Believe it or not, this is my first time ever trying out Takigawa.
The Japanese fusion chain has been around for a decade now, even expanded to some thirty outlets throughout the country.
While I’ve seen Takigawa outlets in major shopping centers in Jakarta, I never seem to hop in and take a bite. I guess I’m pretty skeptical when it comes to Japanese fusion restaurants just because they’ve grown to become a culinary convention, and consequently that makes authenticity a rare gem. So I think most of you are probably more familiar with Takigawa’s signature dishes than I am, and know the outlets around that are good. Despite so, I actually quite enjoyed my dining experience at Ancol’s Takigawa, albeit primarily for cosmetic reasons.
Yeap, I’m talking about the view. It may not be a million-dollar seascape, but as a city-dweller I really savor the change of view and wouldn’t think twice to get close to Mother Earth whenever possible. It’s not everyday that you get to soak up the seaside atmosphere while you’re munching on sushi.
Entering the two-storey vessel, you see lifeboats and lifeguard vests dominating the walls of the boat, complemented by giant fish nets, quiet music, and wooden-accented furnitures. It really gets you in the mood to sway with the wind and just chill.
There were also bules who headed straight to the rattan sofas at the open deck on the second floor, ordering coffees and other drinks and then just zone out into their Kindles. The sight brought back the air of America’s Starbucks to me.
Then a staff handed us two massive menus – one from the Meat Bar, and the other Takigawa’s.
Takigawa’s menu alone took a while to look through, so I decided on having several sushi dishes instead of a single serving bowl of rice or noodle.
We started off with a simple plate of Salmon Carppaccio, which was too heavy on the vinegar and, quite frankly, wasn’t all that fresh. The wakame was pretty thick and hard to bite. But if you’re in need of a little detox, the lemon-soaked, ultra-sour taste of this omega-3-laden palate really helps to ease your digestion.
Then we had one of its signature dishes, the Takigawa Roll, which has options for either a small size or a large. The one we had was a small.
Honestly, I don’t find the hype in the house favorite all that special. It’s basically a mix of salmon, scallops, crabsticks underneath the glazed, then topped with duck liver pate and tobiko. It was delicious alright, but it was as fine as any other good ‘ol sushi.
If you want something that’ll really pique your appetite, go for the Cuttlefish Hot Roll. Taste-, texture-, and proportion-wise, the roll was mighty fine.
It’s got cheese (a.k.a. awesomest food of all according to me, hehe), it’s got salmon and scallops as well, and bits of tobiko smothered the rest of the fill and then coiled by the fresh, tangy cuttlefish. Unlike the Takigawa Roll, this is a one-size dish.
It can take a while to finish chewing just one roll, thanks to the rubberlike quality of the cuttlefish, but it was one flavorful bite. The silky cheese, feathery salmon and the mildly supple scallop was just the perfect combination to leave you wanting more.
Then there’s the Chicken Katsudon, which had a little too much soy sauce and sugar in it.
I love the generous portion of the chicken, and nothing beats eggs on any good dish, but I was expecting a little more zing out of the bowl, like peppers, green onions, mushrooms, or anything, to offset the overwhelming sweetness and saltiness. Proportion-wise, the rice dish was really bland, with purely white rice as its carbs and purely chicken and eggs as its proteins. With that, I won’t recommend the bowl even if you’re just looking for something to fill your stomach.
Taking all harsh criticisms aside, I’d come back just for the pleasant atmosphere. They’ve got a speedy Wi-Fi connection as well as the breezy air to put you in a lull, not to mention there are dozens of other items on the menu that I haven’t given the chance to try.
Perhaps you can delight me with your favorites: Have you been to a Takigawa outlet recently? If so, what was the best thing you ordered? Also, which are the good ones out of all the Takigawa outlets you’ve tried before?
Fill me in.
Takigawa & Meat Bar on the Boat
Taman Impian Jaya Ancol
Putri Duyung Cottage
Jl. Lodan Timur No. 7
Jakarta Utara 14430
(021) 645 1144
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M-F 11:00am – 10:00pm
Sa-S 11:00am – 11:00pm