An in­ter­Ac­tive, the­Atri­cAl And wholly Im­mer­sive Din­ing Ex­pe­ri­ence

An el­e­gant space to shel­ter from the noise and bright lights of the city, a place to re­lax, sip and savour, hid­den within the sprawl­ing Ocean Ter­mi­nal, Har­bour City: Haku - cu­rated by Hideaki Mast­suo.

Exquisite Taste - - Gourmet | Hong Kong - By Chris­tian Gal­i­braith

Those for­tu­nate enough to have ex­pe­ri­enced Haku - cu­rated by Hideaki Mast­suo, could be ex­cused if they gath­ered on Ocean Ter­mi­nal's up­per floor and col­lec­tively thumbed their noses at those below who seem to sug­gest shopping mall restau­rants have lit­tle to of­fer in terms of great din­ing, be­cause, to put it bluntly, Haku is sen­sa­tional.

Of­fer­ing a de­li­ciously creative FrenchJa­panese din­ing con­cept, Haku is al­ready

be­ing touted as Hong Kong's hottest new restau­rant of the year. Lo­cated on the ground floor of Ocean Ter­mi­nal in Har­bour City, one of Hong Kong's busiest retail ther­apy hubs, the Din­ing Con­cept Group restau­rant is an ex­cit­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Chef Hideaki, of the highly ac­claimed three Miche­lin-starred Kashi­waya in Osaka and Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Agustin Balbi, pre­vi­ously of The Ocean at The Pulse.

Un­sur­pris­ingly with Chef Hideaki in the back­ground, Haku uses only the high­est- qual­ity in­gre­di­ents sourced di­rectly from Ja­pan. The dishes are clean and el­e­gant and the fo­cus is al­ways on the in­di­vid­ual and of­ten unique flavours of sea­sonal Ja­panese pro­duce. With Chef Agustin at the helm a del­i­cate modern twist is added in a way that never de­tracts from the beauty of the so­phis­ti­cated Ja­panese style.

In typ­i­cal Ja­panese style, the en­trance is a dis­creet af­fair and pro­vides no hint to the won­der­ful design or din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that await within. Fol­low the short cor­ri­dor,

how­ever, and a vi­sion of pale woods and bam­boo un­folds. The design ac­cents, like the light­ing, are sub­tle and well placed. Haku re­sem­bles a tra­di­tional Ja­panese sushi or kappo restau­rant built around a long hi­noki counter that seats 11 and where guests hap­pily eat and in­ter­act with Chef Agustin and his ex­cep­tional team. Away from the kitchen there are other seat­ing op­tions and a pri­vate room, ideal for a qui­eter ex­pe­ri­ence and groups.

The al­ways smil­ing and heav­ily tat­tooed Chef Agustin was born in Ar­gentina and as one would ex­pect his fo­cus at Haku is on au­then­tic Ja­panese flavours. There is an en­tic­ing à la carte menu as well as set menus fea­tur­ing dishes like Ja­panese oys­ters served with yuzu kosho and ap­ple granita and the ir­re­sistible Kagoshima wagyu.

The ten­der medium-rare A4 wagyu beef is cooked to per­fec­tion be­fore your eyes over char­coal and then ex­pertly cut into tri­an­gles and plated with baby cour­gette, eringi mush­rooms and turnip.

For those who re­ally want the full im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence, we sug­gest a seat at the counter and or­der­ing the omakase. From the Ja­panese word makaseru, which means to trust, the omakase is the chef's se­lec­tion, a de­gus­ta­tion of con­sid­er­able pro­por­tions that show­cases both the pro­duce and the chef's sub­stan­tial tal­ents.

The meal be­gins with a se­lec­tion of de­li­cious amuse bouches such as corn chawan­mushi and beet­root tsuke­mono. This is fol­lowed swiftly by the main event, a pa­rade of suc­cu­lent and in­dul­gent dishes. With sea­sonal vari­a­tions ex­pect dishes like the beau­ti­fully plated Ja­panese toma­toes. Kyushu and Hokkaido toma­toes tossed with Bel­lota ham and dressed with salted sea­weed strands and golden-toasted sake lees. One of the most at­trac­tive dishes is the Hokkaido sea urchin brioche. A crispy round chunk of rich brioche is topped with creamed aubergine and a large serv­ing of briny Hokkaido sea urchin gar­nished beau­ti­fully with shiso flow­ers care­fully planted into the soft flesh.

Open for lunch from noon un­til 3pm and for din­ner from 6pm, Haku is far from the typ­i­cal culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence as­so­ci­ated with food courts and malls. It is in fact a gas­tronome's de­light, an el­e­gant space to shel­ter from the noise and bright lights of the city, a place to re­lax, sip and savour a se­lec­tion of high-qual­ity Ja­panese food in some style.

Chu toro kristal caviar pol­mard beef, rice tu­ile

Ja­panese toma­toes ka­masu bel­lota ham

Kagoshima wagyu eringi baby kabu

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