Nestled inside the Sudirman Suites Apartment building in the centre of Jakarta is Furusato Izakaya; a traditional Japanese restaurant whose design truly represents Japanese culture.
Japanese cuisine is extremely popular in Jakarta with hundreds of establishments sprawled all over the city, each offering different concept and interpretation of Japanese design and food depending on its target market. The types of restaurants range from a fusion concept and all-you-can-eat buffets that cater to the Indonesian market, all the way to a truly authentic experience that offers Japanese expats a taste of home.
Furusato means hometown, and that is the main concept for this venue. Every element in the restaurant is reminiscent of many dining spots that can be found in Japan, and the menu offers dishes that are considered as home-cooked meals in the country. Japanese diners can surely feel right back at home with these delicious dishes prepared by Chef Ryohei Tsuruta, a true Washoku (traditional Japanese food) chef.
From the moment you enter the Sudirman Suites Apartment building, Furusato Izakaya’s quaint exterior stands out. It was modeled after traditional Japanese homes including the signature sloped roof and is completely made out of wood. The presence of a Japanese restaurant will definitely not go unnoticed.
The interior design is clean and simple; light-coloured wood is splashed all over the ceilings and all the way to the floors, a popular design element found in Japan. Each table offers a sense of privacy with its intimate booths and partitioning. Large groups can also enjoy gatherings inside a selection of 10 tatami rooms on the first and second floors, which feature floor seating divided by walls made out of washi or Japanese paper and a sliding door. The large seating capacity of 120 can definitely accommodate big parties and events as well.
Small details such as large bottles of sake and Japanese art hanging on the walls are a great addition to the homey feeling throughout the place. The art include authentic paintings from the Edo period, hand-painted in a book series that are hung up on the walls all around. There are also hand-drawn maps of Japanese cities from 1804 framed and placed on display; an invaluable element of Japanese culture.
To give an authentic dining experience, Chef Ryohei was hired and moved to Jakarta all the way from Japan to work at Furusato. His focus on Washoku cuisine will satisfy any Japanese food lover out there. “I have always loved making food that is exactly like home-cooked meals in Japan. I use simple, fresh ingredients and let that shine on the dish,” he said.
The selection of dishes include the classic Tempura Moriawase, assorted Sashimi consisting of Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, Mackerel, Scallops and Shrimp, Simmered Beef or Gyu Kakumi, and a Salmon Roe or Ikura Don. The selection of food is very simple yet delicious and is a representation of authentic Japanese cuisine. For those looking to have after-work drinks or spend time with friends at the weekends, there is also a selection of alcohol beverages, such as sake, and a more relaxed outdoor seating on the second floor right by the stairs.
There are numerous interpretations of Japanese cuisine all over the world catering to different tastes, but sometimes, nothing beats a traditional, home-cooked meal. Anyone who misses Japan or has always wanted to visit this beautiful country and eat its food can have a little glimpse of it when they visit Furusato Izakaya.