Superlative Selections and Japanese Buffet at Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jakarta


For those with a serious hunger for high-quality Japanese food, Edogin at Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jakarta should definitely be one of your top choices. While the restaurant has an extensive selection of à la carte items, including everything from ramen to tempura as well as a dedicated sushi bar and teppanyaki tables, perhaps the most beloved feature of Edogin is its perennially popular buffets, available for lunch and dinner.

At our most recent visit to Edogin for a mid-week lunch, the large and well-appointed restaurant was extremely busy, with everybody from Japanese businessmen to families getting their fill from the wide selection of delicacies on offer at the buffet. While buffets don’t always have the reputation for having the highest-quality food, Edogin’s is staffed with over a dozen chefs doing live cooking throughout the numerous sections. Combined with the hordes of hungry guests ravenously picking away at the offerings and you will have no reason to doubt the freshness of the food, which seems to be constantly replenished every few minutes. There is a variety of scrumptious sushi and sashimi, of course, as well as a cornucopia of different kinds of salads, tempuras and other fried treats. The buffet also offers rarer dishes, such as à la minute ramen that you can get customised to your liking, and even crockpots full of aromatic Japanese brown curry.  However, it is the temptation of Edogin’s custom teppanyaki and robatayaki stations that are most impossible to resist, with a wide variety of fresh meats and seafoods, all to be grilled to your heart’s desire.

In Japan, many of the best restaurants and chefs are dedicated to singular specialities, such as sushi or tempura, perfecting every aspect of the preparation through constant repetition. The chefs along Edogin’s buffet line are similarly dedicated to their stations and, as a result, are very good at what they do. For example, I handed over a plate of glistening pink salmon to the robatayaki chef and half expected it to come back overcooked, as is so easy to do with the delicate fish. I was seriously impressed when it came back to me with deliciously crisp skin and moist, flaky meat. You couldn’t hope for better grilled salmon at a dedicated seafood restaurant, let alone a buffet.

For a truly epicurean meat eating experience, you can order the Saga beef [see box] set from Edogin’s à la carte teppanyaki menu. It’s one of the finest wagyu varieties available in Indonesia and has a melting tenderness and exquisite taste that every enthusiastic carnivore should treat themselves to at least once. However, Edogin’s other specialities, and its bounteous buffet offerings, can and should be enjoyed far more often.


Wagyu – (??)


Wagyu literally means “Japanese cow” and refers to several breeds of cattle native to the country. So when you see the word wagyu on a menu, it can actually refer to a wide variety of different kinds of beef. Wagyu cows are even raised in places like America and Australia, so the wagyu you see on a menu might not even come from Japan. Wagyu is genetically predisposed to producing meat with a high fat content and the best wagyu is raised using specially developed techniques to ensure that the fat and lean meat are marbled together. The most prized wagyu beef comes from three prefectures of Japan: Kobe, Matsuzaka and Saga. These are the wagyu that are fed special diets (sometimes including beer) and massaged to relieve stress, which is believed to increase the intensity of the beef’s flavour and marbling. High-grade wagyu beef should always be eaten rare, since it’s high fat content makes it very easy to overcook.

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