Kikugawa is the first Japanese restaurant in Jakarta, opened in 1969 by Kikuchi Surutake, a Japanese soldier who got sent to Jakarta during the World War, fell in love with a Manado woman, and returned to Jakarta after the war was over. He also opened the first Indonesian restaurant in Japan called Bengawan Solo. I assume Mr. Kikuchi is fond of river since he named both of his restaurant with river – Bengawan Solo is a river in Solo, whereas ‘gawa’ from Kikugawa means river, and he added his own name, ‘Kiku’, in front of gawa.

Kikugawa is hidden in Cikini residential area, which is used to be called Jalan Kebon Binatang, a few houses away from Gado Gado Bon Bin [Bon Bin = keBON BINatang].



They offer many kinds of set menus, and the prices are very reasonable.
20141108_194557 20141108_194627Tamagoyaki. Riri’s favourite dish. This one is the best I’ve ever had. 20141108_200418

Look how happy Riri was when the food arrived, just like a little boy who just got a new toy. 20141108_201412

Riri ordered the Kiku Set, which comes with sashimi, tempura, sukiyaki, yakitori, rice and miso soup. The egg in the sukiyaki looks very nice. 20141108_201416

Thatha had the Kikugawa Set A – chicken teriyaki, gindara teriyaki, agedashi tofu, mini oden, salad, rice and miso soup. I asked the chicken and fish to be grilled, and to replace rice with salad. I like the salad dressing, some kind of yuzu soysauce.  I really liked the agedashi tofu, as the sauce contains ginger. 20141108_201444

What made the special dish became more special was the super spicy chilli powder. Riri asked for togarashi, but turned out that this restaurant offered Thai chilli powder, which fits more to Indonesian taste. 20141108_201834

Look at how beautiful they cut the papaya, looked like salmon sashimi. 20141108_203759

After the free fruit dessert, the waitress gave us a comment form to fill. I gave full marks for each criteria, but I wrote a suggestion to add sake and dessert menu. And maybe it could be much more interesting if they write the history of Kikuchi on the menu book. Thanks to @efenerr for the valuable information.  20141108_204022

Kikugawa is truly a hidden gem. People come here to enjoy unpretentious Japanese soul food, not to enjoy luxurious interior in many famous Japanese restaurants in Jakarta. There are more unpretentious Japanese restaurants in Little Tokyo Blok M, which was developed a decade after Kikugawa, around the 80s. I was a bit worried that there was nobody when we entered the restaurant, but after  we ordered, more and more people came.


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