Hachi, Singapore

3 Jan

It was a wonderful way to ring in my birthday with Mom and R at Hachi. Helmed by Chef Kishio Watanabe – a Kyushu native, Hachi has been around since 1999 when it first introduced Omakase お任せDining to Singapore. Omakase お任せ literally means “It’s up to you”, and in participating in this form of dining, you the diner are entrusting the chef with your meal and you never know what each dish is going to be.

Chef Watanabe, who believes in cooking with your heart and soul (which is the true essence of Japanese cuisine), has a repertoire of 10 – 14 dishes daily with the (fresh) ingredients that he receives each day. Upon entering, one is greeted by friendly wait staff, a simply decorated wood-themed restaurant with a light hearted and inviting atmosphere largely due to the chatter of Chef Watanabe with some of his guests. Apart from the occasional smattering of Japanese that fills the air, one might not realize that he is in a Japanese restaurant – but there are some tell-tale signs like the 2 shelves of Japanese Shochu/ Liquor labeled with the last names of many a customer and more shelves full of Japanese tableware (I love how varied and colourful Japanese tableware can be).  Chef Watanabe is one who certainly knows when to be serious and when to enjoy himself – he moves swiftly behind the counter and as if concentrating on a point, is often bent over each dish with a furrow on his brow, where in the next moment he has a glass raised to his guests and a smile on his face. I like a chef who’s not too proud to hang with his guests and knock back a drink or two. Did I mention his food’s awesome?

Here’s a peek at the night’s scenes:

Hachi Restaurant

Chopstick Sleeve - with Misspelled 'Restaurant'

Love the unassuming and unintentional quirkiness of the misspelling.

Condiments of Sea Salt, Shichimi Togarashi 七味唐辛子 and Shoyu

Chef Watanabe

The Liquor Shelf

Chef Watanabe at work

No. 1 - Otoshi (Starter) of Vegetables

No. 2 - Mentaiko 明太子 Konnyaku こんにゃく Jelly Noodles

No. 3 - Potato Salad ポテトサラダ

Sea Salt and Shichimi Togarashi 七味唐辛子

No. 4 - Ikura イクラ served with Radish and Brocollini

A beautifully presented dish. The Ikura イクラ really popped out against the ocean blue dish.

No. 4 - A bunch (?!) of Ikura イクラ

I’ve never seen Ikura イクラ still held together in its sac before! No fishy taste – just a pure fresh taste of the sea (as all seafood SHOULD taste).

No. 5 - Sea Cucumber (Namako 海鼠) with Pickled Radish and Seaweed Salad

This sea cucumber was different from the slimey gooey sea cucumber we’re used to at Chinese dinners. It’s much smaller (and i’m sure a different variety from the one’s we’re used to) and much chewier – a really interesting texture overall.

No. 6 - Kawaebi 河エビ (River Shrimp) served with Skewer of Gingko Nuts

No. 7 - Basashi 馬刺し (Horse Sashimi)

I know, your mouth gaped right? Basashi 馬刺し is quite common place in some Izakaya’s in Japan. I can only say that it did not taste gamey at all and was tender and fresh without much of a distinct flavour – as beef tends to have.

No. 8 - Yaki Vegetables (Mushroom, Yamaimo - Japanese Yam, and Spring Onion)


No. 9 - Buri 鰤 Sashimi (Amberjack)

No. 10 - Tomato and Cream Spaghetti スパゲッティ

Light and not overpoweringly creamy. Tomato was seasoned perfectly.

No. 11 - Creamy Buri 鰤 Soup

No. 12 - Yaki Buri 焼き鰤 (Grilled Buri)

No. 13 - Ankimo アンキモ (Monkfish Liver)

No. 14 - Hijiki Onigiri ヒジキお握り (Hijiki Rice Ball) with Miso 味噌 Soup

Wash it all down with a cup of Hot Green Tea

乾杯 Kanpai!

The End

Hachi Restaurant
6 Mohd Sultan Road
T: +65 6734 9622
Reservations Recommended
Dress Code: Smart Casual


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