Few months ago, when we had our first staycation at Delonix Hotel in Karawang, on the way back to Jakarta, we stopped by this restaurant, Nabeya Iemon, which is also located near the hotel, inside Sedana Golf complex. There is this ruko (shophouses) line in this complex, fulfilled with Japanese restaurants, entertainment and massage centers, and Nabeya Iemon is one of the shops with bigger signage and inviting look from the outside.
I had a frikkin’ awesome shabu shabu the night before at SAKANA Delonix, and seriously I was totally a convert, although usually I am not into soupy dishes. I asked Mr. K to accompany me having another hotpot session for lunch and it was like a gift from God when I saw Nabeya Iemon, which specializes in nabe a.k.a. Japanese hotpot! Woot! (“nabeya” means “hotpot restaurant”).
The restaurant occupies two-floors area, not too spacious but they manage to squeeze quite lots of seating. There is this counter where I find very comfortable compared to the other seating area, but if you come in group, it’s recommended to go to second floor for more space. Other than the counter seating area, the other tables require you to sit on the floor with sitting cushions provided.
When we saw the menu, we were very surprised to see how much variety they offer here, basically any daily Japanese food which are commonly found anywhere in Japan is available here. From rice and noodle dishes, sashimi, sushi, and of course, hotpot dishes, you name it! Even their “tsumami” (light dishes or snacks that are eaten by Japanese people to accompany drinking) options take a whole page alone, amazing! Along with the long list of tsumami, of course there are also various kinds of beverages, including alcoholic beverages like beer, sake, and chuhai (shochu/Japanese spirits cocktails).
Ryokucha Hai IDR 38,400
This mix of green tea and chuhai is absolutely good. I love how natural and fragrant it tasted in the mouth, but added with a strong kick from the chuhai. Definitely a better option rather than a regular beer.
Hiyayakko IDR 28,000
Japanese cold tofu dish never failed to impress me, such a simple thing with colorful taste. The soft and delicate tofu was perfect to build my appetite.
Ika Shiokara IDR 28,000
A good tsumami if you like something unique and err, Japanese? Squid served in spicy sauce, it tasted funky but once you dig in, it’s hard to stop. The more funky it tastes, the better.
Stamina Gyuniku IDR 28,000
I always love Japanese stir-fried vegetables and this is even better because there is beef meat included. The meat was very tender and tasty, we loved the super juicy dish despite the major oiliness.
Yaki Gyoza IDR 32,000
A portion contains of 5 pieces, and by that I mean really fat pieces. Each were stuffed generously and grilled into perfection, with crispy skin in a side and softer middle part.
Mini Mabo Tofu Don IDR 47,000
In this photo, the bowl looks big but in reality, this is quite small. We can also order Mabo Tofu only (without rice) but this one is the option with rice included. It tasted exactly like the ones in some Chinese restaurants in Japan, with distinctive smell and taste dominated by sesame oil. I personally loved how they made it thick but not gooey, so it could still be enjoyed by slurping. Although the bowl is quite small, surprisingly the portion was big and probably can feed up to 2 adults.
Kaisen Bara Chirashi Don IDR 68,000
It’s not like everyday we can find a chirashi don this cheap and I was very thrilled to see how much seafood they put in the bowl! The seafood are cut in blocks, not slices, and they literally covered the rice, overlapping each others on the top. The seafood were very fresh and already seasoned so I didn’t really need to use any additional soy sauce to enhance the flavor. And the rice was soooooo good I almost forgot that such kind of sushi rice actually exists in Indonesia. XD
Iemon No Chanko Nabe IDR 188,000
We can choose the broth from 3 options: chige (spicy with kimchi), miso, and yosenabe. We opted for the original/basic one, which is yosenabe, where they only use dashi stock for the broth. Although this menu is usually for one person, we were too full to finish this alone so we decided to share it.
The hotpot came already cooked in the claypot, consisting of chicken, beef, seafood, tofu, and vegetables. The claypot size is not big but I think finishing this alone can be a bit difficult unless you are really into soupy dishes. Certainly, the ingredients were given generously and as you can see in the pictures, there are so many things going on inside!
However, the dashi stock was very light and resulting in a clear, rather bland broth. We added few drops of ponzu, grated radish and chopped spring onions, and the flavors started coming out and we really enjoyed the hotpot. If you like spices, you can also add some chopped green chili that is provided along with the hotpot. Basically, eating a hotpot dish is really up to our own likings.
Hiyashi Shiratama Zenzai IDR 28,000
For the dessert, we had this beautiful red bean based desserts with glutinous rice balls. The balls were very chewy and tasted so good paired with the sweet red bean soup.
During our visit on a Sunday noon, we didn’t expect that the restaurant would be crowded, but it was. It was exciting to see that 100% of the visitors that day were Japanese and given that circumstances, I think this restaurant is quite successful. Many Japanese living in that area working and if it’s crowded during working days, I wouldn’t have been so impressed. Apparently, Nabeya Iemon also has another outlet in Cikarang, another area in West Java with many Japanese workers as well.
In conclusion, we were really happy we decided to stop by and eat at this restaurant. Hopefully we can return someday and order more dishes!
*All prices are subject to 5% service charge & 10% government tax
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
** This review is written based on our visit on 11 October 2015.
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NABEYA IEMON 鍋や伊右衛門
Jl. Ruko Sedana No. 7
Teluk Jambe, Karawang 41361
Ph. +62 267 702 1312