Hashi Japanese Restaurant (Singapore)

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Setting
 

The main dining area at Hashi

The private room at Hashi

Oso Ristorante (“Oso”) started life humbly in 2004 as an Italian eatery. Within a period of 9 years, owners, Diego Chiarini and Stephane Colleoni, have built a mini F&B empire that include Gaia Ristorante & Bar, Restaurant Absinthe and, most recently, Gaia by Oso (Jakarta). Since last week, they’ve also cut the ribbons to their fifth outpost – Hashi Japanese Restaurant (“Hashi”).

Occupying the former roost of the now defunct Barreto on the ground floor of Oso’s Bukit Pasoh shop house perch, Hashi joins the wave of upscale Japanese eateries that recently debuted in the city but with a seating capacity of 80, it’s arguably the largest.

Meaning chopsticks in Japanese, Hashi is accessed via the same grand entrance to Oso but unlike the cosy and classy appeal of the latter, the former is kitted in minimalist grandeur and designed to match its name – the lofty room boasts heaps of light wood slatted wall panels that somewhat resemble rows of chopsticks.

The sake bar at Hashi

The restaurant boasts 2 distinct spaces: a boxy 35-seat main dining area that packs in a sake bar surrounded by a towering block of wood-cloaked metal structure, an 11-seat dining counter centerpiece plus a 6-seat private room; and this connects to a 45-seat dining hall at the rear via a walkway lined with bolts of kimono fabric.

What to expect

Chef Tadashi Takahashi, former head chef of Nobu Melbourne

For Chiani and Colleoni’s virgin foray into Nihon ryori, they have enlisted the expertise of Tokyo native, Tadashi Takahashi, who last held the position of head chef at Nobu Melbourne.

  
Sushi chef: Kondo Masayuki

While Takahashi doles out Tokyo-style kaiseki small plates from the kitchen, chef Kondo Masayuki (former chef of Megumi Sushi and Tsukiji Shishiiwa) works the sushi counter, deftly slicing the Tsukiji-imported fish and draping them over morsels of hand-pressed sushi rice.

But don’t come here expecting an elaborate and ritualistic kaiseki style cuisine that’s the hallmark of kaiseki stalwart, Goto (Singapore); or an endless succession of credit card-denting Edo-mae sushi made famous by Shinjiby Kanesaka (Singapore).

Wallet-friendly kaiseki-style cuisine and sushi are, after all, the hallmarks of Hashi and these can be experienced via the affordably priced course menus: S$128++ for a 5-course sushi + kaiseki dinner (S$158++ for 6 courses) and S$98++ for a 5-course kaiseki-only dinner (S$128++ and S$158++ for 7 courses). 
Sushi from the 6-course sushi + kaiseki menu

 

Watarigani crab cake in dashi broth

For your maiden visit, Takahashi suggests the 6-course sushi + kaiseki dinner (S$158++). Other than Tsukiji market-fresh sashimi, the dinner features sushi by Masayuki using Hokkaido-imported Tawaraya rice that’s polished to order in a Singapore facility; a dashi-scented broth dish headlined by a chunk of kinome leaf-topped watarigani crab cake with sprigs of French beans; and a bowl of steamed kinmedai fish on discs of radish cakes in a soya-laced dashi broth.

Azuki paste dessert from Ganyudo, Shizuoka
 

But the dessert course is where Hashi makes the deepest impression. Every week, the restaurant flies in hand-made sweets by Ganyudo (circa 1870), a fifth generation wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) shop situated in Shizuoka, Japan. While the selection of sweets may change from time to time – think azuki paste wrapped in a beautifully sculpted ‘skin’ made from potato or sake flavoured pound cake – one thing doesn’t change: the Japanese seal of exquisiteness and quality and that quite aptly sums up our meal at Hashi.
  

Hashi Japanese Restaurant

48 Bukit Pasoh Road | 65-6327 8439

For picture story, visit www.facebook.com/bibikgourmand


You may also like: Hashida Sushi, Ooi Dining, Ki-Sho or Shinji by Kanesaka

© Evelyn Chen 2013

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