Hello August! It's really early in the month and I'm totally excited! Promptly that I'm on a long holiday! The choice for the very first post of the month goes to this exquisite place that I happen to fall in love with: Katsura. It's at Plaza Senayan, just beside Sushi Sei (or X2, if you're more familiar to younger community places :p), where all the best restaurants in town are mostly from!
Needless to say, they have extravagant interior design! Upon entering, you'll directly realize how classy this place is. Look! The garden-like decoration accentuates a traditional Japanese big house, (you're gonna see them if you watch movies with Japanese background!) which symbolizes status and authenticity of this place!
What they have inside did actually surprise me though: patterned glass and bar table. Since we ARE at the bar, I do understand why they're taking the design this way: it's just how Japanese bars were, with black leather couches and all, but the change of atmosphere was real. Moving on to the dining section!
Taking a further turn at the corner and...
The dining room! it's luxurious and elegant once again, loving the concept despite it being a little overwhelming to me. This place screams class to your very consciousness!
If you want a more down-to-earth dining table, here you go: they have it all!
..or yet another thematic room. I don't know why but this room somehow makes me relate to the geisha age. Perhaps the flaming red accent of it. Beautifully made.
Now here's an overview of this place! Spacious, divided in parts to support more privacy and a proper dining experience.
I'm just totally out of words now. Impressed at how they use similar furniture yet by playing with small details, they manage to pull of different vibes in certain parts of the place!
Phew! So many details to elaborate is getting me hungry. So, ready for the most awaited thing? Here we go! Look at this beautiful donburi set! Before we start, I've gotta tell you that despite this is a shabu-shabu house, we decided to only order mini don set (and yes, seeing the bowl, they aren't that "mini") since there were a lot of interesting variations from the menu to choose!
Since we ordered 3 different donburi sets, I've got to review every single side dish I've got along with the set. Why? Only because each of them are worthy enough to be reviewed! This simple garden salad with simple miso dressing, for example. Alright, for some of you who have read my post about Takumi Robata & Sushi, you'll see that this place is just as good (if not better, but there's no way to find out since we ordered different kinds of Japanese dishes)!
JAPANESE GARDEN SALAD
They are just perfect! Crispy lettuces with flavorful dressing: you can both taste the freshness of the ingredients and the killer dressing that enhances your appetite into getting more of them!
Again, the thing with reviewing an authentic Japanese restaurants is, you can't see any difference in the picture: they all look the same! Simple presentation, neat, yet they could be totally different in taste. This one included! I'm blown away by how a simple dish could be bursting with such a different class of flavor that's hard to elaborate. If you've tasted chawan mushi before, this one also tastes like it (of course), but imagine having the very best texture, temperature, seasoning, and the freshest ingredients you could have inside. That's how this one would taste. The best in town so far!
Look at the picture below:
In case you're wondering, this is also part of the set! Incredible! A simple kake udon with oden broth with some fish cakes, but it has such great aroma and perfect noodle texture. Elegant.
MINI STEAK DON SET IDR 166k
This one is "the most recommended" set of it all and I completely understand why! Since this is a "steak", they let you pick how it's grilled: from rare to well done. This one's a medium well, since we ate together and not all of us could appreciate the perfectness of medium rare meat. Not a problem though because this one's so tender and good! Served along with as perfect enoki mushrooms and some chives, this one has such a perfect mix. The unity of taste in one bowl is what differs donburi from bento!
MINI CHICKEN KATSU DON SET IDR 110k
Here's what interesting: I asked the waitress how is this a "mini" don. She said this was only half of the normal portion! Whoa! Can't imagine having the full one. Look at this one, minced chicken and enoki with more chicken katsu down there! It was really good and perfectly cooked.
Look, when a dish is just too flawless I'm just out of words. What can you explain? They don't have special "secret" ingredients of some sort yet they could taste so good. It blasts away your whole idea of taste that donburis in fusion Japanese would be so overwhelmed by the real one.
SALMON, SALMON, SALMON KODONBURI SET IDR 120k
My. Personal. Favorite. The all salmon bowl consisting of three salmon elements: Raw salmon tartar, half-baked salmon, and salmon sashimi PLUS ikura, served on sushi rice. Majestic. That's all I can say. So fresh that it's bursting with life, The difference in the three salmon texture makes the bowl really interesting but seeing them come from one being is brings a perfect harmony and consistency in itself. Savory salmon tartar and soft baked salmon, fresh cold sashimi and strong-flavored bursting ikura that blows your palate with wonders. Perfect, perfect.
Do I actually need to give a final judgment? Just get here and be awed! It might look a bit pricey if you see that these "mini" sets were that much, but let me tell you one thing: it is worthy.
KATSURA JAPANESE SHABU-SHABU
Plaza Senayan, 4F Unit CP 406
Jl. Asia Afrika no. 8, Senayan
Jakarta Selatan 10270
11.30 AM - 03.00 PM (lunch)
06.00 PM - 10.00 PM (dinner)