Where Italian Meets Japanese
Akira Watanabe offers a unique dining experience – Italian food with a modern Japanese twist.
Pasta House AW Kitchen by Akira Watanabe first opened in Nakameguro, Japan. Named after the chef himself, Akira Watanabe, this franchise restaurant opened its doors in Jakarta in June 2014. Located in Plaza Senayan, this first outlet of Pasta House AW Kitchen outside Japan has a great selection of pasta that is quite different from other restaurants. The menu is extensive, from cold and hot appetizers, to cold and hot pasta, risotto, side dishes, fish and meat and desserts.
On arrival you receive a basket of bread with butter, a delightful opening treat while you’re waiting for your food. Our favourite starter is Honey Tomato Bruschetta, a perfectly textured bruschetta with fresh tomato slices and honey, you’re sure to love it.
Another must try is one of their best sellers, the Spaghettini in garlic oil with spicy cod roe and Japanese mushrooms. The cod roe and Japanese mushrooms (shitake, enoki, shimeji) are pleasantly generous and the seasoning is just beautiful. Served with a garlic oil dressing and nori flake garnish complementing the overall flavours, without a doubt, it is a taste sensation. There’s also Spaghettini with corn and shrimp. This generous sized serving is perfectly cooked and simply delicious with its simple yet hearty garlic oil seasoning.
There’s always a room for dessert and chocolate profiteroles are everyone’s favourite. The texture and consistency of the choux pastry was perfectly lovely, not too hard but not too soft either, the chocolate sauce luscious and the custard cream was light and delicious, not too milky, and served with chunks of mixed fresh fruit and chocolate sauce.
The restaurant has smoking and non-smoking tables and two private rooms. While the décor is hip and trendy, it still feels homey and modern. The featured exposed brickwork and low-beam ceilings give a modern yet classic look, and like most Italian restaurants, there’s an open kitchen where you can see the pizzas being baked and the chefs preparing your food. They also have a bar and you can choose from a selection of liquor and wines.