With the wave of new openings showing no signs of slowing down in Singapore, it is somewhat refreshing to discover a restaurant that is not quite as fresh-faced bucking the hype trend – and doing what it does incredibly well. Indeed, there are not many restaurants in Singapore which deserve to wear that badge. However, it is without doubt that Hashi does.
Hidden underneath the shophouse residing OSO Ristorante of the very same group, it would be very easy to miss Hashi from the outside, especially seeing as the exterior belies the rather huge and visually impressive restaurant that is revealed within. With a super chic contemporary Japanese interior which exhibits a great level of attention to detail and graceful Japanese-speaking staff elegantly gliding along in traditional kimonos, it gives an indication of the calibre of things to come.
Helmed by internationally renowned Tadashi Takahashi, ex-Nobu Australia chef, despite his years creating fusion cuisines, Tadashi’s heart remains firmly in his Kaiseki cuisine roots. For those not in the know, Kaiseki is a 16th century culinary art form harmonizing the taste, texture, appearance and colour of food presented in a traditional Japanese multi-course feast. Think of it like the super traditional and rather formal, high-brow cousin of Omakase.
With that in mind, Hashi is not about trends or the next hot thing, but about traditional Japanese food done exceptionally well, perhaps even obsessively well, as the Kaiseki journey which unfolded before us soon began to reveal.
Take for example the Japanese Mixed Appetizer. We wondered whether the offerings could live up to the presentation, but the impossibly creamy Soya Bean Skin freshly made with a pinch of Wasabi left us swooning while the Deep-Fried Chutoro (medium fatty tuna) was a stroke of genius. It felt like opening all your Christmas presents at once as you worked your way around the woven platter.
We marvelled at the exceedingly silky and delicate Himi Udon which luxuriated in a rich and smokey broth before moving on to seasonal Sashimi and Sushi which featured firm and savoury Yellowtail Jack Mackerel, a surprising and delicate Seabream and fabulously fresh Hokkaido Scallop amongst others. Of course, the sushi here is excellent and fresh, with seafood ingredients arriving fresh from Tsukji Market daily – and boy does it shows.
The crescendo of culinary satisfaction continued with the exceptionally soft Beef Cheek. Having been slow cooked for 6 hours in a sake and dark soya sauce, the combination of an impossibly delicate texture and richness of flavour was pure heaven.
But how does one round off such an impressive Kaiseki experience on the dessert front? A tough task, but one that Tadashi Takahashi probably does not bat an eyelid at, instead rounding it off with a beautifully delicate but somehow complex tasting Kyoto Cherry Blossom Ice-Cream alongside a handcrafted Sake Cake, daily flown in from Shizoka having been lovingly made by 5th generation masterchef Hiromori Uchida.
For a sophisticated dining option, Hashi ticks all the boxes. A stunning setting, sublime cuisine, wonderful service and an atmosphere that is just made for luxuriating in. So forget about all those over-hyped restaurants for one night, and we promise…you won’t regret it one iota.
The 5 course Kaiseki menu is priced at $80++ for lunch. Sushi Kaiseki lunch and dinner menus start at $98++. Otherwise look out for Hashi’s Bento Box promotion every 3rd Friday – enjoy a bento box with 3 kinds of sake at $55++.