Ikuze Japanese Food Bazaar: The New Little Tokyo in Jakarta

 Ikuze Japanese Food Bazaar: The New Little Tokyo in Jakarta

When Ve Handojo gets confused about what kind of Japanese food he wants to eat, Ikuze gives him everything under the one roof.

Photos by Ramadhan

On the days where you’re craving Japanese food but you’re just not sure whether it should be sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki, or the fusion kind, head to where I just had my lunch, Ikuze Japanese Food Bazaar. It is the first thing you see as you walk into the Epicentrum Walk building in Jakarta – a glass-walled setting with lots of dark walnut wood.

“The ‘bazaar’ concept is not a new thing, but making it exclusively Japanese is a great idea by Ikuze’s.”

For a Japanese food outlet Ikuze is as casual as you can get. You take a card and simply stroll the ‘market’ inside. It is a small and lively place indeed with five different kitchens, where the staff swipe your card for each dish that you order. All will be calculated as you check out later. I started at Roppongi to pick a fresh bowl of wakame salad and some sashimi. Among the fusion roll items, the crazy crab sake roll and beef and cheese rolls are my favourites. Get to Ginza kitchen to go a bit western on the special offering of fettuccine with unagi eel. Thin and crispy spicy tuna pizza is also an awesome choice. They are not joking when they say it’s thin, crispy, and spicy. The flavours are well-balanced, and it immediately makes everyone around the table happy.

Asakusa kitchen is where you pick your selections of tempura and katsu. Yes, this is where the hot action is taking place. But, regular Ikuze-goers can hardly wait to get to the Shibuya area. This is where I get my favorite teppanyaki, in either beef, seafood, or chicken and each portion comes with fresh vegetables and tasty sweet sauce. It’s a true winner! In Shibuya, you can also pick your udon or soba noodles, and the fine unagi eel robatayaki set. You will want to end your journey in Shinjuku to get some good drinks. If you fancy something sweet and if it’s too early for heavy drinking, go for the flavoured sake in either strawberry, lychee, mint, peach, vanilla, and caramel.

Casual and friendly, Ikuze is very Japanese with brightly painted murals with wood and bamboo decor.

After you have your plates filled seat yourself somewhere on the mezzanine floor where the colourful and fun wall mural is a big mood-booster. Bigger groups can opt for the semi-private area behind the bamboo trees. While waiting for your selections to come, you can play Sudoku on the creative paper mat, and by the time you’re ready to give up, the dishes will be ready. Service is quick, practical, friendly, and hassle-free.

The ‘bazaar’ concept is not a new thing, but making it exclusively Japanese is a great idea by Ikuze. What is also good is the size and the variety of food served there. In a moderate and compact portion, Ikuze offers very carefully selected dishes and the layout of the kitchens are easy to browse so that there won’t be any confusion. First timers will not get overwhelmed.

Ikuze reminds me that good food is best served easy, simple, straightforward, and in a casual manner. By the time I walked out of Ikuze, I knew that I had found a new lifestyle.

IKUZE Japanese Food Bazaar
Epicentrum Walk
Kuningan, Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 2994 1228

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