Skydining has always been a thing in Jakarta, although for some reason, not many are left except for some restaurants which either have a soulful connection with their patrons or are hip enough for the youngsters to frequent. For Kahyangan’s case, the first reason is clearly the answer.
Kahyangan is well placed at the top of Wisma Nusantara Building right by the Hotel Indonesia roundabout. As part of a hotel and office building complex, it has seen the brand of the hotel change a few times, but it has not.
What’s monumental about Kahyangan is that 2013 marked its fourth decade serving the city’s finest. Since its inception back in the 70s, Kahyangan has seen many VIPs, celebrities, and other dignitaries frequenting the restaurant thanks to its classic Japanese shabu shabu dishes and a breathtaking view overlooking the skyscrapers from the top of its perch on Wisma Nusantara, once famed as the tallest building in Jakarta.
In 2012, Kahyangan decided to expand to do teppanyaki to further prove their survivability and claim their place amidst the challenges of other restaurants nearby. The secret behind the success says General Manager Philippe Le Bourhis is: ‘The quality ingredients, best beef, the ponzu sauce, and the consistency we’re proud of’.
The ponzu sauce is so special that once you taste it, you may not be able to contain your admiration any longer. It is made from a fresh concoction of vinegar, lemon, Kikkoman soy sauce, the extracts from poached fish skin, and lastly, sugar. Thus the sauce gives an extra kick of savory sour flavor to any of the food you poach from the shabu shabu bowl – be it the fresh bok choy, enoki mushrooms, bean sprouts, Japanese udon, or premium rib eye wagyu beef from Kobe up to the best from Kagoshima.
Additionally, the teppanyaki section would be something you would want to experience as well since the dining sensation here is culminated into a whole new level. Experiencing the joy of seeing Bundaran HI from above with your significant other and tasting the great food that your personal chef cooks on the teppan in front of you inside the well-decorated private room is clearly what defines the term ‘romantic skydining’.
‘Traditional recipes are important, but we’re also evolving to offer wide Japanese food selections, firstly through teppanyaki and then yakiniku‘, Philippe continues. Just as a teaser, during my initial, encounter with Kahyangan back when it had just started serving teppanyaki. I had a somewhat beautiful Franco-Japanese modernist experience comprised of foie gras, pears, zucchini, with teriyaki and fresh cranberry sauces, and on another course, Canadian lobster with nori, bell peppers, and sea urchin sauce.
With this, Kahyangan becomes not only a place to satisfy your usual palate craving for shabu shabu that many have experienced for decades but the restaurant also becomes an envoy of modernity where the sizzling teppanyaki dishes are also incorporated with inspirations from French cuisine. The question for you would be, ‘Which one would you choose first?’
Nevertheless, for anybody who started their skydining experience in Kahyangan, a plate full of rempeyek (a type of Indonesian crackers with peanuts) is waiting to be devoured first! If you ever wonder why this local delicacy suddenly appears in the first place, then it is because Kahyangan remembers what the guests like for many years.
Halal-friendly (zeroed alcohol on sauces but liquors are also served)
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians
Wisma Nusantara Building – 28th fl, Jalan M.H. Thamrin Kav. 59, Jakarta – Indonesia
Lunch 11.30 am – 2.30 pm
Dinner 6 pm – 10 pm
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE January 2014 edition
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Photos by: Dennie Benedict