Text by Erza S.T.
Photos by Ramadhan
Remember when wine was the new black? Or when whiskey was crowned as the new liquor trend for this year? Well guess what, Japanese sake and shochu are coming to take over the crown and the popularity is increasing like the Rising Sun itself!
The demand for sake or shochu these days is rising among Indonesian restaurant goers who want to expand their palate horizons. Of course, this could also be a side effect of the rapid middle-class economic growth that is making Indonesian people more open and willing to try new things, including exotiq liquors like sake and shochu. Wine importer and distributor-cum-restaurant Vin+ has seized the opportunity and have enlarge their sake and shochu collection, and thus Sake+ was born in July as the new and hottest Japanese restaurant to arrive in Jakarta.
In this two-floor restaurant, Sake+ welcomes you first with a modern minimalist display area where you can see over 50 varieties of sake and shochu lined up on the shelves and inside the chiller. Your eyes will definitely be pleased to see a range of products from the most expensive to some novelty versions such as jelly sake and sparkling sake. Sake barrels of varying sizes, from small to gigantic, are displayed on the top shelves adding accent to the overall great design.
Following the display area is a handsome looking, dimly lit bar and lounge with a high wooden ceiling, where I found an impressive list of beverages to start with. The Berry Forest mocktail, made of fresh blackcurrent with cranberry juice and cinnamon powder, offers an appetizing yet refreshing beginning, yet this didn’t last long and so I continued with the cute and uplifting jelly sake drink in a can before moving to something serious. I decided to try their newest cocktail, which consists of sake infused with green tea, elderflower syrup, lemon juice and melon soda before deciding what food to order. What can I say? The bartender had me at elderflower…Click to view slideshow.
you can see over 50 varieties of sake and shochu lined up on the shelves and inside the chiller.
Moving up to the dining area on the second floor, we were pretty much “happy” after cheersing three ‘kampais’, and kind of dazed ordering from the menu. An array of words such as ‘robatayaki, yakitori, soba, udon, sushi & sashimi’, and even more Japanese words, were jolting out from menu, but I was still not sure what to savour for this first experience. So I did what I always do, I called the chef and let him choose for me as a surprise. The result was far from disappointing.
As we toast with our first shochu of the night, the kitchen came out with exciting trays filled with oyster (kaki) and abalone (awabi), which have come directly from the renowned Tsukiji market in Tokyo and are flown in every three days. The iwagaki oyster is pricey but very satisfying and fresh. Put some drops of ponzu sauce onto it and you are guaranteed to have a mouthgasm! The abalone at market price is equally delicious, though it is only boiled and marinated lightly.
Letting the chef choose our food could be the best decision ever, especially when we saw the salmon carpaccio coming out, followed by a stunning amiyaki wagyu – grilled Japanese wagyu from shiho beef grade A5. The great shochu finally met a worthy opponent!
The memory can’t record much when good friends, good food plus great shochu surround you. I definitely need to go back to discover more hidden deliciousness from the menu, but that is a different story to tell. See, the thing is, going to Sake+ requires you to spend a decent amount of time, as it is going to be a long affair for either lunch or dinner. At this moment, though, I am happy enough to ‘kanpai’ the night away!
Jl. Senopati No. 54
Tel: +62 (0)21 725 0002