Now I’m the first one to admit that I don’t have a lot of experience with Japanese food. Sure, I like sushi and sashimi, and there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a DYI shabo shabo, but when my fiancé and I stumbled into a Japanese food-lovers paradise in Block M on Friday night, we didn’t even know where to begin.
We ended up settling on Yuki restaurant, primarily because it is one of the few places that you can see from the outside in. The unassuming exterior of most of the restaurants, bars and karaoke joints in so concentrated an area makes it difficult to narrow down choices, so Yuki is a real stand out in this respect.
We were ushered into the virtually empty restaurant (although I am coming to realise that this is fairly typical of most establishments in Jakarta, so I’m not going to judge on this accordingly), seated in a quiet nook and promptly treated to steaming hand towel; an instant crowed pleaser in our books.
Yuki has a pretty pleasant ambience, with open sushi bars that you can perch at while your dinner takes shape before you, or a careful array of tables and chairs for larger groups that compliment the symmetrical design of the interior. We were somewhat surprised to hear some soft jazz playing in the background, but hey, who are we to decide what musical tastes the Japanese should have?
The menu is extensive, and for the Japanese cuisine novice, somewhat experimental, featuring delicacies including salt cured frying squid with entrails and tenderly boiled beef tongue with miso. There’s no limit on options though, with over 20 types of sushi and sashimi on offer, as well as skewers, noodles and soups. Mains range from RP40,000 to RP280,000, with raw fish and imported beef the biggest spenders on the menu.
We started off with a bowl of edamame, then moved onto grilled eggplant with ginger and soy, steamed chicken (served cold) with spicy aromatic sauce, and grilled salmon rice. The food came quickly, delicately and creatively presented, in impressively large portions. Sharing two mains and a side of rice, and with a bottle of sparkling water each to wash it down, the bill reached a total of RP210,000, including tax and service charge, a fair price for a (delicious) introduction to Japanese cuisine.