Step inside this hidden sake bar on Scotts Road

For sake's sake

Step inside this hidden sake bar on Scotts Road
This tiny bar boasts over 50 labels of sake sourced directly from producers in Japan

Kakure, which draws its design cues from Meiji- and Taisho-era Japan, is a quiet sanctuary sitting on the second floor of a colonial bungalow sited on Scotts Road. Come evening, the bar plays host to two kinds of guests: those that head straight into the bar, and those who adjourn there for drinks after dinner at Ki-sho, the Japanese fine dining restaurant occupying the ground floor of the historic building. 

For a bar that sits 16 people, it's surprising that Kakure has two kikisake-shi, or certified sake sommeliers, presiding over the space. But the intimate space harbours over 50 different labels of sake — most of which will hardly be familiar as they pride themselves on sourcing boutique sakes directly from producers in Japan. Sake noobs will do best to submit themselves to the care of sake sommelier Makoto Iwabuchi, whose encyclopedic knowledge comes into play as he pulls out bottle after bottle of sake, each more exceptional than its predecessor. Call for the Masuizumi Daiginjo Kotobuki, an exceptional sake from Toyama that's crisp, silky, and shines with notes of Japanese melon and white flowers. 

Bar bites here are far from your typical fried and salty fare. Beautifully braised Kurobuta pork belly is only trumped by soba noodles topped with Hokkaido ikura, spring onions, and a touch of freshly-grated wasabi. The best way to experience what the bar has to offer is to opt for the omakase course, which starts from $88, and ask for Iwabuchi to match each course with what else but sake. 

Kakure. Chateau TCC on 29 Scotts Road, Level 2. Tel: 6733 5251

Text: Denise Kok

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