[Hong Kong] HAKU - Most Exciting Opening of the Year Yet
Rating: ❤❤❤❤1/2 (4.5/5)
It's been a while since I've been excited about any new restaurant openings in Hong Kong and HAKU has proven that it'll be the one to watch this year! Formed in partnership between Agustin Balbi (formerly Executive Chef of The Ocean) and Chef Hideaki Matsuo of 3* Kashiwaya in Osaka, the Japanese fusion restaurant is ingredients focused and you can expect top quality fresh produce flown in daily from Japan. Located in the bustling Ocean Terminal, HAKU offers a place of solace with its tasteful Japanese minimalistic decor and dark ambiance. Both a la carte and omakase (selected by the chef) will be offered, and the best seats in the house are at the counter of course where you can watch the kitchen in action!
The attention to detail goes beyond the ingredients - even the porcelains had been carefully curated from Japan.
We started off our meal with a series of beautiful amuse bouche - a pastry tart with yuzu, olive oil and shiitake mushroom as representation of spring, a nori (seaweed) cone with ichiban dashi cream and clams from Fukuoka, a skewer of deep-fried kibinago fish and beetroot pickle inserted in the middle of a rose.
Next up was the Ebisu Oyster from Fukuoka topped with yuzukosho & green apple granita and sancho pepper leaf. The oyster was fresh and plump while the refreshing granita added a spicy kick to the overall flavors.
The next dish continued to impress and was one of my favorites of the night - a Tomato Salad with kamasu fish, bellota ham, shio kombu sprinkled with sake kasu - the lees left over from sake production. Chef Agustin baked the sake kasu with rice flour and the resulting flavor was almost like Parmesan cheese!
One of the main ingredients for our next dish were these amazingly fragrant winter truffles from Australia.
The winter truffles had been to good use in the Sweet Potato - baked in salt crust and garnished with pickles that spelled out the restaurant's name HAKU. Salt is provided on the side to balance the sweetness of the sweet potato if needed. The combination of a simple ingredient with a decadent one turned out to be surprisingly delicious.
The Hokkaido Sea Urchin with eggplant and red miso on crispy brioche was another favorite - I loved the presentation and it tasted just as good as it looked!
The Chutoro with Polmard beef and Kristal Caviar served with rice tuiles was not only decadent but also utterly divine. Polmard beef is the most expensive steak in the world with vintages which has been aged for up to 15 years and only available to a handful of chefs around the world. The dish is a representation of the restaurant's ethos in a way - finding the best ingredients and just letting their natural flavors shine with minimal seasoning.
The Kagoshima Wagyu beef cooked over binchotan was briefly paraded in front of us with its alluring smoky aroma before being plated with white asparagus, baby turnips and mushrooms.
A playful cotton candy to finish off the meal.
Our meal at HAKU definitely left an impression with its high quality ingredients and creative interpretations. What's even better was the reasonable price - the most expensive omakase menu is only around HK$1200 which is a great value for the ingredients you get!
Shop OT G04B, G/F
Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2115 9965https://www.facebook.com/hakuhongkong/
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