It’s been close to a year and a half since we last visited HAKU, soon after it opened in February 2018. We recently visited again, and it was really cool to see how the restaurant has evolved since its early days.
HAKU is a collaboration between 3-Michelin starred Japanese chef Hideaki Matsuo (chef of Kashiwaya in Osaka) and Argentina-born Chef Agustin Balbi, who most recently came from Ocean in Repulse Bay in Hong Kong, but previously worked at various Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan and the US.
Chef Agustin Balbi is from Argentina but his roots are Italian and Spain. His childhood food memories lean towards Spanish food because his Spanish grandmother raised him while he was young. He has also embraced Japanese culture. He spent five years living and working in Japan (at fine establishments like Nihonryori Ryugin!). He speaks fluent Japanese and is married to a Japanese woman.
Furthermore, HAKU sources top notch Japanese ingredients from some of the most exclusive vendors in Japan, thanks to Chef Hideaki Matsuo’s special connections in Japan. Chef Agustin’s takes these impeccable ingredients and adds his own creative and internationally-influenced twist to the ingredients.
What results is a brilliant series of dishes that are the creative blend of Japanese ingredients (and techniques) with Spanish flavors, ingredients, and cooking methods.…