May 20, 2014

Izakaya Issei

Another new spot to share. Yay! It's the newly established Izakaya Issei. This small Japanese eatery is located in the busy Senopati area, tucked on the second floor, on top of a small cafe, Appetite and Chief barbershop. Though it was quite hard to be noticed on first go, I am sure you'll notice it if I told you it was on the house right next to the famous Cacaote. Well, you know where to go. 

The word izakaya represents Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks, a casual place for after-work drinking. While issei means first. This kind of joint was not common here in Jakarta and that's why Izakaya Issei brought a whole new experience. Let me tell you beforehand that I fell in love with the place, the dishes and even the very hospitable host. I was there to join the crowd for #EATJKT event, held from 21 April to 18 May 2014, and I was so pleased with all the food presented, the speed of service and the nice dinner companion. Here we go.

sharing is caring
The place was not too large but somehow comfortable. It was very crowded on Tuesday night, a good sign that this place really serves good food. We got ourselves a table on the corner, right in front of the famous 'Sharing is Caring' sign.

Let's start with something girly, like this Sake Beries Issei 125k. With a really nice and unique presentation along with cute pink liquid, this definitely fits me, a beginner for drinking. Tasted bittersweet with a strong strawberry taste.

Issei Chicken 27k
This is a must try when visiting Izakaya Issei, their signature Issei Chicken, deep fried chicken served with spicy sambal. The sambal was very spicy and of course I'm a fan. The chicken was very tender and you won't notice that along the conversation, a plate was finished. It was just perfect to start the night.

Age Dori Negi Sauce 36k
This is my personal favorite, age dori negi sauce. If you followed my instagram account, you'll notice I uploaded this live from Izakaya Issei. It was deep fried chicken thigh with special sauce. The chicken was tender, moist, juicy and almost melt in your mouth. The sauce tasted dominantly sweet and blended really well with the chicken.

top: Wakame Salad 45k - Korokke Potato 27k
bottom: Agedashi Tofu 27k - Jacko Salad 36k
Stop a while with a healthier option, like the delicious wakame salad and jacko salad. Both salad served with similar veggies but wakame salad is topped with seaweed and served with additional mayonnaise, while jacko salad is topped with jacko (Japanese small fish, similar to teri). I prefer wakame salad as the dressing were richer with the help of mayonnaise, but I do love the jacko. So perhaps, you can order both and mix them together? Korokke potato was served hot and has a smooth potato puree texture while the agedashi tofu was a darling. Love the warm sweet-salty soup with smooth silk tofu. Yums!

One of the must item in an izakaya is yakitori (Japanese skewer). I taste lots of these that I can't even remember what I had that night. Is there something called yakitori overdose?
Assorted Yakitori - original
Assorted Yakitori - sweet
Here's my personal favorites: gyutan 18k (beef tongue), teba 12k (chicken wings), tsukune 16k (minced chicken) and bonjiri 16k (chicken tail). These yakitori can be ordered with original sauce or sweet sauce. In my opinion, both sauce were nice with different, unique taste each. Theser yakitori are well-marinated and cooked to perfection. Now, if you are allowed to eat pork dishes, do not forget to have these luscious, buta bara (pork belly) and buta bara negi miso (pork belly with miso sauce and spring onion). These pork belly melts in your mouth and definitely not to be missed.

front: Buta Bara Negi Miso 27k - back: Buta Bara 25k 
Continuing our exciting journey, we had teba tsukune, chicken wings stuffed with minced chicken. This is definitely one of my must-order item. Love the juicy chicken wings texture and loving the minced chicken stuffing. Yum yum.
Teba Tsukune 25k
Overwhelmed with the starters and smaller menu, but spare your tummy for the mains. First stop is my favorite, gyutan don, Wagyu tongue with special sauce and rice - spicy. Delicious is an understatement. The beef tongue was very tender and smooth, with enough seasoning and some chilies, you have yourself a bowl of happiness. I do think that the portion would be too small for guys, but hey.. you had more than enough starters and smaller menus to choose.

Gyutan Don 95k
Continuing our bigger menu with butabara don and tori soborodon. Butabara don is pork belly over steamed rice. The seasoning was similar with gyutan don with spring onions and chilies on top. Of course, the pork belly was tender and smooth. While tori soborodon is minced chicken donburi topped with nori and egg. Again, it was well-seasoned and delicious!

Butabara Don | Tori Soborodon 62k
If you prefer something without rice, try the chicken katsu curry and chicken teriyaki. Crispy breaded chicken cutlet drenched in thick curry sauce. You gotta love it. The chicken teriyaki is another darling. Juicy chicken cooked with sweet teriyaki sauce.
Chicken Katsu Curry 46k
Chicken Teriyaki 39k
Are you thirsty already? I bet the sake berries we had earlier were not enough to quench your thirst. Do not be afraid as Izakaya Issei serves Asahi beer. Japan's no. 1 beer served in a frozen glass. I did not try it as I'm not too fond of alcohol, but everybody knows the quality of this beer.

Asahi Beer 
Or try their signature cocktail selection. We had rhubarb lemonade and Tokyo flush fixx. Rhubarb lemonade consisted of orange wedges, fresh lemon juice, Jim Beam White, sour rhubarb and sprite on top. While Tokyo flush fixx consisted of sake, midori, vodka, soda water and lemon wedges. These are lighter version of the alcoholic beverages served in the house. I have to say that I kinda like the rhubarb lemonade as it was really refreshing, with a light taste of alcohol.

 Rhubarb Lemonade 110k - Tokyo Flush Fizz 125k
To end the lovely night, we were served with beer sorbet, a dessert made from the alcoholic drinks which tasted unique and refreshing.

Now imagine you with your beloved friends share the table for great Japanese cuisine and some fresh cocktails over gossips. That's definitely my kind of night. Overall, I had a great time at Izakaya Issei with a lovely host and delicious food. I will surely return to taste more of their delicacies.
Izakaya Issei
Jl. Senopati Raya No. 82 Level 2
South Jakarta
Ph.: 6221 6079 6880


  1. Drooling over all of those yakitori and grilled stuff!

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  4. Hello fellow foodies! It's my first time crossing your page and I really like it. It will be nice of you if you don't mind to checkout my page here I make reviews about restaurants and cafes around Jakarta too. Keep on inspiring!



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