The Lo & Behold Group’s first Japanese establishment is a treat for the senses. Even at night, the space looks washed in natural light streaming in from its cloud-like washi paper-dressed skylight – like painting in the skies. It casts a warm glow on the velvety smooth yellow cedar wood counter where the magic happens.
2022 sees new beginnings with new head chef Takeshi Araki at the helm. The poised chef's resume boasts four years at the three Michelin–starred Tokyo restaurant, Nihonryori RyuGin, while his sous chef Noburu Shimohigashi comes most recently from Singapore’s very own two-Michelin-starred Odette. Welding modern cooking techniques with an obsession with fresh produce to create the perfect dining experience, you know you're in good company.
Take the Monaka for instance – a trend that quite arguably started from Esora. The signature amuse-bouche showcases velvety Maison Mitteault foie gras torchon with fig in two ways – freshly sliced and a silky jam – and finished with sherry vinegar gel sandwiched between a light crisp wafer. An emphatic play on textures, temperatures and flavours to tease for what's to come.
Another formidable dish – also happens to be our favourite – that harps the summer tune is the grilled silver beltfish (tachiuo). Delicately cured in salt before coating the skin with a crackling thin layer of rice puff flour, the toothy fish is then bincho-grilled before finishing with soy sauce spray, green yuzu juice and zest. As you chew, the oily juices of the fish and the faint rice notes are complemented by the zucchini sauteed with shio kombu. Pure bliss if you may.
The Esora experience is without a doubt modern and elegant yet deceptive in its simplicity. If God is in the details, then we’ve found a slice of culinary heaven here on earth.