WanderlustSavorOKU: Contemporarily Traditional

OKU: Contemporarily Traditional

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A culinary journey that allows the diners to savor the “life stories” of the dishes.

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Located at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta, OKU is a unique eatery helmed by Chef Kazumasa Yazawa or Chef Kaz. It serves a modern take on Japanese dishes combined with traditional flair, perfect as both business and leisure dining destination. “So far, the guests are happy with the food. Even the Japanese guests love the twists that come with the traditional taste,” Chef Kaz said.

To Chef Kaz, cooking is never a random mix of tastes, but should reveal the “life story” of what one eats. This vision is thoroughly visible in the ways Chef Kaz presents his dishes. The Unagi is uniquely plated on top of seashells and garnished with bits of tropical flowers, telling you of the journey taken by the eel throughout its life. Oku Karaage, deep fried chicken with balsamic teriyaki sauce, is incredibly moist despite looking like charcoal at first glance. Chef Kaz came up with the dish after he saw a black rooster and further took inspiration from the charcoal used by many Indonesians in traditional grilling technique. The black color doesn’t come from charcoal, though, but rather from garlic heated at certain temperature for a month.

Other customer favorites are Ajitama, egg and beef meat smoked in a unique container which also served as plating, Salmon Aburi with spicy manonnaise, caviar and chive. If you want a more filling serving, Truffle Gyudon has just the right portion and taste. For desserts, try the fresh Granite ice lollies, or Yuki, a yuzu-chocolate mousse combined with lemon cloud, sponge cake, and crunchy chocolate praline. OKU serves daily specials and adjusts the menu by season as they prioritize on the ingredients.

The calming elegance of the interior was designed to balance the high-class presentation of the dishes. Stepping into Oku is a reminiscence of entering a contemporary Japanese residence, with an indoor “terrace”, the reception as the living room, an artistic sculptural centerpiece, and surrounded by Zen garden. There are two private rooms, semi-private area, a lounge section and a bar that serves as businessmen’s casual after-work drinking space or izakaya.

OKU also recently introduced a bento menu which combinations are personally picked by Chef Kaz based on customer’s favorites. Each bento includes starter, main course and dessert, perfect for social gatherings, business meetings, or those on the go.
                                                                                                                          Photos by Yulis K. Basuki

Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta
Jl. MH Thamrin No. 1
Jakarta 10310
Instagram: @okujakarta

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