Kira Kira Ginza – The oldest restaurant in Little Tokyo, Jakarta

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Jyaga Mentai Cheese. (photo: IO/Raihan)

IO – In western countries, perhaps the most similar to Izakaya is a drinking stall or pub but, Izakaya is not always described that way. In general terms, Izakaya is a tavern offering a wide variety of food and alcoholic beverages to enjoy with friends, whether in the booth or at the table. Here, there is rarely any opportunity to mingle with strangers as this place is more like a good meeting place with colleagues and people you know compared to a place to date.

The prices are quite cheap, with large plates to share food with your friends, and offer routine meals for Japanese people coming home with friends. This is a great place to visit if you really want to eat like a Japanese. There are only a limited number of Japanese restaurants in the capital to choose from, but of course if you are looking for a restaurant with Izakaya style, I recommend Kira Kira Ginza in Little Tokyo, Block M Square.

Inside the Kira Kira Ginza restaurant. (photo: IO/Raihan)

The traditional Japanese atmosphere is very robust. When I entered the front door, I immediately saw a sushi bar, and lots of stacked sake bottles. Moving in further, there are several dining rooms with tatami. Indeed eating in one of the rooms will further highlight the experience of dining in Japan. You can say that the atmosphere is similar to Izakaya Japan.

One unique thing to be found in this restaurant is the comic angle. There are a number of bookcases stacked with Japanese comics. If you’re good at reading Japanese, you might like this special angle. Kira Kira Ginza was founded in 1985, and is one of the oldest and longest opening restaurants in Little Tokyo, Block M Square. Of course, not only does it enliven the atmosphere, but also the food, bringing the authentic taste and personality to be enjoyed by guests. From year to year, Kira Kira Ginza creates it’s culinary innovation.

The menu is pretty much in demand by locals, and expats, such as Curry Rice (Kare Raisu), Rice with ingredients commonly added in Japanese curry. The sauce itself is usually made of curry or roux powder, which is a blend of spices. This Japanese curry is thicker in texture and tastes sweeter but not so spicy. Then there is Chicken Teriyaki, Japanese Cuisine in the form of slices of grilled chicken meat that has been soaked in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar or honey, garlic, ginger, and mirin.

Kira Kira Ginza has their typical recommendation menu at Little Tokyo. For example Jyaga Mentai Cheese, baked potato with mentaiko (fish egg), melted with mozzarella grated cheese. If stirring slowly, the color of this baked potato is mixed into pink. Then the last is a food appetizer called Niniku Maruage, fried garlic served with Miso paste. Although it looks simple, but worth a try. Eating should coincide with the paste, as this gives a different salty taste to the others. (raihan)