Saturday, April 1, 2023

Hanazen @ Chijmes - Eminent Chef Yusuke Takada Opens First Overseas Duo-Concept, Charcoal-Grilled Omakase And French Brasserie In Singapore


The founder of Two Michelin-starred and World's 50 Best Restaurant La Cime in Osaka, Chef Yusuke Takada, opened its first overseas duo-concept restaurant - HANAZEN, in Singapore on 12 March 2023. The duo concept comprises a charcoal-grilled Omakase and French brasserie. The French brasserie will be opened later, but as of now, it will focus on its charcoal-grilled Omakase dinner menu.

Hanazen's Daily Soup 3.5/5

I visited the restaurant and had its Hanazen 16-course Omakase Dinner Menu ($240). It comprises a selection of signature and seasonal dishes. We are welcomed with the Hanazen's Daily Soup, a clear and aromatic broth from boiling kombu dashi and chicken bones for 6 hours.

Singa-Dog 4/5

The Singa-Dog is a reinvention of La Cime's Boudin Dog dish. The Singapore version consists of chicken floss and chicken liver encased in a fried charcoal battered ball brushed with a punchy buah keluak sauce. Bite into the sphere for an explosion of flavours.

Beef & Tuna Tartlet 4/5

Delicately pieced together is the Beef & Tuna Tartlet. The crispy beetroot shell housed a medley of raw wagyu, akami and guacamole, garnished with julienned ginger flower and red amaranth leaves. It is a delightful tartare morsel that can be enjoyed in a bite.

Panna Cotta 4.5/5

While I am told that Singapore's kaya toast inspires the Panna Cotta dish, I could not associate the dish with it. However, this is a beautiful dish in terms of presentation and taste. Served chilled, the savoury pandan flan is stubbed with seasonal Hamaguri clams from Japan, layered with bread tuile and nanohana buds for textures, and finished with caviar for brininess.

Sea Foie Gras/ Choucroute/ Urui 4/5

Sea Foie Gras refers to the sake and cognac steamed monkfish liver (ankimo). It is served chilled with a refreshing, tangy Alsatian-style choucroute dressing similar to German sauerkraut. What excited me was a new produce I had not tried before, the young green shoots of urui. The crispy and grassy notes from the urui help to cleanse the palate after having the rich and fatty ankimo.

Prawns and Chicken Tail, Porcini Sauce 4/5

Moving on to the grill, we started with the Prawns and Chicken Tail with Porcini Sauce. We are told to have the Gambero Rosso first, followed by a piece of the fatty chicken tail. Then, lastly, have both the prawn and chicken tail together.

Chicken Heart, Mustard and Olive Sauce 4/5

I am an innard person; hence I really enjoyed the Chicken Heart grilled to a delightful tender, smartly paired with tangy whole grain mustard and olive leaf sauce.

Nodoguro, Fukinoto Miso Sauce, Grilled Turnip 4.2/5

Next is the Nodoguro (blackthroat seaperch), known for its buttery, sweet flesh in Fukinoto miso sauce. It is paired with grilled turnip, another feature of spring vegetables. It is also a timely break from the grilled items.

Abalone, Chicken Gizzard, Gyoja-Ninniku Butter 4/5

Back to the grilled items, we continued with the Abalone, served with chicken gizzards dressed in gyoja-ninniku butter. The Awabi abalone is sou vide for 12 hours to achieve a tender, yet bouncy texture, finished with caramelisation from the bincho tan.

Chicken Liver, Raisin Sauce 3.5/5

I love Chicken Liver, which is a side dish I will order whenever I have chicken rice. Hence I was looking forward to savouring the creamy chicken liver served with raisin sauce, topped with julienned oba leaf and flowers for a contrasting freshness. However, the raisin sauce is too sweet, throwing the balance off. I would prefer having the chicken liver without the sauce.

Chicken Wing, Konbu Furikake 3/5

Next is the grilled deboned Chicken Wing, lightly seasoned with furikake that allows one to appreciate the flavour of the chicken.

Lamb, Yoghurt Sauce 4.2/5

Baby lamb shoulder is used for the Lamb skewer for its tender and mild profile. Its natural flavour is accentuated by the kiss of the grill, complemented by the creamy herbed yoghurt sauce.

Chicken Skin, Spice Mix

Back to the chicken part, we had the Chicken Skin dusted with a spice mix. It is slowly grilled at a low temperature to achieve the ideal crispiness.

Wagyu Ribeye, Perigueux Sauce 4/5

To be frank, I was delighted that we have moved on from the yakitori items with the Wagyu Ribeye. The yakitori items are good, but I expected more regarding ingredients and produces for the price tag for the omakase menu. The beautiful red meat is paired with perigueux sauce, a rich French classic Madeira and truffle sauce that lifts the enjoyment.

Soumen, Warabi, Dashi 4.2/5

The last savoury dish is the Soumen in a rich dashi and chicken broth, garnished with coriander and the stalk of wild Japanese fern. The slurping goodness is elevated by adding chicken oil, adding depth and richness to the dish.

Kyoto Uji Matcha Ice Cream, Fermented Banana

Hanazen Financier

Moving to dessert, we had the Kyoto Uji Matcha Ice Cream. Combining matcha ice cream with fermented banana cream may sound weird, but surprisingly it works! Accompanying the ice cream is the Hanazen Financier. The bite-size treat closes the 16-course omakase menu with a mildly sweet finish.


While I enjoyed the food, I did not find the 16-course menu to be value for money. The price of $240 and being served chicken parts such as the chicken tail, chicken heart, chicken liver, chicken wing and chicken skin will raise some eyebrows for some customers. The restaurant tried to supplement with premium and imported ingredients/produces throughout the course, but it was insufficient to convince the paying customers.

Note: This is another invited tasting.

Hanazen by Yusuke Takada
30 Victoria Street
Singapore 187996
Tel: +65 98202963
Nearest MRT: City Hall (EW, NS Line), Bras Basah (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 6pm - 11pm
(Closed on Mon)

1) Alight at City Hall MRT station. Take Exit A. Cut across Raffles City Shopping Centre to Bras Basah Road. At the junction of Bras Basah Road and North Bridge Road, cross the road to Chijmes. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Bras Basah MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk southwards towards Victoria Road. At the junction of Bras Basah Road and Victoria Road, cross the junction to Chijmes. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

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