Editor's Rating

10
Food/Drink
10
Ambience
8.5
Service

honZEN is yet another Japanese restaurant under KAWANO Group (along with SAKANA, The Grill, Bistronomy, and latest one, Tontoki), which is one of the definitely-MUST-TRY restaurants in Jakarta. honZEN itself is located on Lower-Ground (LG) floor of InterContinental Hotel MidPlaza Jakarta, and easily accessible using escalator from hotel lobby or from the MidPlaza office building.

本膳はKAWANOグループのレストランであり、(酒菜、The Grill, Bistronomy, 屯登木)ジャカルタでは絶対お勧めの日本レストランです。本膳はジャカルタインターコンチネンタルホテルのLGにあります。インターコンチネンタルホテルロビーのエスカレーターで降りたら右手にあります。MidPlazaからもアクセス可能。

Although this was not my first visit, I must admit that honZEN has always been one of our favorite Japanese restaurants in Jakarta. It’s a shame that I haven’t spared any time to write any review about this place despite all the photos I have from dining there, but crossing my fingers that I will do it soon!

本膳へは初めてではありませんが、ジャカルタに沢山ある日本料理レストランの中でもお気に入りのレストランです。何度も食べて写真もいっぱい撮りましたが未だにレビューを書いていません(汗)。早くレビューを書けるよう頑張ります!

Quite recently, honZEN released new menu featuring UNAGI (eel) as the main star of the dishes. We were lucky enough to be able to try the dishes as we were told that during the first weeks of new menu release, they only served 10 portions daily. Can you imagine how exclusive it is? ;)

Talking about unagi (eel), I wouldn’t say that I am a BIG fan of it but I also don’t dislike it. There is something exotic about unagi that I always feel it somehow luxurious to eat. However, unagi in Japan is quite different from what I have had in Indonesia, that being said, I was curious to taste the new menu this time!

最近の本膳のメニューには新しく鰻がフィーチャーされています。メニューの発表から1週間後にご招待いただきましたが一身上の都合により行けず、今回運良く試食を体験させていただいて感謝でいっぱいです!1日10人分しか食べられないほどの排他さ!
鰻に関しては個人的には特に好きでも嫌いでもないです。いつも鰻を食べるときにエキゾチックな高級感を感じます。日本産の鰻とインドネシア産の鰻は今まで食べてきて全くと言っていいほど質がちがいましたので、今回の試食がとても楽しみです!

 

Unaju Zen Superior/鰻重膳  IDR 238,000

The first one of the 2 unagi menu is Unaju Zen Superior, which is a typical “eel-bowl”, steamed white rice topped with grilled unagi and Kabayaki sauce. Included in this set are kimo soup, egg custard (chawan mushi), pickles, and fried fish bones.

鰻重膳は今回試食でいただいた鰻メニューの2つのうちの1つです。 とてつもなく大きな鰻にとても美味しい蒲焼きソースをつけて焼いた鰻重です。
セットには肝吸い、骨煎餅、茶碗蒸し、香のものが付いてきます!

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First of all, I was surprised to see 2 thick stacks of unagi on top of the rice. :-0 I have seen a lot of impressive unaju/unadon in Japan but this was crazy! The unagi surely looked appetizing with its (seemingly) thick meat and glistening sauce. When I tried this, I was speechless because it tasted SOOOO GOOD!! I mean, like seriously. The meat was super thick yet soft, with a thin, crusty skin that was full of flavor. The unagi was obviously perfectly seasoned, and I couldn’t even find anything to complain about, LOL.

It’s just flawlessly good.

まずは最初に鰻重を見てびっくり!分厚い鰻が2個ご飯の上に乗っていてやばいです!日本でも結構鰻重をいっぱい見てきて食べてきましたけど、これはかなりやばいです!鰻はもちろん見た目はとても美味しそうで、分厚い鰻にキラキラ輝くタレ!一口食べてみたら言葉を失うほど美味しいです!本当に分厚く柔らかく薄くてカリカリした皮に風味豊かです!鰻の味付けも完璧すぎて文句なしです!

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Since the unaju itself was already full of flavor, I think it’s very brilliant to pair it with savory smooth chawan mushi and clear, calming kimo soup. Oh yes, the other sides were fried fish bones, which were fun to eat and added texture to the unaju (love it!), and also honZEN’s signature colorful pickles which are pleasant to the eyes and helpful for digestion.

