Dear fellow tasters,
One thing that I definitely wouldn’t miss during my Jakarta trip was to go for some raw fish goodness at a sushi restaurant and what could be better than doing it with an omakase. According to Wikipedia, omakase (お任せ o-makase) is a Japanese phrase that means “I’ll leave it to you” (from the word “to entrust” (任せる makaseru)). Simply put, it’s a Japanese degustation, but the menu is left to the chef, meaning you don’t really get to choose what is going to be served in front of you.
Since I still can’t afford (“belum mampu”) going to Tatemukai or Sushi Masa for omakase, my friends suggested that I try one at Umaku Sushi Resto. Actually I have been to Umaku several times at their Tebet and Alam Sutra shops but I have never tried omakase at Umaku before – in fact, this was my first omakase experience ever. Also, it appears that the management of Umaku Tebet and Alam Sutra is not the same as Umaku Duren Tiga and Cibubur, resulting in differing food quality between those branches. Henceforth, on the second day in Jakarta, after brunch at Sophie Authentique, we went for that big omakase lunch at Umaku Duren Tiga.
It was still a bit drizzling outside when we went up the stairs leading up to the restaurant on the second floor of the building complex and stepped into the modest and simplistic Japanese-inspired wood-dominated dining area adorned with numerous round paper lanterns. The five of us – although only two actually opted for omakase – were then led to the sushi bar area where Chef Syaiful will orchestrate the whole symphony of sashimi, sushi and their fishy companies. Guess what, we ended up with 19 (yes, that’s nineteen!) courses and before I also end up mentioning the word omakase again and again, here’s the gluttonous rundown (the number refer to the order of the course).
Overture (1); The harmonious combination of crisp lettuce, diced raw salmon meat and wakame (seaweed) drizzled with Umaku signature salad dressing made up the light and delightful Salmon Sashimi Salad, a perfect start to whet the appetite.
First movement – sashimi (2 – 5); Four courses of sashimi then enchantingly appeared on the black-marbled sushi bar top: Otoro (tuna belly), Hokkaido Scallop, Akami (tuna top loin) and Salmon Yuzu Miso. The tuna and scallop were thickly sliced and all very fresh but the highlight was undeniably the salmon, rolled up with a mixture of citrusy tangy yuzu and salty miso inside, and slightly torched on the outside.
Interlude (6 – 7); Before moving on to sushi, Chef Syaiful served up two dishes, Ika Kabayaki (grilled squids) and Salmon Head Soup. Both were quite enjoyable although the soup tasted just a bit on the sweet side.
Second movement – sushi (8 – 11); Four courses of nigiri sushi were next in line to make an entrance: Amaebi, Salmon, Scallop and Mackerel. All were delectable but I especially liked the distinct taste of the goma (sesame) put on top of the salmon and mackerel.
Interlude (12); A little break from all the sushi-meshi was a couple slices of good old Tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette).
Third movement – sushi (13 – 16); Then, more sushi were served, starting with the only gunkan in the omakase, Ikura (salmon roe). I always loved how they kind of burst in my mouth when being bitten and these were no different. Next were undoubtedly the winners of the omakase, two courses of aburi (half broiled) nigiri and my personal favorite Unagi. The Sake Aburi (salmon) was absolutely a hit with everyone – even my friends who didn’t join the omakase order this a la carte – while the Toro Aburi (fatty tuna) was far from disappointing. It literally melted in my mouth with an explosion of flavor. As for the unagi, I didn’t have any complaint except that it is not big enough in size *grin*.
Finale (17 – 19); It was a bit of an anti-climax here after the bar was set so high with the aburis or maybe it was because I already felt quite full, but I still relished the Salmon Temaki (hand roll sushi), Aji Fishballs Soup, and Matcha Ice Cream for dessert.
Encore; I think this appeared before the dessert if I remembered correctly so it was not really the last dish but Chef Syaiful was kind enough to give us a complimentary platter of sake aburi. Couldn’t have enough of those! Doumo arigatou Chef!
Looking forward to my next omakase! ごちそうさまでした。 Gochisōsama-deshita!
Do make a reservation beforehand if you’re going for omakase.
Most photography done by Anthony Lee, do visit his Instagram antzl33!
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – salmon yuzu miso, sake and toro aburi
What to try next time – another omakase mayhaps
Damage – 385k net for omakase/pax including free flow ocha
Jl. Duren Tiga Raya No. 32
T / +6221 7917 0337