With this new joint around the block, Pluit residents now have a go-to destination for fresh sashimi.
I was pretty skeptic when I first heard all the hype surrounding this restaurant. Added to the talk, each time I pass by the storefront, the parking lot is always packed like sardines. Because you can practically count how many Japanese restaurants there are in the area with your fingers (excluding those in malls and ramen joints), naturally, Indonesia’s first branch of Hokkaido Fish Market stirs some conversation.
What I’ve heard about this place was of mixed opinions: It’s overpriced, it’s humdrum, it’s overhyped, though all great for a Japanese restaurant in the area.
Now that I’ve tasted it myself, I’m going to present my verdict.
Personally, I’ve never tried the original branch at Novena Square in Singapore, so I can’t compare. Nonetheless, I was surprised to see a spacious room when I stepped beyond the humongous wooden doors. The space and the welcoming air is a perfect setting for large families to dine in, plus on your right there’s a long metal slab dedicated to preserve the raw and fresh seafood their fishmongers have to offer. This means Hokkaido Fish Market is a good alternative to conventional grocery stores to purchase your ocean meats for home-cooked meals, since the USP1 of the TJC Food Holdings’ franchise is quality seafood, which, as I’ve tried and tested, lives up to the promise.
For starters, we had the California Mini (IDR 35,000) to get our appetites rolling. The reason why I picked this from the sushi menu is that it’s the only one with avocados in it, and I’m mad about avocados.
They’re pretty generous with the portions of its content: The avocado, nori, cucumber, and crabstick peels are relatively larger than what you get in most Japanese restaurants up in north Jakarta. Consequently it tasted good, although I’m icky about the crumbling bits whenever you take a bite, i.e. they’re not sticky enough. What makes it decent taste-wise was the freshness of its content, particularly the roes enveloping around the sushi rice.
On the menu, gindara is listed available as a set menu only, but the waitress (named Fitri) was proactive to inform us that it’s also offered a la carte, and it’s tagged at IDR 99,000.
Frankly, it’s disappointing. Not only does the limp and thin cod comes relatively small (just look at how it compared with the size of its plate), it’s also much less absorbent of the sauce, so when you take a bite it tasted quite plain. You have to scoop a lot of the sauce on your spoon to make it taste like how gindara’s supposed to taste like, and it’s also not as soft as you’d probably like. On the flip side, I have to highlight that it’s still edible (some local big-named restaurants actually serve their Japanese staples spoiled, but I won’t name names).
Moving on to the main event, we had the sashimi set (IDR 120,000). Now this one’s worth all your rupiahs, although I think the miso soup and the nori-topped rice were redundant (they’re the additional stuff you get when you order set menus). As in, their quality don’t compare with the sashimi platter itself.2
You see how they all glisten under the afternoon light? Yup, they’re really fresh, ultra fatty, ultra fleshy and delicious. As a sashimi lover, I had to say that it’s one stingy portion :p All three fish together were like about a third of the size of the ice underneath, and the complementary tsukemono (the dark kombu, crunchy kappa slices, fresh limes, carrot and daikon salad) was relatively huge.
As with the sashimi bowl on the sashimi set, the ice covers most of the volume on our a la carte salmon sashimi (IDR 25,000) too.
Again, I can’t emphasize enough on how fresh all the seafoods offered at Hokkaido Fish Market are, and these slices were no different. I’m just dissatisfied with the tiny portion when salmon was supposed to be the star of this dish, what with how big a space of the bowl the ice and the complementary stuff has covered.
My final say? Impressive quality of food, for one (and I’m saying this with restraint, as obviously there are plenty more quality Japanese foods in the Big Durian). Aside from the fact that I live around the ‘hood, it’s one of the biggest reasons I would probably come back.
Unfortunately, I had to agree with what I heard before my tryout, and that considering overall portions come in pretty small, price-wise, they’ve set the bars too high. Note that for some reason, we enjoyed a 10% discount during our visit (yee-ha!). So the respective prices I’ve enlisted have been subtracted by 10% its original price, with the sashimi set exclusively subtracted by 20%.
Hokkaido Fish Market
Jl. Muara Karang Raya Blok D7 No 201
Jakarta Utara 14450
Follow @hokkaidofishmarketjkt on Instagram
M-S 11:00am – 10:00pm