As the light fades, sending shards of reflections bouncing off Omnia’s iconic cube bar, the elegant Japanese restaurant Sake no Hana takes on an evening magic of its own.
By day the contemporary design floods the space with sunlight through the slatted wood exterior. Diners enjoy a bird’s eye view of the iconic clifftop club below while feasting on jewel-like fresh bento boxes and glistening sashimi.
Omnia is in full swing during the day and Sake no Hana is the perfect spot to rise above it all while enjoying some of the island’s most creative Japanese cuisine.
At night, however, the focus shifts to the interiors and a menu filled with contemporary classics and flavours that dance to their own fascinating beat.
The DNA of Sake no Hana
The DNA of Sake no Hana traces its roots back to the original restaurant in Mayfair, London. Opening with a menu created by Executive Chef Hideki Hiwatashi, Sake no Hana Bali is now in the hands of the innovative Chef Hendry, who puts his own spin on this captivating menu, while staying true to its genealogy.
Born in West Java, Chef Hendry took off at an early age to start his career in Dubai. After three years honing his culinary skills in the French fashion at the iconic hotel Burj Al Arab, he was drawn to the demanding techniques of Japanese cuisine at Zuma, firstly in Dubai and later in Istanbul. His last tenure in Bali was as in-house Japanese master chef at The Mulia Hotel, before he headed back to Dubai to take on another challenge at The Experience by Reif Othman, renowned for their French/Japanese fusion menus.
“Coming home to Indonesia is a big step. There were no opportunities like this in my younger days so chefs had to travel overseas to gain the experience we needed to further our careers and learn from the best,” explains Chef Hendry.
Turning up the volume on flavour
While staying true to the philosophy of Sake no Hana’s distinctive Japanese dishes, Chef Hendry brings a fresh perspective and world of personality to this beautifully crafted menu.
“ In my world, I like to turn up the volume, be a little braver. It’s like turning up the bass and the treble, so the balance is still there but the flavours are bigger, bolder,” he says.
There is nothing shy about the menu. Although Japanese cuisine is renowned for its delicacy, Hendy skilfully plays off a classical palette with premium ingredients; the umami is there in the smoky depths, a back note that raises the Sake no Hana experience to new heights.
The real complexity and brilliance of this menu comes to life in the degustation menus that are paired perfectly with a symphony of cocktails, beautiful sakes and a selection of wines that are chosen to enhance the flavours in each dish by the talented team of mixologists and sommeliers.
The tasting menus
The degustation menus follow two very Japanese traditions; the Omakase set, short for “omakase shimasu“, which means roughly, “I trust you chef,” is the more modern of the two tasting menus. While the Kaisekimenu refers to a more classic, premium menu, Japan’s partner to haute-cuisine.
An a la carte menu is offered for those who want to craft their own experience, however the ebb and flow of the degustation menus, the build up of flavours and textures, the subtle notes that weave through each dish, course by course, is highly recommended.
Both the cocktail menu and the food are never afraid to introduce local or complimentary flavours that aren’t on the classical Japanese spectrum. Salmon pops with the addition of jalapeno, yuzu plays off creamy wagyu, infused oils and washes add subtle colour and flavour. It’s astonishing in its detail.
The cocktails similarly play with east and west, bridging the gastronomic map. Sake based cocktails are delicate and delicious with local brem added to some, Japanese whisky in others. Flavours like wasabi, sesame, apple, ginger and citrus are expertly mixed in cocktails that work brilliantly with the dishes.
Sake and Sounds
On Sunday nights, Sake and Sounds is the perfect platform to try some of these cocktails in the gallery space below the restaurant. Softly lit, the music takes on a very different tone to the club beats that Omnia dances to.
It’s impossible to ignore the architecture, which plays an integral role in the experience at Sake no Hana. Housed in an open cage, fashioned from wood and lined with booths, the sushi kitchen and bar are central to the experience, while custom lighting sets the mood.
Day and Night
Sake no Hana by day is bright, beautiful and lively. By night it glows from within, creating a destination dining experience that is well worth the trip. Desserts play the final note at dinner, and there are some spectacular choices. One of my favourites is served on a bed of black sesame soil, with crunchy pearls of white chocolate, kumquat, and stuffed with white chocolate mouse – the signature Bamboo with white chocolate and sesame mouse dessert is just one of the unforgettable desserts on the menu
An evening at Sake no Hana is an investment, however considering the premium ingredients, the skill of this team and the unique experience it offers – it is world class and great value. Dive into the full experience and give yourself over to the chef to really appreciate the full experience.
For bookings contact: http://sakenohana.com/bali/reservations/