鰻重はかなり強めの味付けだから付いてくる茶碗蒸しや肝吸いの鮮やかな味と香ばしさは非常に素晴らしいペアリングだと私は思います。あとは骨煎餅も鰻重にテキスチャーを追加するような感じで食べるのが楽しくなります(大好き!)。本膳の香のもののカラフルな色は見た目が快適で消化に役立ちます。

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Unagi Hitsumabushi in Hot Stone Ware/石焼櫃まぶし膳 IDR 248,000

Next to try was the Hitsumabushi, which is a Nagoya-style charcoal-grilled unagi put on top of hot piping rice. Nagoya-style of cooking eel is slitting the eel open along the belly and grill whole without steaming. The eating procedure is also unique.

石焼櫃まぶし膳(櫃まぶし肝入り茶漬汁、骨煎餅、薬味(海苔、ネギ、うなタレふりかけ、山葵、香のもの)。

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My first Hitsumabushi eating experience in Indonesia was back last year when the first Hitsumabushi joint, Unacho, opened in Plaza Senayan. I had good experience with them during my earlier visits but recently I found that the quality of their unagi has changed and I don’t enjoy them as much as I did previously.

Back to honZEN, the hitsumabushi here is served in hot stone ware to preserve the temperature because there are steps to eat it. Along with it, they also serve various condiments from seaweed, fried fish bone, spring onions, wasabi, and pickles. Let’s eat!

私がインドネシアで初めて経験した櫃まぶしは去年プラザセナヤンで開店したインドネシア初櫃まぶしチェーン店うな兆でした。開店当時はとても良い経験を得られましたが最近は鰻の質が落ちガッカリしました。本膳での櫃まぶしは食べ方の理由により石鍋で保温されています。骨煎餅、薬味(海苔、ネギ、うなタレふりかけ、山葵、香のもの)などが付いてきますのでまずは本膳流櫃まぶしの食べ方から!

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The first step is to pour the sweet sauce provided with the set on top of the rice, mix it up, and eat it right away!

ステップ1:うなタレを鰻とご飯の上にかけ混ぜて一部食べます。

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Second step: take some of the rice to separated bowl (or you can do it directly into the hot stone ware), put some spring onions, spices and wasabi, then eat it. Although the base (unagi rice) is same, but the taste will be different and you’ll get another “sensation” from using this method! XD

ステップ2:訳皿又は石櫃に骨煎餅、薬味(海苔、ネギ、うなタレふりかけ、山葵)などをのせて混ぜて食べます。

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Step 3: pour in the soup (chazuke) provided in the set and enjoy the soupy rice!

ステップ3:最後に石櫃に残ったお焦げと蒲にお出汁を注ぎます。そして薬味をお好みに混ぜ食べます!

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Although I love all the tastes from those 3 steps, for this hitsumabushi, my ultimate favorite of the way of eating is step 3, because the soup was just TOO DELICIOUS! It was rich in flavor but didn’t overkill the unagi taste, yet performing a harmonious flavor in the bowl. Normally, I love my hitsumabushi just like that (without any soup but lots of condiments), but here I recommend you to try a little of step 1 and 2, then proceed right away to step 3, LOL! XD

櫃まぶしの3ステップの中では一番ステップ3が大好きです!お焦げと蒲に混ざったお出汁(茶漬)が美味しすぎる!全体的に鰻の味を消さずに調和のとれた味わいが最高です!普段私は櫃まぶしにお出汁をかけずお薬味をいっぱいかける食べ方が一番好きなのですが皆さんにはステップ1、2、3までお試しをお勧めします!(笑)

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Do you know that beside tasting delicious, unagi is actually very good for our health? Rich in protein, vitamin A & E, unagi is believed to bring lots of energy and helps recharging our bodies. In Japan, unagi is mostly enjoyed during summer as it’s best for the hottest season of the year. (Well, I wouldn’t mind having this all seasons, though! XD)

honZEN once again exceeded my expectation in term of their food quality, and I really recommend everyone to try this while it lasts. Beside these unagi dishes, of course we can also enjoy many other Japanese dishes as well.

皆様鰻が美味しいだけじゃなく健康でもあることをご存知でしょうか?鰻には高たんぱく質で、ビタミンAとビタミンEにより体を充電しエネルギーを増加します。
今回も本膳の料理の品質はまたも期待を上回りました!皆様に鰻がある内にお試しをお勧めします!鰻以外にも色んな美味しい和食がありますので、そちらもお勧めします!

If you claim yourself as a Japanese cuisine lover, I highly recommend this place to experience a lot of authentic Japanese dishes without having to go to Japan. I will write a separated review about honZEN and its a la carte dishes next time in another post, stay tuned!

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*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.

** This review is written based on our visit on 28 August 2015.

 

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HONZEN
InterContinental MidPlaza Hotel
LG floor

Jl. Jend Sudirman Kav. 10-11
Karet Tengsin, Tanah Abang
Jakarta
Ph. +62 21 5707796

Opening Hours:
Mon – Sun
Lunch 11.30AM – 2PM
Dinner 6PM – 10PM