Gem of a restaurant in Kowloon, HAKU’s interactive experience is worth talking about

World is out about executive chef Agustin Balbi’s new culinary gem at Harbour City

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 September, 2017, 7:48am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 September, 2017, 11:11am

HAKU is Harbour City’s new gem. Word is already getting out about executive chef Agustin Balbi’sKappo-style presentation of contemporary Japanese dishes with a European twist. The best seats are at the counter where you can witness chefs preparing the food. This interactive dining experience seeks to encourage conversation between chefs and guests. At every course, we are told about the dish and the ingredients used.

We opt for the tasting menu (HK$1,380 per person), starting with Japanese oysters, followed by Japanese tomatoes and Bellota ham, served with bite-sized barracuda and foie gras with ink-dyed squid and fried lotus roots. The Hokkaido uni on brioche is a highlight. This uses sea urchin from Hokkaido, which comes with a layer of roasted aubergine with red miso and shiso flowers. Next up are the chicken wings with king prawns and karasumi, which come out a bit dry; this is the one dish that doesn’t live up to comparisons with the rest of the eight-course meal. But this is immediately remedied by the Nagasaki (fatty) tuna combined with aged Polmard beef, which is topped with Kristal caviar and gold leaves and served with crispy rice crackers. Although the mixing of tuna and raw beef appears to be counter-intuitive, Balbi’s team make it into a dish that needs to be savoured. The Kagoshima wagyu beef with asparagus is tender and comes with radish, baby asparagus and a mushroom sauce.

To round off the meal, each diner receives a juicy Japanese peach. If that isn’t sweet enough, the team sends you off with a token cotton candy to complete the evening.