Here it is!! The newest donburi bar in town: Donburi Ichiya! I was so curious about this since there were some effective ads within the neighborhood about this place, which is located at Lippo Mall Puri, the newest upscale shopping mall soon to be opened in West Jakarta. Look what I've found when I got here: like-minded people who've got the same interest!
When seeing the long queue, I suddenly realized that this is not a conventional restaurant: it's actually an open kitchen and bar where you make your very own dream bowl!
So here's how to order your personal donburi:
- Choose the bowl size: mini or regular
- Choose your donburi out of 4 bases: Salmon Aburi Don, Karaage Don, Yakitori Don, Gyu Don.
- Choose the sauce (1 free, + IDR 4,545 for additional sauce): Garlic Butter, Soy honey, Mayo, Spicy Mayo, Wasabi Mayo, Black Pepper.
- Choose the topping (additional charges apply): Melted cheese, Kimchi, Tamago Yaki, Onsen Tamago, Japanese Curry
Just as a teaser, I took photos of what some people in front of me ordered. First up, On Tama Gyu Don!
Here goes another one: Kimchi Gyu Don. Beautiful little bowl that leaves you drooling!
This is what I ordered: Garlic Butter Yakitori! Before giving you the review, let me show you how they grilled the butter into melted perfection right in front of us!
That's not all! After you got your bowl of donburi, you have another freedom to pick fried dishes! Can you name all of them?
Right after leaving the open kitchen section, here's the seating. To my surprise, it's not too spacious yet they use all the spot optimally!
What they have as the ornaments: random Japanese posters on wooden walls. So quirky, so Japanese. They make it really simple but this is how a Japanese eatery really looks like!
Simple wooden interior with lantern-like lamps. Traditional design with contemporary building materials.
Moving on to the tasting period now, finally!
GARLIC BUTTER YAKITORI IDR 36,364 (reg) // 31,818 (mini)
Upon its arrival, there was one thing that actually disappointed me quite a bit: since the queue were long, the presentation was..well, like this! Sloppy in terms of aesthetics BUT after having a taste, I reckon that their chicken was good! Perfectly grilled and well seasoned, the melting butter completes the whole dish in one bowl! The only shortcoming is the lack of sauce that leaves some white rice untouched and plain. Desolation in a donburi is a crime since the concept is to hold a harmony of different ingredients into one. Unity!
ON TAMA GYU DON IDR 51,818 (reg) // 47,273 (mini)
The second one is Gyu! Beefy goodness combined with more protein in half poached egg and rice over some shoyu. Still the same problem: lack of sauce and this time of meat. I'm not sure if they do it because they were still starting but this portion is certainly not "large" except for the rice amount. The taste is still good though! Only the same sloppy presentation and by the way, sloppy preparation as it took more than 5 minutes from order to payment.
WASABI MAYO ABURI SALMON WITH TAMAGO YAKI IDR 50k (regular) // 45,455 (mini)
Alright, as I've mentioned before, the toppings here are actually interchangeable, so for this one I happened to pick the wasabi mayo to pair the Aburi Salmon base with some tamago yaki. The best one so far and the least disastrous presentation as well, despite the buried salmon that was supposed to be the main actor. Trust me, their menu pictures were so well presented! Taste wise, good and balanced but not impressive somewhat. The reason of their lack of taste is the same: Great concept, great taste, but missing the philosophy of donburi itself. If there's some rice left in the bowl, your balance is simply off. Ours? there were two of three bowls with rice left.
BEEF CROQUETTE IDR 10,909
This one is a classic that never fails! I always order beef croquette as a side when they serve agemono because it always tastes good. It's simply potato croquette mixed with minced beef inside, only shortcoming was that I couldn't really taste the beef that it failed to bring the overall taste to another level.
CHIKUWA CHEESE IDR 13,636
This one is good! Chikuwa is some kind of fish meatball, but this one has melted cheese inside! The filling itself wasn't very generous though, which makes this simple dish that tastes just simply good; not extraordinarily good.
SALMON CHEESE FURAI IDR 14,545
I was a bit disappointed with this one I must admit: the ingredients mix was a bit smelly. Since I'm really sensitive about it, that's all I can say.
My overall view was not totally satisfactory, but since this place has just opened not too long ago, I'd say that it's too early to judge! I've been to some places that was horrible in their opening and the next time I came, bam! They made a huge change. So here's to greater improvement in the future and may this place be endowed with success!
Lippo Mall Puri @ The St. Moritz Unit LG-80
Jl. Puri Indah Boulevard Blok U No. 1
Kembangan Utara, Jakarta Barat
Opening Hours: 10.00am - 10.00pm