Among the new exciting Japanese eateries that I have not yet wandered myself to is Senshu and that one opportunity visiting it was indeed memorable.
Located at Fairmont Jakarta, the group behind Senshu is among the most experienced when it comes to Japanese cuisine in Jakarta. Of course, you would recognize right away these powerhouse names such as Ebeya, Esina, Umena Dori, Ippeke Komachi, and Mikura.
Residing on one vast corner of the second floor of the hotel, Senshu is being presented as a restaurant of two different worlds. Customers can choose to experience between having washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) at the common and private rooms with beautiful themes on one side, or having a teppanyaki course at a Japanese traditional village side in private rooms of different capacities.
As for this story alone, I would like to share with you a bit or two about how wonderful the teppanyaki experience there was.
Cooked by the funky Chef Tatsuya Sakamoto who now has ten years of experience in Jakarta, what he served us was a marvelous chemistry between Japanese flavors and refined presentations often found in French restaurants.
By using the premier ingredients that mainly came fresh from Japan, the chef cooked us a four course teppanyaki starting from amuse bouche and down to the simple yet delicate dessert in the end.
So shall we start?
Served on a unique circular vessel, the chef prepared us a small, round pastry which has a very fulfilling, creamy taste and topped with the luscious caviar and edible gold.
That’s a start which makes me more and more curious about what will happen next.
FOIE GRAS, BLACK TRUFFLE, AND RISOTTO
Next we are heading for another tantalizing opener from foie gras. The three evenly cut of foie gras for us were seared lightly on the pan and then to be served with the already prepared risotto, a very rich darkened seaweed sauce, and topped with shaved truffle.
This one really rocked my world as not only it was really up to my liking thanks to the intense savory flavor from the sauce, but the main ingredients were actually came in harmony with each other.
SELECTIONS OF GARDEN VEGETABLES
Fresh and quality vegetables were flown from Japan and sauteed lightly by the chef. He then added a sauce inspired by the traditional boullabaise and gave a finishing touch with coriander espuma.
I have always been a fan of garden vegetables dishes like this one and that reminds me of an encounter with a Michelin-starred chef a few years ago. He did a similar dish with different style, of course, but the idea of eating garden vegetables like this feels healthy, nourishing, and an eye candy as well. The additional touch by Chef Sakamoto to these vegetables was the crispy red sea bream.
The break in-between to freshen our palate was a special fruit tomato from Kochi Prefecture. Sweet and sour but with a fulfilling consistency from the flesh, it was truly a showcase of how Japanese are really proud with their fresh produce. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
SENSHU’S SPECIAL A5 WAGYU STEAK
According to some proven theories, the feeding of cows nowadays should not be confined to only grain or grass. Apparently many farms out there now have already employed the service of fruits and herbs as the beast’s diet and that resulted a huge added value of flavors to the meat.
The wagyu that Senshu use for this particular dish is an A5 marbling level and apple-fed. The latter fact intrigued me a lot as it contributes to the sweetness of the meat, but apparently it was a secret that they wish to keep.
Any way, of course, the ingredient speaks for itself as the melts-in-your-mouth beef was already perfect as it is but it can also be combined with 4 special condiments that Senshu had prepared – salt truffle, soy sauce with onions, chili sauce, and fried garlic. Other than that, Chef Sakamoto also prepared us a block of wasabi, cooked sweet potato, and real wasabi leaf as the accompaniments of the luscious steak.
To end this majestic course meal, Senshu prepared us a showcase of beautiful desserts from a Japanese strawberry, a red and white macaron, and lastly – the green tea paste coated with white chocolate.
Well, as you can read here, the experience speak for itself and it was on par with my Kahyangan visit years ago. Only this time, cooking on the teppan was not as festive as one would expect with all those stir-frying and turning the ingredients upside down on the hot plate.
Chef Sakamoto employs an optimal way of cooking for the ingredients such as waiting for the beef to cook properly and then flipping it once in while or when he just sauteed the vegetables not chaotically.
It feels lonely not to hear the sound of the festive cooking process or even doing it uniquely like the chefs of Benihana, but even so, the result amazed me so much and I would really love to return again for more.
Some menu are suitable for vegetarians
Fairmont Jakarta, 2nd fl.
Jalan Asia Afrika no. 8, Jakarta – Indonesia
Daily, 11.30pm – 2pm (lunch), 6pm – 10pm (dinner)