Finding a good Japanese restaurant that serves authentic sushi, sashimi and the likes in Jakarta can be a little tricky for us who have ever tried the real taste. In Indonesia, the term “sushi” is more identical with “rice rolls” and most all the so-called sushi restaurants don’t even serve the right sushi rice (with measured vinegar and such), let alone the right sushi in the whole concept. One fine day, I got introduced to Umaku, an established sushi restaurant that already has few outlets in Jakarta. Rumors say that it is the best sushi restaurant in Jakarta and their “omakase” (more on that later) is definitely a must-try.

Since I was aiming for their omakase menu, I went to the outlet in Duren Tiga, South Jakarta, because currently only that outlet serves omakase. The location is considered quite far from my area and there is usually traffic jam so I & Mr. K made appointment with Selby on a fine Sunday noon, hoping that the traffic wouldn’t be so bad. And to ensure everything, I made a reservation 3 days before (actually 1 day before is alright, but I can be pretty compulsive with some stuffs, LOL).
It wasn’t so hard to find the place when you’re already in Duren Tiga Raya street, just find an Indomaret  with spacious parking space, and this Umaku restaurant is located on the second floor, above the Indomaret. I was surprised when I was told by the staff on the phone but again, don’t judge the book by its cover because actually the restaurant was very nice and spacious, decorated with simple Japanese theme.

Now, what is “omakase”? Taken from the Japanese word “makaseru” (means “entrust”), omakase is a common term used in sushi restaurants which means leaving the selections to the chef. Omakase is a good way to enjoy sushi and sashimi rather than a la carte because we can get fullest experience from chef’s creations. In Jakarta, there are few places that serve omakase menu, but normally they cost at least 1 million per person and most of the times, even higher. In Umaku, their omakase menu is priced only at IDR 250K (and 10% government tax) per person, if that’s not considered cheap, I don’t know what it is.
Enjoying an omakase, the key point is of course, the chef. That day, we were served by talented hands of Chef Saeful, who is very informative and funny. 
Meet Chef Saeful of Umaku Sushi Resto, Duren Tiga.
We were seated in the counter, as it was supposed to be as omakase guests. The point is we sat right facing the chef who would make the dishes and hand them one by one to us. Just a little warning, this is gonna be a long post and full of sushi and sashimi PORN!! So, let’s start the omakase!
Before putting anything on the table, Chef poured alcohol and wiped it with clean napkin to ensure the cleanliness.

Sliced white radish, oba leaf, pickled ginger, and wasabi  

Chef’s “weapons”

Salmon Salad
As a starter, nothing could be better than this as the bowl of salad really brought my appetite very well. Everything was fresh (veggies and salmon), topped with light mayonnaise and sesame, it was undoubtedly delicious.

Scallop Sashimi
The first sashimi we had was scallop, and seriously I was very intrigued looking at how thick and big the scallops were! They were burnt by blowtorch for a while before served, and OMG the scallops were almost crunchy and tasted very sweet. Simply excellent!

Salmon Yuzu Miso
This torch-burnt salmon served with yuzu miso sauce was a great way to enjoy salmon to another level.  The salmon itself surprisingly became so soft and easily melted in the mouth, and the fruity and tasty sauce just gave another twist that made my tongue dancing in happiness. It was so good!

The lime skin was grated carefully and sprinkled on top of the salmon.

Toro Sashimi
I was amazed when the Chef took out a block of seemingly familiar o-toro (or belly part of tuna), which is usually priced highly. Each of us got 2 slices of it (which were appreciated!) and again, I was impressed. I asked the chef whether the tuna was imported or not, and to my surprise, it’s actually shipped from Bali and seriously, I could never have guessed that! Very soft and smooth in the mouth, it immediately melted and brought a nice taste when eaten. Who thought local tuna can be THIS good?

Tako Utsuzukuri
This octopus slice was served with ponzu sauce, tasted salty and sour, with a texture of chicken meat! I mean, like, seriously. I had ever tried a chicken-texture octopus but it was an imported stuff from Atlantic ocean or something, so it doesn’t count, because guess what? The octopus here also is local product and the secret is they were massaged with care to maintain the firmness. And the ponzu sauce was just a smart way to enhance the taste, definitely must try!

Toro Tataki
Another toro session, this time as yakimono (grilled stuffs). This was terribly great I couldn’t stop talking while eating, HAHA! They used the tendon part so it was crunchy and firm, with the texture so much like meat. As quoted from Chef Saeful, no wonder it is called “wagyu of the sea” because of the texture!

Tempura Ankake Daikon
This tempura was served ankake style (starched) with grated white radish, very unique and refreshing. It was a little soggy in a good way, like absorbing all the liquid making it extra tasty.

Ebi Sushi
Normally I don’t really like shrimp, prawn or the likes, but this one was totally exceptional. The shrimp was crunchy yet soft, brushed with soy sauce and completed with right amount of wasabi on the bottom, it was an explosion in the mouth. Total food-gasm.

Saba Sushi
Honestly, I had never eaten saba (mackerel) sushi this good before. The mackerel was so fresh and juicy, unlike usual dry ones. Saba was never my favorite ingredients for sushi but now, yes, yes, yes!

Sake Aburi
This was easily one of the highlights of the session as it was crazily good. The salmon was grilled with blowtorch but again, it became so soft and melted right away when eaten. No word can describe this, you just gotta try this yourself and you’ll understand!

Ikura Gunkan
Another favorite. Eating this was so fun, it was like an explosion inside the mouth with the popping, slimy balls. Enjoyable to the max!

Mekajiki Sushi 
This was swordfish sushi and although it is not commonly found in sushi restaurants in Jakarta, the taste was quite familiar. I love the soft texture and mild taste of the fish.

Toro Aburi
I guess we were lucky that day because we got 3 dishes with toro involved. This time, the toro was burned with blowtorch again making such a meaty texture like the one above. Served as sushi, this one was also good and one piece was just NOT enough!

Ika Sushi
Squid is okay for me but not my favorite for sushi or sashimi since it’s quite difficult to eat them (must chew a lot). But here, the squid was firm and easy to cut when chewed, awesome!

Unagi Sushi
Clearly the unagi felt different when eaten, and I found out that those are Japanese unagi, imported directly from Japan. It was soft, smooth and easily melted in the mouth effortlessly, tasted so sweet and juicy. OMG I am drooling on my laptop typing all this…!

Ginza Hand Roll
So this hand roll aka temaki is originally from Ginza, Japan, and the one that we commonly find nowadays are actually Western version (the one with cone shape). The difference is, this version sounds so much better because we can get the taste of fillings until bottom of the roll, while it’s impossible for the cone shape. Actually the final result of this looks so much like uncut maki sushi. For the fillings, the chef used salmon, crispy tempura flakes, and mayonnaise. For me, it wasn’t so special beside the shape, but I think Indonesian will definitely love this.

Miso Soup
And of course, to end it all, a bowl of miso soup was delivered to each of us and I was happy because even the miso soup was good!!

Complimentary Sake Aburi, thanks Chef!

Green Tea or Red Bean Ice Cream for dessert as part of Omakase session.

Overall, a GREAT experience we had that day and resulting in another session 3 days after. Yes, I came back with Mr. K and my brother and we experienced some different stuffs on the second session. But to maximize your experience with the omakase session, I recommend making reservation at least 1 day before your visit to let the chef prepare whatever ingredients they will be using to serve you!

Thank you for the great experiences and I shall see you soon! <333

*All prices are subject to 10% government tax

*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
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Kebayoran Baru
South Jakarta 12150
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