The Jakarta Post
Henshin, a Nikkei-themed restaurant at The Westin Jakarta in Kuningan opened its doors for the first time on Thursday. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
While the traditional sushi and sashimi have already proved to be popular among Jakartans, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors is set to tantalize taste buds with the opening of a new Nikkei-themed restaurant.
Perched on the top three floors in one of the capital’s tallest hotels, Henshin at The Westin Jakarta in Kuningan opened its doors for the first time on Thursday, just in time to catch the sunset from its rooftop bar.
Westin Jakarta general manager Arun Kumar said the early stages of conceptualizing the restaurant came with an initial idea of serving traditional Japanese cuisine. Upon inspecting the modern space, however, Kumar said the team wanted something different.
"We went around looking for different cuisines to actually present with a fusion and we landed on Nikkei, which comes with the Japanese food, blended with the Peruvian heart and culture," Arun said during a media preview at the restaurant earlier this week.
A chef at Henshin prepares Nigiris Nikkei. (JP/Liza Yosephine )
Henshin, which in Japanese means "transformation", takes diners to new heights to experience Nikkei cuisine, which is still a rare find in the Indonesian capital. The dishes originally developed in the late 19th century when thousands of Japanese people migrated to Peru for work.
Executive chef Hajime Kasuge, a Peruvian man of Japanese descent, living in Peru, has brought his expertise to the kitchens of Henshin.
Before taking a bite into the enticing seafood delicacies, however, visitors begin their experience even before entering the restaurant.
Upon arriving at the hotel building's ground floor lobby, visitors are taken to the secret entrance, which sits behind a wall that opens up into a hidden tunnel.
A short walk down to reach the designated lift, visitors are then taken straight to the rooftop bar on the 67th floor, the first of three levels that the venue boasts.
With the bar opening at 5 p.m., it makes it the perfect location to enjoy panoramic views of the city as the sun sets and the city lights illuminate the streets and the buildings around.
Stepping up to the 68th floor, the fine-dining experience begins at 6 p.m. and is enjoyed in an intimate setting. The open kitchen concept flanks the space on each side with one hot kitchen and a cold kitchen.
The dining area of Henshin, situated on the 68th floor of The Westin Jakarta. (JP/Liza Yosephine)
Another floor up, the venue houses its private dining area, which consists of two rooms and a smaller open kitchen.
The decor at the restaurant is elegant, with floor to ceiling windows that provide a generous dose of sparkling light complemented by vibrant carpeting and gold accents.
Read also: A rare taste of Brazilian cuisine
The experience is completed by savoring signature dishes such as the exquisite Henshin Octopus, which is cooked for at least five hours until it is tender.
The Ceviche Classico is also a must-try. Its mouthful of fresh sea bass and tiger's milk dressing leaves a lingering and satisfying taste. (asw)
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