4 out of 5 stars
Tatenokawa Junmai Daiginjo, Nakadori Ki-sho Label
Buta kakuni

In these heydays for sake, you don’t need to venture far to find an izakaya and a Japanese ceramic cup to cradle. Kakure is still worth seeking out, though.

The bar is a wood-dominated room with visual references to the Meiji- and Taisho-era inns of Japan, so it’s no surprise the service is disarmingly friendly and attentive from the get-go.

Sake sommeliers Makoto Iwabuchi and John Chen are in charge of the bottle list. Asking for recommendations is easy. Iwabuchi knocks our request for an iconoclastic sake out of the park with a 2013 bottling of Aramasa Junmai Green Label ($78): it attacks with a citrusy bite in a shot glass-like vessel, but rounded and gentle in a wide- bowled ceramic cup. Glassware matters, and Iwabuchi amazed us with that little taste test.

Kakure claims to bring in specially selected bottles ($78-$438) from rarer breweries across Japan in very limited quantities, so the sake list is ephemeral. Pity we weren’t told about servings by the glass and carafe, as only bottle prices appear on the menu. Also downplayed is the bar’s flexibility: it’s happy to fetch a drink or even pasta from sister restaurant Buona Terra if you’ve a hankering for Italian.

But you should order from Kakure’s own snacks menu, prepared at omakase joint Ki-sho downstairs. Al dente bites of handmade matcha soba with ikura orbs ($15) are a treat, as are the delicate, crispy tempura of Tokyo Shiba prawns ($10). The prices for the seasonally changing snacks are mostly approachable given its Ki-sho connection, but dishes like rare black-throated sea perch ($68) and the full-works omakase ($88) can set you back a bit.

If you want to check out what this sake hubbub’s all about, give Kakure a gander. We recommend an evening visit, watching traffic hurtle by on Scotts Road while going on a sake journey with the effervescent Iwabuchi.

By: Natasha Hong


Venue name: Kakure
Address: Level 2 Chateau TCC
29 Scotts Rd
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 6.30pm-1am
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