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Modern Japanese isn’t an easy cuisine to tackle in Hong Kong because local crowds either opt for something traditional or the focus is purely aesthetic and made for the 'gram.
Silencio is here to change the perception of modern Japanese, with newly appointed executive chef Sato Kiyoshi now overseeing the kitchen. Guests are guaranteed to be taken on an artistic culinary journey with the chef’s new Mizuho tasting menu ($978/person).
Black dominates Silencio’s interior, and the walls are lined with black-and-white art, giving the izakaya a mysterious feel. Live jazz brings vibrancy.
With seven courses in total, the concept of this new tasting menu is similar to what Chef Kiyoshi once created for Honjo’s Dreamer menu and, to an extent, the order of the dishes are the same. However, there is more creative flexibility at Silencio, and the menu is based on seasonal ingredients that are flown in weekly from Japan.
We began with some small bites – an elevated seasonal otoshi of scallop and tuna topped with a subtly fruity foam.
Kani (+$158/10g caviar) was the first dish, reminding us of summertime. Fresh, sweet crab was topped with savoury Japanese tomato and ikura (salmon roe).
Aki plays around with the concepts of masculine and feminine. Polmard beef tartare was hidden underneath black rice crackers. Kabu (Japanese turnip) added a soft crunch, contrasting with the extreme crispiness of the crackers.
Takara was our favourite dish of the evening. A selection of seasonal sashimi (salmon, tuna and yellowtail) and nigiri was served. Innovative and filled with luxurious embellishments, we loved the snapper with shaved foie gras and the combined otoro, chutoro and akami, which was lightly marinated in soy sauce.
Fuyu, or Japanese snapper with artichoke chips, was simply comforting with its small bites of greens and creamy sauce.
The Wagyu (+$158/10g winter black truffle) was charcoal-grilled and melted in the mouth. Sishito peppers gave a sharp, earthy contrast. I enjoyed the smooth mushroom purée and crispy nagaimo (mountain yam), which gave the dish some texture.
The champagne granita was served with melon, acting as a palate cleanser.
Hokkaido takes the spotlight for dessert – one of the creamiest soft-serves I’ve ever had in Hong Kong, topped with wafer-thin pieces of meringue, nutty brown butter and white chocolate crumble. I could have eaten another one of these!
Silencio’s new menu shows how modern Japanese cuisine should look and taste – it’s best done with fresh and playful dishes filled with different textures. Chef Sato Kiyoshi has great skill and self-assurance, and we look forward to seeing what’s to come from him at this contemporary Japanese diner.
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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