Talking about Japanese cuisine, a lot will relate to sushi, and often for the “best sushi in town”, most Indonesians would mention “Sushi Tei” one way or the other. Well, that could be true, if you define “best” as the first successful restaurant catering sushi to Indonesian taste. In my search for a more authentic sushi experience in Jakarta, my sister invited me for a sushi omakase at this Japanese establishment in Duren Tiga by the name of Umaku Sushi.
What is omakase? It is a Japanese phrase, pronounced oh-mah-ka-se, meaning “I will leave it to you”. In this case, you entrust the selection to the chef. He will then present a series of plates, beginning with the lightest fare and proceeding to heaviest, riches dishes.
This omakase concept, however, has yet to be popular among Indonesians, partly due to the insanely high price of experiencing one, on average, IDR 1.2 million or US$100, or even higher. Since it’s a customized dining experience, the chef must make a preparation beforehand. You as the customer are supposed to make a reservation prior to your visit. The person picking up the phone makes sure you know what you’re getting into.
Thank God Umaku Sushi is neither as expensive nor strict. For just IDR 275K (including 10% Government Tax), you will embark on a one-of-a-kind authentic Japanese dining journey customized to you and your party. The chef, Syaiful (Saeful), will first ask if you have any seafood allergies when you settle in at the counter. And just in case you change your mind, you may go for à la carte Japanese food that they also provide. You will, however, be missing out on an experience like no other.
Omakase meals have always been part of the good sushi chef’s repertoire – a final proof that he knows more about the fish than his patrons possibly could. The meals are prepared only for you at this moment and any subsequent visit could be a completely different experience. I will now guide you through my omakase journey at Umaku Sushi.
You start with a Salmon Seaweed Salad, then a few slices of melt-in-your-mouth o-toro, one of the best parts of tuna. You’ll be surprised by how different this tuna tastes compared to what you’ve had at Sushi Tei. Then an expertly sliced and blow-torched Hokkaido scallops quickly follow.
Ama-Ebi (Sweet Shrimp),
Sake-Aburi (Perfectly Torched Salmon which brings harmony to the two opposite worlds of raw and cooked sushi),
Ikura Gunkan (Salmon Roe),
Tamago (Egg, may be enjoyed as is or with sushi rice),
Maguro-Aburi (Seared Tuna),
Unagi (Eel), and
Crunchy Salmon Roll with Mayo and Tempura Bits, a surprising Indonesian twist to an otherwise authentic Japanese sushi parade.
If you arrive at a full counter, you may be surprised to witness the chef handling 8-10 orders at once, as casually as a casino dealer might flip out a hand of blackjack.
At this price-level, the omakase here is without a doubt, a bargain. I won’t hesitate to say this is one of the best sushi experience in Jakarta at an affordable price. Nevertheless, keep in mind that you must call in to make a reservation prior to visiting. That’s the beginning of your journey here.
Yep, I will be back.
Umaku Sushi Resto
Jalan Duren Tiga Raya No.32,
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12150