Kakure Japanese Sake Bar with Omakase
Introducing you to the hidden world of sake is Kakure, a boutique sake bar backed by the omakase powerhouse team at Ki-sho, both located in a beautiful black and white along Scotts Road. The setting provides an intimate environment for learning more about the art of Japanese cuisine and drinks. Kakure is specially kept small on the 2nd level of the house so that diners can interact with the two kikisake-shi or certified sake sommeliers John and Makoto-san.
The sake list at Kakure, one of the largest in Singapore, has been carefully curated in a partnership between Ki-sho’s chef Kazuhiro Hamamoto and the 2 sommeliers. Expect handcrafted sakes, only in limited quantities, with over 50 different labels from multiple regions of Japan. If you want to get in on the insider secrets of Japanese connoisseurs, Kakure is the place to head to.
For the full sake experience, Kakure presents an assortment of bar cuisine to accompany the sake. Crafted by Chef Hamamoto, the omakase is priced at $88 for 6 courses. Small plates are expected but we left feeling quite satisfied. The a la carte selection is sufficient if you wish to pick your own bar food (indiv prices stated). There's your usual tempura and tsukune and a good selection of oden.
Grab a seat at the bar (hosts 4 comfortably) and let the night begin with some pickled item ($12)- Gari, Naga Imo, Spicy Konbu and a Yuzu Daikon. My favorite? The yuzu daikon pickles!
Nanbanzuke- this fried fish with vinegar dish was a refreshing start to the night. Anago and golden eye snapper were used in this one. The sake paired is the Wakayama Saika Daiginjo Saika Magoichi (polish rate 40%). This is gold, for real. It is a 2015 gold medal sake. It drinks like a white and i love how the sourish pop of seafood is brought out with this sake.
Our light bite was the Tasmanian salmon, smoked in house by Chef. A less aromatic Tottori Takaisami Tokubetsu Junmai (Polish rate 50%) sake was paired in order not to overpower the umami flavors of the salmon. Makoto-san compared this to a South Italian white wine and this is a great pairing with seafood in general.
A grilled creamy oyster that contrasted with the sharp Ishikawa Okunoto no Shiragiku Junmai Ginjo Muroka Nama Genshu on the right (Polish rate 55%). The sake is made from a blend of 2 rice and no water is added to it and it is also unfiltered. If it were a wine, it would be a French Bordeaux white.
I'm not a fan of fish with a strong fishy taste but pairing with the Fukushima Daishichi Junmai Kimoto (served at room temp. Polish rate 69%) surprised me by giving the grilled sanma (long mackerel) a smooth and creamy mouthfeel which was salty sweet instead of fishy. This sake is fermented using natural lactic acid for that smooth drink.
Oden is a standard bar fare and this stock is made with bonito and seaweed dashi stock, together with chicken consomme. 8 hours is taken to make this stock. Daikon ($8) is a must, considering how well it soaks up all that goodness. The Atsu-age tofu ($8) is also another favorite, especially when you add on a touch of that yuzu pepper. The Fukushima Daishichi Junmai Kimoto was presented warm at 42 degrees celsius and served in a sake cup. By this point i was kinda a little to high to note the difference of the drink due to the use of different vessels but there is a difference really.
We had a charcoal grilled Nodoguro or black throat sea perch ($68) to share. This fish is highly prized in Japan but very underrated everywhere else because it's too rare and hard to purchase. The other place i had this was at Shinji (yea, only available at high end Japanese restaurants). The oily fish is slow grilled over white charcoal here at Kakure. I'm not a big fan as it's a rather bland and firm fish in my opinion. This was paired with a Shizuoka Kikuyoi Tokubetsu Junmai-shu (Polish rate 60%).
Standout dish of the night gotta be the Buta Kakuni (braised pork belly) from Kagoshima Prefecture ($18). I'd like to think that this is collagen but really it's just fats that were surprisingly not oily at all. The meat was lightly braised (not overly sweet) and the meat was tender. Makoto-san paired it with a Tochigi Kaika Tokubetsu Junmai Gen-shu Migaki Takekawa (Served hot at 50 degrees celsius. Polish rate 59%).
Instead of dessert, we had a dessert sake, the Masuizumi Kijoshu from Toyama. This is also another of my favorite! Sweet crowd pleaser it is.
I really enjoyed the omakase with sake pairing experience at Kakure. It presents an intimate but non intimidating environment for one to learn more about sake. Of course, connoisseurs would enjoy it surely with many award winning and unique sakes available.
29 Scotts Road, Level 2, Singapore 228224.
Tel: +65 6733 5251
Mon - Sat: 6.30pm – 1am
Mon - Sat: 6.30pm – 1am