Finally, I got to try out the cream of the crop in Jakarta’s Japanese dining scene, namely in omakase-style dining.
Been walking past Tatemukai’s façade for years and, like most people, initially thought the wooden-decked walls on Grand Indonesia’s Level 3A are purely for decorative purposes. But then a friend filled me in on the restaurant beyond the Shinto architecture-inspired décor, then challenged me to spot the entrance. I never did – until now.
I stepped beyond the threshold to find a minimalistic cubic room with a full kitchen-cum-counter at its center, which capacitates only up to 22 people to sit on the center’s perimeter. Surrounding walls and cabinets were tiled with rectangular wooden blocks of messages from patrons of the 2010-establishment expressing their love for the delicious creations of renowned head chef Tate-san, who previously oversees Thamrin Tower’s Kinokawa restaurant.
Usually, Tate-san is present behind the counter during lunchtime hours (see operating hours below). Since I was here for dinner, I didn’t get to catch him preparing my dishes. Even so, you are promised with the freshest, crudest ingredients delivered straight from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market. That alone underlines itself a premium Japanese restaurant you can’t find anywhere else in the city. Every Tuesday and Friday, the freshwater proteins, particularly the plumply rows of to-die-for toro, would arrive to delight your senses, so it’s a good idea to make your plans for brunch here on those days.
A word of note: Prepare to be spending at least IDR 1,5,000,000 per person, as Tatemukai does nothing less than first-rate and that you’re not going to taste seafood this good elsewhere. Everything I swallowed here felt like velveteen in my mouth – there’s a myriad of rich, buttery, creamy, succulent and ultra-squishy. As a die-hard seafood lover, the huge expenditure was mainly for pleasure and an investment to save myself from the harmful contaminants that tends to persists in the storage room of conventional seafood grubs. You can rest assured that Tate-san and his local army of trained chefs have rigorously stripped the toxicity off the fish and roes and clams before they’re even on your plate.
Because I didn’t come in with an empty tummy, I opted to eliminate a couple of dishes to compensate for the ones that I was salivating for, namely the meats and a ramen dish at the end. Whichever dishes you skipped will be waived off on your final bill, but you can always sit through the elegant sequence of textures and flavors till the end just to try out everything they offer.
I was swept off my feet. Stuff from other Japanese joints now seem meh to me :s The mild, balmy, and balanced Tatemukai smorgasbord was spot-on for my taste buds, as I’ve always liked my palate to be simple. I haven’t had such good sushi for so long that I think I’ve gotten used to the locals’ preference of all things over-the-top sweet, salty and spicy.
Even the sweet stuff of Tate-san is crazy simple. Basically, the dessert includes a bowl of green tea-flavored shaved ice with a spoonful of delicate adzuki beans paste, along with one snowy morsel of red bean-stuffed green tea mochi. Together they were fresh, cooling, and unquestionably delightful.
The finest chefs from around world would agree that simple is tough. Given the amount of attention on exclusivity and on executing quality, and that I have zero complaints about each and every serving of this banquet, every rupiah spent was worth all the while :)
As the year’s coming to an end, I highly recommend this intimate dining experience for some quality time with your close-knit circle – awesomeness guaranteed. Remember to come in with an empty stomach, because you’re in for a long and smooth joyride.
Reserve your seats now at (021) 2358 1807, or keep in mind to do so, because walk-in guests will not be served.
Tatemukai: Japanese Fine Dining
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
Sky Bridge, Level 3A,
Jl. M. H. Thamrin No. 1
Jakarta Pusat 10230
(021) 2358 1807
M-S Brunch 11:30am – 02:00pm
M-S Dinner 06:00pm – 09:00pm