LAYERS UPON LAYERS. OKU at the Hotel Indonesia Kempinski presents a unique culinary journey that transcends taste and flavor
It’s not hard to find a good Japanese restaurant in a city like Jakarta, with its vibrant culinary scene. OKU (Hotel Indonesia Kempinski, Jl. MH Thamrin No. 1, Jakarta; +62 21 2358 3896; kempinski.com), however, takes things to a whole new level.
The very name of the establishment hints at how OKU approaches hospitality and Japanese cuisine. In Japanese, oku can mean oak and also inner layers. You will encounter both as soon as you enter the restaurant and move from the minimalistic foyer to the homey dining area, past the dim and cozy bar and across the enchanting Zen garden inside.
Then comes the food. Helmed by Chef Kazumasa Yazawa, OKU presents a modern take on Japanese dishes with traditional flair. Consider the restaurant’s signature grilled unagi on rice crackers: The crisp base offers a nice contrast to the rich and savory slice of eel, while the edible flowers on top provide a unique aftertaste. And, of course, this is just one dish in the restaurant’s extensive menu, to say nothing of OKU’s cocktails—including several unique takes on classic drinks—and its impressive bar.
Put simply, a visit to OKU is layered experience, and as we peel each new layer, we progress into an entirely new encounter: From jazzy vibes to Zen calm, from familiar tastes to new exciting new flavors. This concept, in turn, makes OKU the perfect spot for anything from business lunches, dinners on special occasions or as an after-work hangout location.
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