Hokkaido Izakaya: A place like home for Japanese expats in Jakarta

The Chef cooking on a charcoal grill in Hokkaido Izakaya’s. (photo: IO/Aldo)

IO, Jakarta – Another unique Saku­ra country restaurant in Jakarta, Hokkaido Izakaya. Located at Pa­vilion Arcade Jakarta, PJ Part­ners tries to present the feel of a traditional Japanese bar (Izakaya) in this restaurant. No less import­ant, various menus are prepared directly by Hokkaido’s mainstay chef, Koizumi Hiroshi. Hokkaido Izakaya Jakarta comes with various menus from the cities of Yakumo, Akkeshi, Furano, and Kamishiho­ro. Izakaya’s typical food variations are served at this place, including various Japanese mainstay menus like Soba.

“In Hokkaido Izakaya, we make soba with our own dough. This dough uses rye flour and buck­wheat which comes directly from the city of Horokanai in Hokkaido. This is the reason why buckwheat is one of our mainstay menus, “said Hokkaido Izakaya Jakarta Head of Chef Koizumi Hiroshi.

Not only soba, this place also serves a variety of other menus, ranging from sashimi to oysters from Akkeshi. Visitors can also try a menu with Hokkaido-based dairy products such as Salmon Milk Miso Hot Pot served in a plant pot, or the famous Milk Omelette. After being renovated a while ago, this restaurant is back in operation with quite interesting decorations. The interior is dominated by light brown wood which gives a com­fortable impression. The touch of Japan can be seen from the deco­ration that appears on the wall. Vis­itors can see the chef serving char­coal-baked dishes directly. The chef will serve one of Hokkaido Izakaya, Robatayaki’s mainstay menus in a room in the center of the restaurant which is bounded by transparent glass. To add to the completeness of the Izakaya bar atmosphere in this place, Hokkaido Izakaya also offers a variety of drinks.

“We provide drinks ranging from wine, sakes such as Cowboy Yama­hai Junmai Ginjo, Sokujo Fisher­man, Hakuryu Junmai Daiginjo, to identical beers as Hokkaido food complimentary drinks,” explained Koizumi.

Starting the meal, I tried Milk Omelette. This omelette is one of the menu favorites and is talk­ed about a lot. Bold, on the top surface of the omelette there is a stamp form of the map of Hokkai­do. When serving, a staff smeared unsalted butter to the surface of a warm omelette. Then the omelette can be eaten with cream cheese sauce. The egg feels rather sweet and so tender. It also tastes creamy and smells of butter. Because it’s not too tasty, the taste is obtained from the use of cream cheese. Kuro Goma Maze Soba is the last menu we eat. This cold buckwheat cre­ation uses black sesame sauce. Order a soba menu, visitors are given mini onigiri and warm soup. Soba is the mainstay of Hokkaido Izakaya. The homemade buck­wheat uses black wheat from the city of Horokanai, Hokkaido. When it arrived at the table, there was a large bowl. Noodles are topped with nori, wakame, spring onions, egg yolks and chopped chicken. Black sesame sauce turned out to be just at the bottom. So you need to mix all the ingredients first. Colored in black, buckwheat turned out to be so delicious. There is a strong taste and aroma of sesame. Suitable for sesame sauce enthusiasts.

As one of the Japanese restau­rants that provide Hokkaido-style menus, it seems Hokkaido Iza­kaya is the right place for you who want to spoil your appetite with your relatives or colleagues. If you want to visit Hokkaido Izakaya open to the public from Monday to Sunday, from 11.30-15.00 and 17.30-22.00.

It feels appropriate for the Inde­pendent Observer to recommends this place for those of you who re­ally love the menu of the typical sakura country menu. (Aldo)