A square is a shape that exists all around us, but is man-made, unnatural. It is a simple element in life, but from that simplicity, one can explore endless possibilities. Shikaku and Bar Kotak are two food and beverage establishments in the form of squares. Both enter the Jakarta scene with values no other shape can offer.
Shikaku is a culinary establishment situated in The Dharmawangsa that infuses the traditional taste of Japanese cuisine with a touch of the contemporary. “Shikaku” can mean “square” in the Japanese language, a shape that symbolizes perfect balance. Each side of the square represents an aspect of Shikaku, from ingredients and cooking techniques to the ambience that supports an exquisite experience. Everything must be balanced in harmony.
The Japanese cuisine served in Shikaku takes a unique approach to traditional recipes and preparations by creating subtle reinterpretations of classic dishes. It preserves the flavour profiles while at the same time cultivating new territories of taste. With modern essences existing in dishes, local influences are also present through fresh and locally-sourced ingredients.
Upon entering Shikaku, the wooden interiors will remind guests of a traditional Japanese restaurant. The staff welcomes everyone with warmth, expressing it through a polite greeting of “irasshaimase!” Inside, guests feel special with the extra care given from start to finish.
The extra touch of care is rooted in Omotenashi or hospitality, a concept of Japanese culture that can also mean selfless service. Combining Indonesia’s very own charm that radiates joy and friendliness, Indotenashi was created as an adaptation to local cultures and traditions.
When dining at Shikaku, it is ideal to start with a cold or hot starter of your choice, from fresh Assorted Sashimi, a creamy light Asparagus Tobiko-Tartar, to Ebi Mayo. Proceed to the main course with Japanese specialties such as Unagi Tamago-Toji, have some classic meals such as Teppanyaki, or try the fried rice Unagi Nasi Goreng, a unique take on the famed Indonesian dish. End it sweet with Matcha BASK Cheesecake or Shikaku Semangka Sorbet.
Next door, Bar Kotak can be found as a Nusantara-styled bar that serves cocktails and cigars. With a common thread to Shikaku, “kotak” also means “square” but in the Indonesian language. The concept of square in Bar Kotak differentiates itself from Shikaku through its playful spirit. Instead of perfection, the bar goes outside the box, symbolizing how the senses go outward to let loose and relax.
A splendid evening at Bar Kotak can be flowing with cocktails and conversations, cigar smoke in the air while tunes set the nuance. Signature drinks such as Dharmawangsa Koan, classic cocktails like Manhattan, Japanese whiskey on the rocks, a selection of Cuban cigars, and complimentary bar snacks served with a sincere smile for that touch of Indotenashi.
Bar Kotak is also a space that houses some of the finest furniture and art with subtlety, from insect sketches by German-Russian painter Walter Spies to a Soekarno painting that defines the place as a gallery of good times.
Indotenashi, like Omotenashi, is a service that comes from the bottom of the heart that is honest, with no hiding and no pretending. It is a concept you can feel in Shikaku and Bar Kotak. Along with the food and drinks, laughter, and overall ambience, both create an authentic experience that can connect places with people, shaping personal memories into two unique squares in their hearts.