Friday, September 18, 2015
Hashida Garo: Japanese Food and Culture
From slicing sashimi to crafting confections, Chef Kenjiro ‘Hatch’ Hashida seems to be a talented chef but it looks like he is also quite the artist. Last month, he opened Hashida Garo (Garo meaning 'gallery') just two floors up from his flagship restaurant Hashida Sushi Singapore.
Here you'll see pieces of his artwork. The gallery can also be used to feature other artists.
A raised tatami platform takes centrestage and diners sit all around it counter style. This is where you may get to see tea ceremonies conducted. One of the highlights here is wagashi (Japanese sweets) paired with Japanese tea.
Hashida Garo is his second food and beverage establishment in Singapore. Chef Hatch aims to present Japanese culture to a broader audience – be it aesthetically or gastronomically. Sake is the tipple of choice here and sampling portions are the way to go if you want to try out some fine and rare labels available here. Flanking the restaurant is a retail arm featuring niche food produce and gifts.
The eatery part opens at 10am, so it's perfect for a late breakfast or brunch.
Unagi ippon breakfast at S$19.80
Grilled eel, shredded egg, shredded dried seaweed, sichuan pepper, unagi sauce with shio-konbu, shihazuke and takuan pickles. Comes with rice and miso soup.
I had a sample of the unagi and it was beautifully decadent. I could eat ten bowls of this.
Midday meals (12pm - 3pm only) could get expensive but the Extravagant Lunch (S$90) with the Miyazaki A5 wagyu could be worth the splurge.
The wagyu is seared just perfectly. Oh the tenderness and buttery sweet char aroma...you just can't get enough.
Alternatively, you could opt for rice sandwiches Oz-Onigirazu (S$22) with a choice of smoked salmon, smoked duck, umeokaka, beef croquette or butakaku fillings.
There's a different menu for dinner - you could have the Miyazaki wagyu A5 grade tenderloin by itself for S$70, paiten oden (S$20), buta kaku or simmered pork (S$20), or wagyu croquette (S$18). Add S$7 for rice and miso to make it a set. Other dishes are tapas-style small dishes to share.
Desserts - chef has traditional Japanese creations such as kuzukiri (kuzu noodles in black sugar syrup and fruit), manjyu, mochi and yubeshi (yuzu and white bean confection) as well as the crowd favourite Hokkaido cheesecake and chocolate cake (pictured). You can also get the popular macarons from Hashida Sushi here.
The Merlion Monaka (S$5) was created to celebrate Singapore's Jubilee. Before you hashtag #simisaialsosg50, give it a try. This mochi wafer pastry encasing sweet kaya and white bean paste is actually very moreish. It's a bit pricey but I don't remember many other S$5 desserts as well as this one.
The teas here are truly a treat, so take some home if you like them. The buckwheat or burdock one was extra mesmerising.
333A Mandarin Gallery, Orchard Road #04-16
Open daily 10.00am - 10.00pm (closed alternate Mondays)
Thanks to Hashida Garo for the invitation
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