Dear fellow tasters,
In conjunction with its Ramadan Rhapsody programme, Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, working together with Multiply Indonesia and Fimela, held a special event called Buka Bareng Blogger (blogger’s break fasting gathering) in three participating restaurants – Tairyo, Katsusei and Jun Njan. After registering via email, I received an invitation three days before the event for the second Buka Bareng Blogger at Katsusei on August 19th. Actually, I’ve been to Katsusei several months ago, but I wrote the review just recently, right after I registered for the event.
A little bit about the restaurant, Katsusei claims to be the first and only Japanese restaurant in Indonesia, specializing in delicious cutlet or katsu. Their outlets are directly frenchised from Utsunomiya, Tochigi prefecture, approximately 100 km north of Tokyo, Japan. With an attitude to always strive for perfection, follow authentic recipes and consistently serve fresh quality ingredients, no wonder Katsusei has proven to be one of Jakartan favorite Japanese restaurants, despite the somewhat higher-range price for their menu.
I actually arrived a bit late that Friday evening, just after break fasting time due to some seemingly never-ending office meeting. I was then escorted to a semi-private dining area which was already packed with hungry bloggers, some faces I know, others I don’t. When I finally got seated, Mr. Adhi from Grand Indonesia marketing communications, was doing an introduction, followed by a word from Katsusei’s floor manager, Mr. Priyo and Fimela’s representative, the lovely Miss Nuniek.
While listening to all the talk, we were served a bowl of kolak a la Katsusei (a favorite ta’jil for break fasting made of banana, kolang-kaling or palm fruit cooked in palm sugar and coconut milk, specially custom-made by Katsusei kitchen for the event), a cup of sweet tea and crunchy edamame to munch around. Before commencing with the dinner, Chef Irwan from Katsusei’s sister restaurant, Toranomon, gave an explanation on beef cuts and a demonstration of cutting level 9 wagyu beef which is used by the restaurant for the yakiniku and other food menu. Drooling as we might be, unfortunately I only got to taste one piece of the grilled wagyu tasters (not sure which part), just enough to give the “it melts in your mouth” taste and a craving for more.
Then dinner finally started. Thank goodness, I felt famished already. According to the menu leaflet, we got to taste two more entrées beside the edamame, two main courses and two dessert items. Here we go.
Entrée; The chawan mushi/chawanmushi or egg custard is always a favorite of mine and though the stuffs put in Katsusei’s chawanmushi version were not that generous, it was quite enjoyable. There were shitake mushrooms, chicken, kamaboko (fish cake) and ginkgo seeds (which I mistakenly mentioned as lotus seed in my previous post). Next, the agedashi tofu was simple and delicious. The silky tofu, lightly coated with starch then deep fried, became a bit mushy after dipped into the dark brownish broth; the dish was also topped with tasty bonito (dried fish) flakes. A bit salty maybe, but hey I love salty food lol.
Main course; The original udon appeared first, looking quite promising. The portion was somehow reduced from the original version, said Mr. Adhi in order to allow us to taste more food items. Inside were the thick luscious udon in mild shōyu broth, a slice of kamaboko, vegetables and a quarter of egg. Quite delectable but a bit plain for my Indonesian taste bud, so I added some togarashi (chili powder) to it.
The highlight of the dinner was of course the katsu platter, which consisted of beef, chicken, scallop and shrimp. Previously, I’ve tasted the pork tenderloin and shrimp, so I was quite pleased with the katsu selection which catered to the general audience. All were scrumptious, including the chicken and beef which I thought would be ordinary. The beef was tender and easy to chew. The shrimp was delightfully sweet and as huge as I remembered it. The scallop was also delicious and still juicy, although I actually prefer a well-done scallop.
Ah, I forgot to mention that the katsu was perfectly paired with soury savory tonkatsu sauce mixed with ground goma or fragrant sesame (this time, I got to grind the sesame myself using the mortar and the wooden pestle). There were also two jars of sauce for the salad (previously I mixed all three in the sauce bowl and ate them with the katsu lol), the brownish tangy ponzu sauce and the crème-colored sweet goma sauce.
Dessert; I felt quite full after the katsu but somehow two desserts still managed to fit in my food sack *grin*. The first one was the mango pudding which I totally loved. It was very mangoey and I could still taste the fresh sweet flavor of crushed mango. It might look simple but it was definitely the best mango pudding I’ve ever tasted. The second dessert was the macha/matcha ice cream, quite enjoyable though not that memorable. We were also served a cup of hot houjicha (a type of Japanese green tea) to rinse down the oil from the deep-fried cutlets.
The gathering ended with the giving of goodie bags for all participants and group photo shoots in front of the Buka Bareng Blogger wall. I definitely had quite a wonderful night and a happy belly too. Thank you Grand Indonesia, Katsusei, Fimela and Multiply Indonesia for the much enjoyable dinner.
Thank you for the food. ごちそうさま。 Gochisōsama!
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – the katsu platter and the mango pudding
What to try next time – haven’t tried the katsu nabe and chazuke-umeboshi, will also try Toranomon next time if there’s 50% off with cc promo