After so many months, I'm still trying to get used to Hachi's new layout at Mohamed Ali lane, by the carpark at Club Street. Its previous home at Orchard Emerald was cosier and it was easy to get a glimpse and participate in the chef's creations, especially if you get a table at the tiny counter. Now, at more spacious premises, the homely feel seems to have gone missing although the chef still manages at times to have a conversation with his countrymen customers at the end of the restaurant. Definitely adds to the cool minimalist atmosphere.
The food is still well executed and is probably one of the few establishments which offers an entry-level Omakase meal for under S$100. Don't expect top notch quality but you can bank on well put together courses- we had 11 to be exact so you definitely won't leave hungry.
1. Soft boiled egg laced with seaweed, salmon roe, swimming in a soya based sauce, laced with a little bit of wasabi was like doing old-tyle Singapore breakfast, but a tad more upscale. A refreshing start.
2. Kumamoto oysters freshly shucked and served cold with a ponzu dip is perfect for the humid weather in Singapore.
3. Sashimi of sweet prawn in a sauce reminscent of old-style Cantonese sesame-oil and lime based sauce typically served with raw fish to be dunked in congee, was different from the usual take. Good!
4. Sliced Shishito peppers served with a miso-based natto and garnished with bonito flakes was interesting. Good enough even for a non-natto fan.
5. Lightly roasted gingko nuts tossed in a bit of salt is always a good accompaniment to Sake.
6. Grilled vinegared mackeral pieces were very tasty and easy to down even for non-fish lovers because of the piquancy from the rice vinegar.
7. Smoked duck breast with miso was tasty but too chewy for me. I had to take away a fair number of points there since I usually like duck breast.
8. Maguro sushi was fresh.
9. A nice nabe pot of clear soup lightly flavoured by leeks, shitake, enokis and served with homemade tofu and fish balls was a nice break to the dry food and a good preliminary to the final dish of ..
10. Tendon made from an assortment of vegetables and shrimp meat.
A satisfying meal, ending with...
11. Melon (unfortunately not the Japanese netted melon but sweet anyway), large grapes (not Kyoho), persimmons (not from Nigata but pretty firm and crunchy), and strawberries.
The menu won't blow you away but execution at Hachi always leaves one going away pretty happy and satisfied.