The Japanese take their omotenashi, aka hospitality, seriously and it’s a concept that Kakure takes to heart as a quintessential cocktail bar above the restaurant Ki-Sho in Scotts Road. The colonial black-and-white bungalow with its away-from-it-all ambience is a fitting stage for Kazuhiro Chii, who spent the last 10 years shaking and stirring cocktails at Waku Ghin and now extends that same savour faire in Kakure.
Currently in soft-opening stage, this boutique bar (which also serves a Japanese menu curated by the same chefs from Ki-Sho) is not loud and buzzy but a place for contemplation and quiet conversation where Chii-san is both bartender and confidante. He takes his cue from similar bars in Tokyo – intimate hideaways where discretion is key and the drinks made to perfection.
The Yokohama native worked for 10 years in Chrysler Ocean Bar in his hometown – a historic circa 1950s establishment – and was also at the Hotel Okura Orchid Bar in Tokyo before coming to Singapore to manage Bar 84 at the now-defunct Gallery Hotel, one of the first Japanese bars in town. He was part of the opening team at Waku Ghin in 2011, where he was tasked to create its bar programme from scratch.
He’s now doing the same at Kakure, where the devil is in the details, from the choice of glassware to cocktail-shaking techniques and even the shape of the ice in your drink.
There is a wide range of sake, wine and beer but the show starts when you order a cocktail – be it an old-fashioned Manhattan or Martini, or an original creation with names like Black Storm Highball with black whisky, soda and black pepper, or a Yamaoroshi with wasabi gin, wasabi and cacao liqueur.
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Menu-wise, there’s a comprehensive bar menu featuring snacks, small and large bites from sashimi to truffle chawanmushi and beef curry rice.
A full renovation is slated for end- September or early October, but until then, you can savour a taste of Chii-san’s omotenashi and get into a Tokyo state of mind while you’re at it.
Kakure, 29 Scotts Road, Level 2.
Open Mon to Sat for two seatings from 5pm to 8pm, and 8.15pm to 10.30pm.
For reservations, WhatsApp 90616109. Limited seats only.
This article was originally published in The Business Times.
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