HAKU has recently relocated to IFC’s rooftop with a brand new concept – borderless cuisine. Rather than confining himself to one specific cuisine, Chef Rob Jacob Drennan brought us on an innovative and exhilarating 15-course modern gastronomic journey, melding techniques and ingredients from Japan, France, the United States and beyond. The restaurant is anchored by an open kitchen bar counter, where you can appreciate the chef’s meticulous artistry and skills, while feasting on the glamorous views of the harbour. (Dinner menu is $1,980 per person, plus 10% service charge; wine pairing is available for an additional $680)
The charcoal brioche was embellished with lusciously sweet and creamy Hokkaido Uni, and topped with pickled onions, yuzu truffle emulsion, shiso dashi and flowers that provided a fresh, citrusy punch.
Smoked Cod Roe
Stuffed within a roll of light and crispy paper-thin pastry is a smoked cod roe mousse dusted with leek ash. The mousse emanated smoky and briny aromas, and was gloriously smooth on the palate, creating stark textural contrasts.
Imported from Niigata, the chicken thigh was fried to golden brown with a crackled exterior, with dense and juicy meat encased within. Marinated with buttermilk and smoked the American way, savoury juices oozed out upon each bite. Black garlic seafood sauce and half-sour pickles amped it up with a refreshing twist.
Marinated overnight in soy sauce, the lightly-seared otoro was melt-in-the-mouth tender. Dollops of violet mustard, English mustard and seaweed accented the dish with a tantalising kick.
Imported from Kyushu, the arrowhead squid was firm yet tender. It was doused in a shiso emulsion and pickled onions dashi, with a swish of peppery spiciness from sansyo powder.
Resting on a layer of morel puree are some pearl-sized Yukon potatoes which were slightly starchy with a nice crunch. Bejewelled with caviar from Siberia, which has a lower mineral content and salinity, the dish was enlivened with briny flavours from the ocean. It was then gilded with a generous display of Australian truffle shavings.
The French blue lobster, paired with celeriac puree and deep fried celeriac threads, was phenomenally succulent and firm. A bisque with concentrated essences of lobster shells, miso, mirin, sake and Hokkaido salmon roe was also ladled on.
Sous vide for 20 hours, the pork was deliciously tender, and could be easily forked apart. The exterior was blistered and seared to perfect crispiness and glazed with a teriyaki sauce. It was paired with dollops of shiso sauce and pickled onions, as well as an accompanying stew that emanated rich, unadulterated pork and chicken flavours.
A4 Kagoshima Beef
Cooked to medium rare, the beautiful slice of pink wagyu was melt-in-the-mouth velvety with a distinct meaty aroma. The sauce, made with beef bone and marrow, further elevated the flavours.
The fluffy and soft brioche was infused with black garlic skin powder and Australian winter truffles. The light, ethereal truffle-flavoured milk butter provided an additional “blast” of umami.
Beneath the blanket of binchotan-infused 3.6 milk mousse and local organic watermelon jelly is an extract of yuzu, galangal and fig. The chef then sprinkled shaved ice made from sugar candy and ginger over it. The resulting taste was potent but comforting.
Jerusalem artichoke is the root part of a sunflower. After fermentation, it is churned with 3.6 milk into a gelato. Drizzled with a 85% Belgian chocolate sauce and mandarin gel, the dessert was creamy with nice textural contrasts from the hazelnut crumble.
Yuzu Candy Jelly
The candy exuded refreshing citrusy yuzu flavors, with the peppercorn sugar from Korea underneath radiating a sharp, tantalising tang.
The financier was artfully crafted with banana curds on top and caramelised walnuts.
The naturally pink hue was created with unfermented cocoa beans. This slightly sweet and acidic chocolate is considered as the fourth variety of chocolate after dark, milk and white chocolate. Puffed rice and miso was added for extra texture.
HAKU is the epitome of transformation and innovation, and will surely captivate diners with its delicate artistry and solid culinary techniques. The restaurant definitely has a shot for a Michelin Star in the coming year. Be prepared to be dazzled by their decadence if you visit.
Shop No. 4011, Podium Level 4, IFC mall, No.8 Finance Street, Central; 2818-8030;
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.