Saturday, June 15, 2013

Han Restaurant - SiBon Reincarnated!

A couple of years ago, as part of my wife's birthday celebrations, we checked into Amara Sanctuary Hotel at Sentosa. While there, we chanced upon a small cosy restaurant nested in the oldest chapel on the island called Si Bon. It was a very unique dining experience as the restaurant offered exceptionally high quality deep-fried skewered Japanese cuisine called Kushikatsu. Besides the fact that it serves great food, the 'atas-ness' of this place is that it only opens when there are reservations made, and reservations had to be made minimally the day before. We felt in love with that place and subsequently visited the place two other times. It was when we were planning for the fourth visit when we realized, to our sadness, that the restaurant had closed. I tried to search online on some of the food sites to see if they had opened up somewhere else but the initial searches proved futile. It was only almost a year later, while searching for a dinner place to celebrate our 15th 'Pak Tor' anniversary, that out of randomness, I decided to Google for Kushikatsu Singapore, and the results hit this restaurant called Han, reading deeper and I realized its the same chef that helmed Si Bon. I booked the restaurant immediately the next day but had to keep my excitement under wraps for the whole week in order to surprise my wife, but it turns out to be worth it! The look on her face when she saw the poster of the Chef at the entrance was priceless!

With a much larger operating space, the small cosy environment that was the highlight of Si Bon was pretty much gone. Though they had tried to recreate the same atmosphere by segregating the dining area, it doesn't help much when you have a birthday party at the main dining area next door. With a larger space though, they were able to create a dedicated Sashimi counter and as such, able to expand their dining menu to include a Sashimi or Sushi and Kushikatsu set. As wifey is pregnant can can't take raw food, she chose the 10 sticks Kushikatsu Omakase Course, while I choose the Sashimi and Kushikatsu course.

The famous stove and hood from Si Bon, reincarnated at Han! (See Below)

This was previously taken at Si Bon at Amara Sanctuary Hotel, I would think it's the exact same hood

Getting excited to savour the delicious Kushikatsu again!


The Sashimi that comes with the Sashimi and Kushikatsu, served with freshly ground wasabi.

The table with the dipping sauce, served with  a side of vegetables.

Chef getting to work

Angel prawn

Shitake mushroom

The highlight of the meal - Ohmi Beef 
First bite to reveal the tender beef inside.

Cherry tomato with tomato paste

Oyster mushroom with Parma ham


Desert - Black sesame ice cream

Conclusion: Overall, the standard did not drop and the Kushikatsu came out very fresh and not oily. However, the service became a bit less personalized - previously at Si Bon, the Chef would be one personally introducing each and every stick, and he will wait for you to finish each stick before proceeding to fry the next. At Han, it was his assistant who was serving us the sticks, and the Chef was frying the next dish almost immediately after the current stick was served. Having said that, this comment was made because we had the previous experience where the service standard was set very high, the service is still good by any other standards. It was a very good experience and we are already planning for the next trip there.

HAN Restaurant
331 North Bridge Road
#01-04 Odeon Towers
Tel: +65 6336 2466