It was a shocker when Chef Kenjiro Hashida, who goes by the nickname “Hatch”, announced his plans to exit his popular namesake restaurant at Mandarin Gallery barely five months ago. He later revealed that Hashida Sushi would reopen again in October, this time at a comparatively bigger location. As it turns out, the new place is at Mohamed Sultan Road, a street that also houses two other young concepts: The English House by famed British restaurateur Marco Pierre White and fine-dining kappo restaurant ESORA.
The aesthetics of the new Hashida Sushi’s aesthetics might be similar to its previous reiteration, but it’s a rather different beast. There are now two levels, with three dining areas on the first floor that seat eight to 15. Near the entrance, a bar will soon showcase Chef Hatch’s favourite sakes (including a private label bottle from Tengumai Brewery) and spirits. Upstairs is a multi-purpose hall where he plans to stage exclusive events and collaborative meals with other chefs and producers.
Meanwhile, traditional Edomae sushi and creative dishes continue to dominate his omakase menus — from $80 for lunch and $300 for dinner. Redesigned for the season, we start with a trio of tasty appetisers: cold broccoli soup, scallop and tomato salad, and a creamy peanut tofu that he puts together with plant starch.
Before long, someone at our table asks Chef Hatch about the closure of Tsukiji and the migration to the new Toyosu Market, to which he replies “It’s a better system now, just a little far.” It’s evident that the quality of Japan’s seafood has not changed; we’re served soft mizutako (water octopus) with seaweed, and a pretty plate of cod and ainame (fat greenling fish) dumpling in a starchy mushroom and black fungus sauce. Silky chawanmushi with crab meat and fish cake? Yes please.
On a bincho-tan, Japanese barracuda is grilled soft and flaky. Smoky with a mild flavour, Chef Hatch tells us that it’s his favourite fish, and we can see why. He does the same with some kinmedai (Golden Eyed Snapper), which is slightly sweeter. For the sushi course, he nestles a fresh slice of scored cuttlefish onto body-temperature rice with a lick of rice salt, then again with exquisite sweet botan prawn. On top, he places a umami-rich dollop of greyish-green roe — not the most pleasant looking thing, but an absolute treat.
And then you get the signatures: a small enticing bowl of bright ikura and bafun uni rice (you don’t need us to tell you how good it tastes), and a delicate mix of negitoro (minced tuna) and white shrimp wrapped in dried seaweed.
To signal the end, Chef Hatch takes out a massive block of fatty tuna belly (otoro) and strips thin long slices, folding them on rice for his final piece of sushi.
After that piece of gloriousness, you finally get to pick up the bright yellow tamago that closes the course. Its mild sweetness and eggy texture is addictive, and you will want more. But there is dessert — green grapes from Japan and milk ice cream topped with soybean powder and brown sugar syrup.
But before the end, we’re already asking for first dibs on Hashida Sushi’s two new outlets, scheduled to open in San Francisco and Tokyo next year. It’s that delicious.
Hashida Sushi is located at 25 Mohamed Sultan Rd, Singapore 238969, p. +65 8428 8787. Open Tue 12.30pm – 3pm, 6.30pm – 10pm, Wed-Sun 12pm – 3pm, 6.30pm – 10pm. Closed Mon.