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Hachi

Friday night saw me catching up with a couple of colleagues (one ex-, one based overseas) over dinner at Hachi. I was warned the restaurant was in a non-descript location but I still felt lost for a minute as all I saw were beauty parlours and no restaurant. Taking a risk, I walked towards a screen door because I thought it looked Japanese and to my surprise, it automatically opened. I stepped in slowly and stuck my head behind more screen panes and luckily, dining tables greeted me and I knew I was in the right place.

Upon sitting, I was given a hot towel to prepare my hands for the meal ahead. I was asked if there was anything I did not eat, which was very thoughtful. In case you are wondering why the question, Hachi does not have a menu; chef-owner Watanabe-san will take care of you.

The appetizers followed very quickly - all 3 of them. There was boiled vegetables, in this case caixin, with a splash of dashi and sprinkling of bonito flakes. Nothing exciting. There was also a small serving of a rather unusual vermicelli, either stir-fried or tossed with some cream and roe. It was not outstanding and I thought it was out of place, served no real purpose other than an additional item on the menu. Lastly, we had a couple of raw oysters splashed with ponzu and served with pickled Japanese cucumbers. The latter two ingredients added a slightly sourish element, presumably to eliminate any stank that the oysters might possess. But in this case, it was unneccesary as the oysters were fresh. And to my delight, they were not "disgustingly" big and I slurped them down greedily.

Next, a serving of very fresh hamachi sashimi sliced to an ideal thickness was quickly devoured as well. Flavours of the sea were enhanced with a dab of freshly grated wasabi and dip of soy. Next up was another unexpected dish of macaroni salad that had bacon in it so Watanabe-san got me a grilled fish that appeared to be dehydrated before it was grilled and lacquered with a sweetish sauce. It was quite delicious.

Then we had another pre-prepared dish of marinated shisamo. Fried pregnant smelt appeared to be soaked in a soy sauce broth with together with pickled onions and ginger such that the shisamo attained a chew-factor. I loved it; definitely one of my favorite cooked dish for the night.

Noodles in a very light but tasty broth followed and I thought we were wrapping up as I slowly sipped on the hot soup and ate the chewy noodles. But I was wrong to assume so and next was another platter of mixed sashimi. There was tai (snapper), ameabi (sweet prawn) and maguro (tuna). Oh, there was also herring roe that tasted less saltish as compared to Sushi Yoshida's so I ate it all this time. By this time, I was rather full but then grilled unagi appeared. The fatty fish with a sweet sauce did not fail to satisfy. By this time, I was really stuffed and the waitress appeared to ask if we had enough. But the chef was already starting to prepare another course of snowcrab legs. That would be the last course, we emphasized. Sigh, maybe because of my state of fullness, the last course failed to really make an impression. The crabs were sweet and meaty but the flesh stuck onto the shells, making it a chore to remove. I thought this was the most disappointing dish.

Overall, I had an enjoyable dinner and I like the fact there is no menu and you really have no idea what to expect. There was a very home-y feeling as the clients that filled the restaurant seemed to be all regulars and a few even came in casual home clothes. I thought the cooked dishes also has that home-cooked element, but enhanced by a nicer presentation.

The meal for 3 of us, inclusive of tea, came up to about $90 per person. Not exhorbitant, I thought. You may wish to check out the enlarged set of pictures here.

Comments

Chubbypanda said…
Yummy yum yum!

- Chubbypanda
hinata said…
Glad you had a good time! Hachi is always fun cos of the atmosphere, and agree that it's not pricey for the quality (and amount!) of food you get.

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