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The Art of Japanese Cuisine at OKU

The Art of Japanese Cuisine at OKU

Auli Cinantya
11 October 2022


Preserving the art of Japanese cuisine, OKU, led by Chef Kunihiro Moroi, serves modern Japanese meals with a traditional flair.


OKU, located at the renowned Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta, needs no introduction to the city’s top dining scene. OKU is definitely on top of Jakarta’s list of outstanding Japanese food.

The exquisite wooden interior and clean lines, reminiscent of Japanese aesthetics, round out the OKU experience. The Japanese tea garden contributes to the venue’s zen serenity, making it easy to forget you’re in the center of hectic Jakarta.

We choose a light start on our meal, and for me, you can never skip Ebi Tempura. The light battered tempura is accompanied by a thick cut of prawn. The crunchy sound was like music to my ears, a sign I believed to be the start of a well-spent lunch.

Charcoal Chicken Karaage was one of OKU’s signature and famous dishes out of many. The black exterior reminds me of charcoal, served on top of charcoal. As a humble starter, there is a particular way to eat it, and you have to eat it in one bite – much like when you eat sushi. The karaage is filled with shichimi balsamic teriyaki filling, and the irresistible taste will burst in your mouth. Warm, juicy, and succulent on the inside, yet the outside is crispy yet not crumbly and has a nice thickness of the battered.

The next dish was OKU Aburi Sushi Roll, a delicate torched salmon wrapped around fluffy sushi rice, topped with burned spicy sauce, and completed with a touch of salmon roe and caviar. I can’t see anything that was not satisfying in every bite. The combination of flavor and texture is the perfect choice to complement your lunch.

Savor the freshness of the product even more by ordering the sashimi platter with five types of chef-selected seasonal fish. Chef Kunihiro Moroi and his team always deliver the most delicate and fresh cuts of fish using high-quality ingredients. Fresh seafood is imported twice a week from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market to ensure that the restaurant only provides the freshest and highest-quality sashimi, sushi, and other seafood-based products.

The rain has fallen without us realizing it as we drown ourselves in the delicacies OKU serves. The pit-pat sound of rain accompaniments the tranquil garden, and what better way to spend a rainy afternoon than to enjoy a warm Sukiyaki? Serve in a classic Japanese Sukiyaki clay pot, the aroma when the Sukiyaki arrives already peaks our interest. 

Known for its sweet and salty flavor combination, the Sukiyaki was brimming with mushrooms, a nice slice of US Prime Short Rib Beef, noodles, and vegetables. Compared to the other Sukiyaki I have tried, this one has a nice body and a thicker side on the broth.

When chef Moroi joined the team, he wanted to deliver more comfort food that people were similar to but still showcasing his style. Thus the Katsu Curry arrived at our table. With an adorable ornament, the Katsu Curry can be the other perfect choice for a rainy day. Warm and thick katsu sauce with a hint of a bit spicy, accompanied by fluffy Japanese rice and crispy thick katsu.

After a while, the sun was up, and we had spent a heartwarming meal. To complete the day and to greet the clear sky, we ordered Chocolate Lava Cake as our dessert. The delicate dessert combines 70% melted chocolate cake, honeycomb, and vanilla ice cream.

Aside from the heartwarming meal, the bar and lounge at OKU offer the same relaxed atmosphere. Diners come here for pre-dinner cocktails or a post-dinner drink in a comfortable and Zen-inspired setting. Its extensive selection of quality sake, whiskies, and other spirits makes it ideal for a post-work pick-me-up or an afternoon drink.

The word OKU, which relates to the layers of an onion, signifies the culinary trip that diners will be able to embark on. In keeping with this, the restaurant strives to gratify visitors by providing them numerous layers of meaning and experiences and new ways to approach unique food. OKU delivers a new spin on Japanese cuisine while maintaining its traditional flair.

OKU Jakarta

Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta 

Jl. M.H. Thamrin No.1, RT.1/RW.5, Menteng, Kec. Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10310

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