Who doesn't like Japanese food? Please put your hands up. None? Well, it's a no wonder since Japanese food is just so lovable. You can mention many things to be loved from Japanese food, well, let's say its fresh ingredients, its taste, or sometimes its simplicity.
There is just a vast number of Japanese restaurants in this capital city that one can choose from, but certainly if you're looking for an authentic one then I can recommend one place for you to go. Just head up to Kira Kira Ginza at Blok M Square.
Blok M, to be honest, is not one particular region I venture to. I was a bit surprised to know that in Blok M Square there is a section called Little Tokyo. In there, you can find a lot of Japanese restaurants, bars, bakeries, and even supermarkets.
Kira Kira Ginza is conveniently situated also in this section. You can easily find it by searching their iconic Japanese cartoon neon box as seen on the pic above.
Upon entering the premises, I felt this glimpse like I was in a traditional Japanese restaurant located in Ginza, just on the side of the road and inside a small alley. Yep, the traditional Japanese ambiance is very strong here. Entering the front door, I immediately saw the sushi bar, and lots of sake bottle stacked around. Moving a bit deeper inside there are some dining rooms with tatami. Indeed dining in one of those rooms will highlight the Japanese dining experience even more. You can say that the ambiance resembles that of a Japanese izakaya.
One unique thing to be found in this restaurant is the comic corner. There's a number of shelves with Japanese comic books stacked. If you're good at reading Japanese language, you might be fond of this particular corner.
Kira Kira Ginza was established back in 1985, and it is one of the oldest and longest opening restaurants in the vicinity of Little Tokyo, Blok M Square. Having a Japanese owner certainly enliven not only the ambiance, but also the food, bringing an authentic taste and persona for the guests to enjoy. If you're curious enough just what kind of Japanese authenticity they brought on the plate, then scroll down below.
Hiyashi Tomato - IDR 30K
A simple dish. Sliced cold tomatoes served with mayonnaise and rock salt. Simple yet I find it unique and tasty. The sweet tomato mixed with the savory mayo and combined with the rock salt. It's truly enjoyable. Who could've thought just a simple dish like this might taste pretty good?
Sashimi Large - IDR 210K
Ah..my favorite Japanese dish like...ever! I just love sashimis. The freshness of every ingredients served on a plate is just something that's so addictive. Here in this big plate I enjoy fresh cut selections of salmon, tuna, mackerel, squid, and octopus. My favorite of all certainly were the salmon and tuna, and I just love it that there were also some fatty belly tuna slices on the plate. Itadakimasu!!
Negitoro Maki - IDR 69K
I didn't try much of their sushi selections, I just tried the Negitoro Maki which is chopped belly tuna with leek. I did enjoy this one, and the sushi rice was quite tasty in my opinion. It had that right amount of vinegar-ish taste to it. I also liked the aftertaste from the leek, it was a bit spicy so it kinda felt like I've already ate the sushi along with some wasabi while in fact I was just eating it plain without any add-ons. I'm pretty curious about the nigiris. Perhaps I should try them if I make another visit here.
Chikuwa Isobeage - IDR 38K
This dish is deep fried fish paste seaweed flavor. It's another simple dish. They deep fried the fish paste coated with seaweed batter. Surprisingly, this one tasted delicious. The texture is crunchy and a bit chewy. Delicious indeed. That seaweed batter really did a good job in elevating the flavors.
Shisyamo - IDR 40K
Another unique Japanese dish. Shisyamo is grilled pregnant smelt fish. Inside the belly of the fish you will find fish eggs. For those who are not used to eat this kind of dish, well you might find the taste a bit weird since it is a smelt fish, but once you got use to it certainly this dish might be one of your likeable Japanese dish. This one was grilled to perfection. I can tell by the crackling sound it made on my every bite. It's yummy!
Momo - IDR 30K
Moving on to the kushiyaki section, I tried this Yakitori Momo. It's grilled nicely, leaving no fat behind (which is a good thing!) and seasoned nicely too. The chicken was tender but yet still juicy enough, it became so enjoyable to eat. The portion is quite fulfilling too, I mean the chicken meat was quite big.
Curry Rice - IDR 68K
This is the classic curry rice you can find easily in Japan. There is a saying that sometimes the classic is the best, and for this case I must agree to that term. The curry was just spot on. Delicious to the max. I really really love this kind of curry. It's savory, and had that right thickness so you won't over bloated when eating it. I think there's also some chicken slices inside the curry. Well, I missed that part of trying the chicken, but I think with a curry sauce that good, the chicken will follow in the same steps also.
Ishiyaki Tamago Chahan - IDR 45K
Served on a hot pot, this Japanese fried rice is pretty unique. Look at that tempting egg yolk on top of the fried rice. It's so enticing right? And you get a bowl of miso soup along with the fried rice. Let me tell you this, so far it is the best miso soup I've tried in any Japanese restaurant in town!
Just break that egg yolk and mix it with the fried rice, and voila, you get a very savory, yolky, and scrumptious fried rice. Try eating the fried rice along with the miso soup as it enhanced the flavor of the fried rice indeed. Tasty!
Kinoko Salad - IDR 50K
Kinoko means mushroom, and for this salad, besides it uses vegetables like broccolis, cabbages and tomatoes, it also uses shiitake mushrooms. The dressing for this salad is sesame dressing, so you'll get some fresh salad with a nice acidity and savory taste that came along.
Okonomiyaki Mix - IDR 80K
If you come to dine at Kira Kira Ginza then one of the most recommended menu that you should order is their selections of Okonomiyaki. I've read some other reviews from foodies that also suggested the same thing. Their Okonomiyaki was indeed DA BOMB. Probably one of the best I've tried so far. This one I tried is the seafood mix, so it had some slices of squid inside the pancake besides the vegetables. If you like pork then you can opt for their variant of okonomiyaki with pork fillings.
Overall conclusion, this is one hidden gem in the vicinity of Little Tokyo, Blok M Square. It is probably one of the best Japanese restaurant that offers authentic Japanese cuisine and ambiance. I really do love everything about this restaurant, but mostly what captured my heart is their soulfully food. Certainly this is one Japanese restaurant worthy of re-visit over and over. I will definitely come back to try their other dishes.
Keep on chewing!
Kira Kira Ginza
Blok M Square complex (Little Tokyo)
Ph: (021) 726 2611
Jl. Melawai 8 No.9
Melawai, Jakarta Selatan