Sake no Hana serves heavenly dishes in a venue that celebrates food at its freshest and most succulent.
The recent opening of Sake no Hana, perched above the first OMNIA day club on the cliffs of Bali’s Uluwatu, has raised the bar for Japanese dining on the island. Eagerly awaited thanks to its highly esteemed flagship restaurant in London’s Mayfair and its impeccable pedigree as part of the renowned Hakkasan Group, Sake no Hana lives up to expectations.
While not typically Japanese in design, Sake no Hana still showcases an understated elegance, simple geometric wood designs, a love of natural tones and respect for nature. The walls are dark-wood lattice that allow the ocean breeze to gently cool the spacious venue while providing sweeping panoramic views across the sparkling cerulean vista. Nestled in nature, the structure blends seamlessly with its surroundings.
The Japanese respect for simplicity, clean tastes and purity are surprisingly difficult to achieve at the luxury end of the spectrum, but Sake no Hana oozes the philosophy of shun – that fleeting moment of perfection when things are at their peak, be it a cherry blossom or the perfectly mixed cocktail.
Talking of cocktails, while perusing the extremely tempting food menu, ask the mixologists to make you a drink; we strongly recommend the signature Pandan Lychee Martini! Perfectly balanced, the flavours are layered to highlight first the delightful acidity of yuzu, followed by a hint of sweet lychee and ending with the delicate fragrance of pandan. Reflecting the global influences seen in Sake no Hana’s menus, this unique marriage of ingredients has been crafted to create a moment of bliss with each sip, regardless of how ephemeral that moment is.
A more full-bodied choice is the team’s Uluwatu Classic, which offers drama as the Jim Beam bourbon, brem, martini and bitters are infused with balian coffee wood smoke at the table then served over ice.
The food menu at Sake no Hana is divided into sections with bento boxes, small eats, salads, main courses, sushi and sashimi, and signature menus to satisfy all appetites. Exquisitely plated and crafted to delight the taste buds, whatever your choice, you can’t go wrong.
Designing the menus, Sake no Hana’s Head Chef Hideki Hiwatashi has taken into account local palates and subtly adjusted seasonings and flavours to suit Bali’s diners. With his Japanese training, current work in London and international travels, his dishes constantly evolve to reflect the way the natural environment and people’s demands are changing. While the menus are entirely Japanese, there are nods to other cuisines and ingredients throughout.
Dishes that enchanted us include the hamachi namawasabi, or thinly sliced yellowtail sashimi with truffle black pepper ponzu, a dreamy combination of earthy truffle aroma, deep tones of fermented soy sauce and fiery wasabi with melt in the mouth tuna with soft aromas and bittersweet flavours. The marble 5 Australian wagyu rib eye tataki served with sesame dressing is the meaty equivalent and is just as pleasing. The lobster salad boasts tender sous-vide lobster and yuzu sansho dressing over green leaves, while the tempura is light, crispy and utterly luscious.
Popular main courses include char-grilled Alaskan crab with spicy tobiko sauce, Japanese Wagyu sumiyaki beef with garlic ponzu sauce and the utterly divine Chilean sea bass with Champagne yuzu sauce. This meaty white fish has been marinated for three days in saikyo miso before being grilled in a josper oven, then dressed in a very light Champagne miso sauce. Firm, tender and moist, it flakes with a fork and has deep, delicate flavours that subtly play over your taste buds.
Surprisingly for a Japanese restaurant, the desserts are plentiful and exciting. Try the Toro Matcha with its contrasting flavours and textures with its dark cherry, lychee and matcha, or for chocoholics the white chocolate Bamboo with mandarin and sesame mousse are worthy ends to the feast.
All the food can be paired with the extensive choice of sakes and wines. Just ask the sommelier for his advice!
- 80g fresh hamachi yellowtail tuna
- 4g fresh wasabi paste
- 20ml truffle black pepper ponzu dressing
- Edible flowers or micro-cress for garnish
- Cut the tuna into eight thin slices, paying careful attention to ensure that each one is of equal width, ideally around 2mm.
- Arrange the slices on a serving plate.
- Place a small dot of wasabi paste in the centre of each slice.
- Garnish each section with small edible flowers or micro-cress, according to personal preference.
- Gently pour over the dressing when ready to eat.
Truffle Black Pepper Ponzu Dressing
- 1g truffle paste
- ½g freshly ground black pepper
- 8ml soy sauce
- 5ml Mirin
- 5ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk with a fork until evenly mixed. Place in a small pouring jug and set aside.
Chef Hideki’s Star Chef Tips:
2. While this sounds very simple, it is essential, key in fact, to remember to make sure your knife is extremely sharp.
3. The next thing is very fresh fish. Choose a fish that has clear eyes with scales that are sparkling and glittering. If you get the chance to touch the fish, check inside the gills and do not buy it if they look black or brown. Inside the gills will be bright red in a really fresh fish.
4. When presenting the dish, make sure that it is in the middle of the dish and always has a topping of micro herb or sprouts or edible flower. This is the embodiment of shun, which is the moment of perfection in Japanese culture when everything is at its best.
Chef Hideki’s Sake Pairing:
Sake no Hana Bali
Jalan Belimbing Sari, Pecatu, Uluwatu,
Bali 80364, Indonesia