Legendary Japanese restaurant Sake No Hana comes to Bali courtesy of our friends at the Hakkasan group. Stephanie Mee joins the queue.
The Japanese word shun has no English equivalent, but it refers to the exact moment when an ingredient is at its peak. Take for example asparagus in the summer when it bursts with flavour or tuna caught in the winter when the flesh is marbled with fat. Shun is so deeply ingrained in Japanese culture that chefs bow to it, markets revolve around it and many restaurants change everything down to the tableware with the seasons. Here in Bali an extraordinary new restaurant is celebrating shun in all its glory.
Perched high on a limestone cliff overlooking some of the best surf breaks on the planet, Sake no Hana is Bali’s newest Japanese dining experience brought to us by the globally renowned Hakkasan Group. This dynamic hospitality group is responsible for world-class dining and nightlife venues across the globe including the over-the-top OMNIA nightclub in Las Vegas and namesake Hakkasan Michelin-starred Chinese restaurants.
Sake no Hana and the adjoining OMNIA Dayclub are the Hakkasan Group’s first foray in Southeast Asia, and they are already upping the ante on the luxury dayclub experience. Situated on a 100-metre plateau on the eastern edge of Alila Villas Uluwatu, this luxury leisure venue boasts jaw-dropping views you won’t find anywhere else on the island, sublime sushi and modern Japanese eats and a drink list to rival even the swankiest of nightclubs.
Step into Sake no Hana and you can tell from first glance that this is no ordinary eatery. Framed by nature, the stunning open-air space features wooden latticework by Singapore-based eco-architectural firm WOHA. Working in collaboration with New York firm Rockwell Group, they designed the dining room to merge seamlessly with the stepped lounges of OMNIA Dayclub below. This unique layout mimics Bali’s terraced rice paddies and was perfectly planned to maximise the panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.
The restaurant itself originated in London where it quickly became a darling of the dining scene for the culinary team’s meticulous attention to detail and focus on the perfection of ingredients – everything plucked, picked, harvested and served just at the right time. Guests of Sake no Hana in Bali can expect this same devotion to shun with contemporary menus inspired by nature and the changing seasons.
Indulgences at Sake no Hana include a selection of premium seafood, meats and vegetables subtly seasoned and cooked to smoky perfection over a charcoal grill, toban style meals cooked in a ceramic skillet and served at the table to share, and kamameshi rice pot dishes, as well as obscenely fresh sushi and sashimi prepared to order at the sushi bar. Complementing the culinary delights are premium sakes, handcrafted cocktails and fine wines from around the world.
Spread out below the restaurant is OMNIA Dayclub with its glittering infinity pool overlooking the ocean, terrazzo cabanas with private plunge pools, a swim-up bar, and an array of VIP areas where guests can enjoy bespoke service. After dark, the exclusive Cliff Bar makes for the ultimate insider experience with entrance limited to Sake no Hana diners and the lucky few who make the guest list.
If the concept of shun can be extended beyond food, then Sake no Hana and OMNIA Dayclub have it in spades. From the understated elegance of the design to the unparalleled views, exquisite cuisine and next-level service, the commitment to perfection here is palpable, and that is very shun indeed.