Omakase at Hachi was simply one of my best meals this year. There's nothing quite like surrendering your night to the able chops of a Japanese chef, letting him surprise you course by course, assembled with only the freshest seasonal produce, of course. The omakase I had that night, two months back (still as vivid as yesterday, honest!), showcased all of my favourite ingredients too, would you believe it? Sashimi? Checked. Oyster? Uni? Otoro? Wagyu? Checked!
Umeshu, $12, Sashimi
We started dinner with my favourite Japanese happy juice - Umeshu. A wimpy drink, yes, but utterly delicious, no? We were first served the Sashimi platter, a combination of a chunky, seared scallop, a lovely slice of snapper, and two thick slices of tuna. They were amongst the freshest sashimi I've ever had - full of the salty sweetness of the sea.
Ikura with Daikon, Fish Liver
We were then served Ikura with Daikon, which was meant to come before the Sashimi, but it really wasn't as though it mattered. Even this made an impression, with the impossibly crunchy and sweet cubes of daikon providing excellent texture against the salty bursts of Ikura. Then there were the two types of fish liver, smooth with that trademark buttery taste of liver sprinkled with seasoned cod roe. So good I could hardly bear to finish it.
Mentaiko Kaki, Dashi Broth with Shirako
What's next really blew me away. Oysters baked with mentaiko are common enough, yes, but this one is the poster boy of all oyster mentaiko. The mentaiko is spread in a layer on the oyster and expertly torched without cooking the mollusk. The result is an oyster, still fresh, plumb and full of amazing juices underneath a warm, soft crust of seared mentaiko. You bet it tasted even better than it sounds. This was followed by a light dashi broth with shirako (cod sperm). Cooked in the broth, the shirako tasted much less distinct and had a grainier texture not unlike cooked roe.
Taraba Kani, Sautéed Vegetables
The baked Alaskan king crab claw came next, with flesh impossibly succulent and sweet. The crab cake claw with asparagus served on the side was completely delicious, too, and surprisingly tender inside. This was followed by a small portion of requisite greens.
Deep-fried Fish Fillet, Uni Gunkan
We were served the deep-fried fish fillet nestled on braised daikon next, which was tasty, but far less memorable compared to most of the courses. Maybe it was all in the plan, since what followed blew me away once again. You don't need much sometimes, when you have the freshest uni (golden and irresistibly quivery), and the most luscious otoro. Amazing textures that interplay with your tongue for a split second before disintegrating.
Just when we thought nothing could impress us anymore, we were served the seared Omi Wagyu (Kobe's lesser-known but equally amazing cousin - raised by only 41 farms and a rare find outside of Japan) which was just fantastic. Literally melts in your mouth, and the natural juices of the beef tasted truly sublime.
Soba, Sesame Ice-Cream
The meal drew to an end with a comforting bowl of soba, and luxuriously creamy sesame ice-cream. I was fully content.
Omakase at Hachi is $68 for lunch and $118 for dinner. Steep but great value considering the quality of the ingredients and the full dining experience. A perfectly legit place to splurge on for that next big thing.
6 Mohamed Sultan Road
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