COCONUTS CRITIC’S TABLE – At Coconuts we’re always striving to find unique dining experiences in Jakarta, so we were intrigued to test out Fat Shogun, the city’s very first Japanese/Peruvian fusion restaurant.
Located on the rooftop level of the BTPN building in Mega Kuningan, the recently opened Fat Shogun serves up cross-cultural cuisine known as ‘Nikkei.’
For those who aren’t familiar with Nikkei (as we were before this review) it may sound like a completely random mashup of two disparate kinds of cuisine, but it actually has a long history. Developed in the 19th century by Japanese workers who immigrated to Peru, Nikkei adds Japanese flavours and techniques to Peruvian dishes, resulting in exotic combinations like sushi rolls with jalapeños or fresh fish with lime and peppers.
Walking into Fat Shogun, we were greeted by a minimalist, modern interior which definitely has more of an Asian feel to it, with Japanese temple (Torii) style gate in the centre and elegant Japanese murals painted above the kitchen and bar.
Fat Shogun’s venue offers a nice panoramic view of Kuningan from your table and so visually, the restaurant most definitely delivers.
That nice first impression was followed up by a bit of disappointment. When we started to order, we were informed the restaurant did not have any avocado, which meant we had to select different dishes from what we originally wanted (many of the dishes on the menu feature avocado). Likewise, when we selected our drinks, we learnt certain cocktails were not available yet.
While disappointing, we’ll cut Fat Shogun some slack here, since they are still in their ‘soft’ opening period, having only opened in December with their grand opening being held in late March.
The soft opening is a time for restaurants to work out things like supply issues (consider it their form of beta testing) so it’s a risk you take if you’re a foodie who wants to try the latest restaurant.
Still, it tempered our expectations somewhat. Fortunately our mood quickly improved as our food and drinks started coming out.
They have an extensive wine and spirits list, including a wide variety of sakes, but we decided to try two of their signature cocktails, the Peruvian Carnaval and the Sake Dap De’i.
The Peruvian Carnaval is a colourful blend of tequila reposado and blanco, with tamarind puree, agave syrup and hazelnut liqueur. It was quite a sweet concoction, although not too syrupy thanks to the ice and fresh fruit garnish.
When our Sake Dap De’i arrived, we thought it was a dessert at first, due to its whimsical, deconstructed presentation.
The drink itself came in a large beaker and it was accompanied by a cup filled with ice, lemon and jelly, with a row of pandan cakes also provided, all presented neatly on a wooden board with chopsticks.
Our waiter instructed us to fill the cup with the cocktail and to eat a pandan cake before having a sip of the drink. The pandan cake was delicate and spongy, complementing the sweetness of the cocktail which was wonderfully refreshing with a strong lime flavor.
The Sake Dap De’I will easily cater for two people and is a good value cocktail at Rp. 120.000.
Next our cold appetizer of seabass ceviche (Rp 90,000) arrived, featuring a heap of raw fish sliced into small pieces, cooked with the acidity lime juice, and mixed with onion and jalapeno peppers.
The seabass tasted fresh with a spicy, slightly sour flavor which was further enhanced with a sprinkle of lemon, while the yucca crackers added much-needed crunch to the dish.
Fat Shogun has quite a sushi selection as well, including more traditional varieties, but we wanted to try one of their more unusual combinations. We went with the Loco Maguro rolls, a salmon aburi style sushi with spicy tuna and topped with a jalapeno slice.
It’s a pricey dish (Rp. 160.000), but it’s generously served and extremely tasty, with the freshness of the salmon and the spiciness of the jalapenos a potent combination.
We were quite happy with those entrées and were eager to see if the Fat Shogun’s mains continued their run of good dishes.
Unfortunately, our first main, the Arroz Chaufa (Rp 120,000), was a bit of a disappointment.
A Peruvian seafood garlic fried rice served with prawn, mussels and sour cream, the dish looked pretty but tasted bland, with the rice not feeling very fried nor particularly garlicky. While the seafood was well cooked, there wasn’t enough of it to go with the arroz. The sour cream didn’t do much to enhance the flavor either – perhaps if it had been infused with garlic or chili it could’ve added the kick this dish needed.
Thankfully our other main, the Lomo Saltado, saved the day.
The veal had a nice spicy kick to it, the vegetables were juicy and the fries were a surprisingly tasty addition. And at only Rp. 85.000, it’s a main which is great value for money.
While our visit to Fat Shogun didn’t get off to the best start, we were won over by the restaurant’s friendly and quick service, generous serving portions and delicious dishes.
Considering the stylish venue and the overall quality of the food, most of the items on the menu aren’t overly pricey either. The portion sizes of the dishes we sampled were filling yet left you wanting more.
As Fat Shogun irons out the kinks all new establishments face, it will only get better, but its unique concept is already delivered well, making it a welcome addition to Jakarta’s growing food scene.
Menara BTPN – Retail Tower, Rooftop Level,
Jl. Dr. Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung Kav, 5.5 – 5.6
CBD Mega Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta 12950
(021) 2295 8196
Sun – Thu: 11am – 1am
Fri – Sat: 11am – 2am
Coconuts Critic’s Table reviews are written based on unannounced restaurant visits by our writers and paid for by Coconuts Jakarta. No freebies here.