[NEW SPOT] Izakaya Kai Japanese Food & Boulangerie by AMKC, Pluit

It’s always nice to visit a new restaurant, especially when visiting a Japanese food restaurant. I’ve heard a lot about Izakaya Kai which is a new restaurant opened less than a month now in Pluit area (North Jakarta), and finally, I decided to have lunch with my husband there yesterday. Apparently, Izakaya Kai which has been open since 17 Sept 2016 has two different concepts where diners can enjoy a variety of cakes, and desserts along with some tea or coffee on the first floor, while on the second floor is the Japanese restaurant where diners can enjoy some signature dishes by Chef Hitomi Kimura from Japan.

Located on the same row with the Sixty-Nine Coffee and not far from the popular Ombe Kofie, the presence of this restaurant is like a fresh breath to the culinary scene in Pluit area. Izakaya Kai offers an inviting and modern yet relaxed vibe with accompanying tunes. We accidentally meet Om Jason again after we met him before at Maarkeze, and finally, we have the opportunity to take a picture together with him. Ha-ha.. Now I realized that he’s one of the

shareholders of this place because after we finished our meals, and when we wanted to pay the bill, it was all covered by him (thank you so much, Om Jason!). Then I know, it’s not just him, but Adhika and Karen, a pair of the talented chef, together with the master of tempura, Chef Hitoshi Kimura, are also the owner of this restaurant. How nice!

We were so starving and too late for lunch because of the traffic jams that day. As a Western-Japanese restaurant, Izakaya Kai offers various traditional Japanese cuisines ranging from Tempura, appetizer, Yakitori, Main Dishes, Soup, Rice and Noodle, and Bento. We had no idea of what to order in this restaurant, but, Lucky, the waiter’s leader, helped us and gave a good recommendation. He said that Chef Hitoshi Kimura, the Japanese Chef, has 30 years of experience in making Tempura in Sapporo, Japan. It’s why Tempura is one of the specialties that we must try at Izakaya Kai. We finally decided to try the Prawn Tendon (IDR 120K), Pork Belly (IDR 60K), some Yakitori, Rice Set (IDR 30K), and Hot Ocha (IDR 15K, free refill).

Prawn Tendon is basically a bowl of rice that is served with assorted tempura. And it’s no surprise that the Tempura at Izakaya Kai was delicious since this dish is Chef Hitoshi’s specialties. Despite the simple presentation, the rice portion was quite big, served with fish tempura, prawn tempura, vegetable tempura, and topped with sweet sauce. The batter was slightly crispy and fluffy, and the sauce had a good balance of sweet and salty. But, I would expect the size of the prawn can bigger than this. While, the Pork Belly was absolutely delicious! It was juicy, very tender, and succulent because of the 8 hours slow cooking process. It also topped with a little bit of mustard sauce, which provides a strong and unique flavor to it.

And because pork belly is the main dish; we ordered Rice Set that comes with rice, miso soup, and pickles in one package. There are several interesting options from Yakitori, and we tried Negima (IDR 15K/piece), and Ebi Bacon (IDR 45K), which is recommended on their menu as well. For yakitori dishes, you can choose the seasoning; with salt (shio), or yakitori sauce (tare). The juicy chicken thigh alternately threaded onto a skewer with sections of scallion (Negima) was packed with flavors, marinated well, makes it easy to enjoy. Another favorite was the Ebi Bacon, where they use jumbo prawn and wrapped it with bacon. It was so delicious!

Last but not least, they offered me to try their signature desserts. They allowed us to order some desserts on the first floor, and eat them at the restaurant. But since the natural lighting is much better on the first floor and the ambiance is different, we chose to have the desserts on the first level. I personally enjoyed Goma Cake (IDR 60K) the most than Chocolate Red Velvet Cake (IDR 60K). Goma Cake is consisted of layers of black sesame sponge cake, tingting nuts (kacang tingting), covered with vanilla custard, and topped with black sesame too. While, the irresistible combination of dark chocolate, and layers of red velvet cake, with caramelized peanuts as well, came beautifully together as Chocolate Red Velvet Cake for a sweet ending. Both of them are perfect to company your tea or coffee break time. We love the food and the atmosphere in this restaurant and the friendly waitresses; we would definitely come back in the future.

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Izakaya Kai

Jl. Pluit Kencana no. 59, Pluit, Penjaringan, Jakarta Utara

Phone: 021 – 2266 3966

Operating Hour: 

Monday – Friday: 10:00 – 22:00

Saturday & Sunday: 09:00 – 22:00

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Author: myfunfoodiary

Myfunfoodiary as Indonesian Food and Travel Blog was born in July 2012 and has become one of the valuable online source for locals, tourists, food enthusiasts and industry professionals. It is a Jakarta based Food and Travel Blog managed by Mullie Marlina, a young, lovely, cheerful and blessed wife who loves to share her culinary and travel experiences through her writing. You’ll find her honest reviews, valuable suggestions, objective ratings and recommendation of eateries in Jakarta and selected cities in Indonesia and abroad. Her curated restaurant reviews are based on her meticulous inquiries and her rich dining experience in various restaurants in Jakarta. She has also traveled to different cities and countries where she finds interesting and inspiring dishes, cuisines and excellent dining ambience which she also included in the list. From recommendations, restaurant experiences, events, travel destinations, and recipes, readers will find anything food related in this website. She would really appreciate your feedback, and would love to hear about any suggestions, events regarding food, or just to drop in to say "Hi". Again, thank you so much for dropping by, and she hopes you enjoy reading her journal. Thank you so much for all your supports! God bless you! ^_^

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