar, tatami rooms/private rooms, and the common dining room. Even in the common dining room, each space is ensured of its privacy and tended carefully by the waitresses. Well, we had a late lunch that day and customers were not that many left, but there’s always somebody new coming in, either for having their lunch sets or wearing long aprons for their teppanyaki session.
That afternoon, we decided to enjoy the fulfilling lunch of Kaiseki set and a teppanyaki set for my wife. In-between, we were also served with colorful assorted sushi set for sharing. It’s a good thing that the swiftness and great hospitality from the waitresses really contented our hearts but somehow I found that the serving time for my wife’s teppanyaki set was a bit uneven. I was hoping that every phase will be served with good timing but instead, the final dish of the teppanyaki which was the garlic fried rice came a bit too early (usually fried rice served last so that we won’t get full too early because of the rice). Sometimes it’s a bit hard to judge which dish belongs to who, but we were too overjoyed to see the creations of Chef Hideki Chomei came in all meticulously detailed, full of aesthetics, and of course, delicious!
My Kaiseki set lunch opener came in appetizingly – from a glass of unagi dipped in a cold soup, roe-filled prawn, clear soup and sashimi. Nearing by the main course, a perfectly grilled gindara and a bowl of neatly-arranged boiled vegetables in thick sauce gave a bonus point for the appetizer part. At this point, mooching one or two bites from my wife’s teppanyaki set became a beautiful mistake since I didn’t realize what was coming my way for the main course!
Sealing the whole deal of the Kaiseki set, I was served with the all-time favorite and one of the most rustic Japanese dishes known as the kamameshi or the steamed rice served in an earthen pot. Using the earthen pot, the rice usually becomes sticky and overcooked right on the edges of the pot. The favorite part is that you have to scratch the rice out with a bit effort but the overcooked part becomes crunchy and tastier than it looks. As with the proteins, the rice was well-equipped with many elements from the sea such as fish, crab cakes, prawns and et cetera. It’s probably more suitable as a serving for two, considering the quite extensive opener and how I also got tempted with my wife’s dishes.
For the closure, a bowl of ogura ice cream and a glass of good iced milk coffee gave my part a satisfying ending, but you know what? I liked my wife’s part better with her teppanyaki.
She began with the usual appetizers such as the salad and chawan mushi. But then came the most enjoyable part – a combo of grilled vegetables, beef steak, prawn, scallops, salmon, sauteed mixed veggies, miso shiru, and pickles! Plus of course, the early garlic fried rice. We particularly enjoyed the seafood and as an avid fan of fried rice, I decided to help my wife with it.
But in my defense though, the only reason why I didn’t finish my kamameshi (as much as I’m still regretting it until now) was because of this lovely platter filled with sushi and sushi rolls. Beautiful, enjoyable, and features the unusual sushi apart from our all-time favorite tuna or salmon. Even salmon, they say, is rarely used back in Japan.
Well, it was a wonderful lunch! Although Nishimura tends to get a bit wintry rather than its comrade, Rosso and Shang Palace, I found the tranquility inside was really soothing. Sure I can heard a bit the conversations from our neighbors but I can still enjoy my privacy, topped with a swift service and good food.
So, if you’re looking for a serious, classic Japanese cuisine in Jakarta? Nishimura can be one of the formidable options. This international brand first established by Mr Hiromi Nishimura back in 1985 has been closely connected with Shangri-La operations around Asia and now I can see the reason why. Why’s that? Well, you really have to find out about it yourself! :)
Halalness to be confirmed (pork menu and liquor are served)
Some menu suitable for vegetarians
Address: Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta – Kota BNI – Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 1, Jakarta – Indonesia
Opening Hours: Everyday, 11.30 am – 2 pm (lunch) & 6 pm – 10.30 pm (dinner)
Pricing: IDR 500,000 – IDR 1,500,000 for two