Masaaki Sakashita, previously of Ishi and Hashida Sushi, comes to his own at new omakase sushi restaurant Masaaki. Set to launch in December, the addition to lifestyle destination South Beach Avenue offers a different Japanese fine dining experience.
The stage for the 46 year-old’s culinary mastery and ingenuity is a contemporary space conceptualised by sought-after design firm Takenouchi Webb. Departing from the classical discreet design of traditional Japanese fine dining establishments, yet retaining a distinct Oriental elegance, the interiors exude refinement and a relaxed charm. The rich details draw one in: walls draped in a soft pink Gucci wallpaper depicting dancing cranes; room dividers mimicking undulating mountain landscapes; a cascading wave of washi sheets suspended from the high ceiling, emulating clouds. Anchoring the dining room: a heavy wood counter crafted purely from 250 year-old hinoki, and a rustic stone charcoal hearth the forms the heart of the open kitchen.
Here, chef-owner Masaaki Sakashita infuses traditional cooking techniques with his personal ingenuity to deliver omakase menus with a difference. Expect nothing but the finest premium ingredients of the season, each thoughtfully crafted into delicate courses. The flavours are natural and distinct, reflecting the ethos of Japanese culinary principles. Yet, each course – from a seemingly simple bowl of hamaguri soup to a deftly shaped piece of sushi – also features subtle inflections that reflect Masaaki’s spontaneous, intuitive cooking style.