Chef Yusuke Takada of highly acclaimed La Cime Opens Charcoal-Grilled Omakase & Brasserie in Singapore
The man behind the widely acclaimed two-Michelin-starred La Cime in Osaka, Chef Yusuke Takada, opens charcoal-grilled omakase and brasserie HANAZEN in Singapore on 12 March 2023.
At Hanazen in Singapore, you can expect the smoky char of charcoal-grilled meat skewers that combine the best of both Japanese and French techniques. These are complemented by artisanal cocktails, sake, wine and a tea programme featuring Kyoto’s 7T+.
In the first phase, the restaurant will feature just a single omakase dinner menu, priced at $240 for 16 courses. You can choose from the 11-person dining counter, a private room appointed for 8 persons, or a semi-private corner that seats up to 7 persons.
We were first served with a comforting cup of Hanazen’s Daily Soup. Using kombu dashi and chicken bones boiled for 6 hours, the clear, aromatic broth is a warm welcome before the start of the meal.
The menu at Hanazen pays homage to La Cime, with the Singa Dog a localised rendition of La Cime’s signature dish Boudin Dog (blood sausage), in which chef Yusuke combined inspiration from his time in France with American cultural influences and Japanese technique. In Singapore, the Singa Dog has been reinterpreted to consist of chicken floss and chicken liver in a fried battered ball, coloured black with edible bamboo charcoal and brushed with a punchy buah keluak sauce.
Another dish inspired by Singapore is the chilled Panna Cotta. Presented in a wooden box, the creamy pandan flan is studded with seasonal Hamaguri clams from Japan, lending their chewy, tender textures and gentle sweetness. The dish is layered with the crunch of bread tuile and nanohana buds from the rapeseed plant, and finished with caviar for brininess.
We also had the Beef & Tuna Tartlet, and monkfish liver served chilled in a refreshing, tangy Alsatian-style choucroute dressing.
Chef Yusuke Takada loves yakitori, hence it inspired him to explore the concept of Japanese grilling and expand it to a greater variety of ingredients such as lamb, beef and vegetables. Their omakase menu uses Japanese grill techniques, imbued with marination methods, sauces and selection of ingredients inspired from French cuisine and beyond.
The skewers are expertly grilled and one of my favourites is the deboned Chicken Wing served with a light seasoning of furikake that allows me to appreciate the flavour of the chicken and grill. So simple, yet so delicious. I like that each skewers are served with specially created sauces. For instance, savoury chicken liver is served with a white wine raisin sauce, in a classic French pairing to bring out its depth of flavours.
Awabi abalone and chicken gizzard skewer which is meticulously prepared so that the prized abalone is tender but bouncy to the bite, while finished with a caramelisation from bincho-tan. The dish is served with gyoja-ninniku (garlic chives) butter to complement its flavour. We also had tender cubes of baby lamb shoulder, perfectly served with a creamy herbed yogurt sauce.
Some other skewers we had include Prawns and Chicken Tail served with Porcini Sauce, Chicken Heart served with Mustard and Olive Sauce, Sea Perch with Grilled Turnip, and Chicken Skin with Spice Mix. The restaurant specially sources seasonal seafood and ingredients from Japan through their own network of suppliers, which are airflown three times weekly. Hence some dishes and ingredients may evolve from time to time.
The grill course ends on a high note with Wagyu ribeye that is ideal for picking up the bincho-tan flavour of the grill. Its cleaner profile complements the savoury, complex Perigueux sauce, the rich French classic Madeira and truffle sauce of the Perigord region. We also had a bowl of soumen servhed with dashi chicken broth.
Savour the rich and slightly bitter notes of the Uji Matcha ice cream made in-house using specially selected tea leaves from Kyoto’s 7T+ that is perfectly complemented with the umami notes of fermented banana cream. The bite-sized treat of Hananzen Financier closes the chapter with a mildly sweet finish.
Hanazen by Yusuke Takada
Address: 30 Victoria St, #01-21/22 CHIJMES, Singapore 187996
Phone: 9820 2963