And each floor at HONCHO provides a different and delectable experience.
The quiet nightlife scene has certainly not stopped local turntablist DJ KoFlow (also known as Wayne Liu) from embarking on an ambitious project: opening a three-storey, multi-concept space at Ann Siang Hill.
HONCHO, located within a shophouse, offers a vastly different experience depending on which floor you choose to visit.
The place takes its name and ethos from Japanese term “hanchō”, which means “squad leader”, reflecting its aspiration to be the “head honcho” among creatives. It will showcase and collaborate with Singaporeans from across the creative industries, including mixologists, street artists, graphic designers, and content creators.
“I view it as an inclusive destination with a bit for everybody. Whether you’re a creative, into food and drinks, or into design, art and performances, or really just to have a wonderful drink, this is the space for you,” says the head honcho himself.
Hungry? Then the modern izakaya housed on the first floor is your best bet. Look forward to creative plates of Sakura Tomatofu ($14), where mascarpone tofu comes topped with juicy tomato slices and yuzu vinaigrette; or tamago mayo on toast ($14), brightened with briny orbs of ikura. The wagyu brioche toast ($38) makes for a decadent bite: the juicy slab is first layered with sautéed mushrooms and minced garlic, sandwiched between fluffy bread, and finally, finished off with Oscietra caviar.
Mains of Saikyo miso cranberry cod ($36) features a flaky fillet, its natural sweetness enhanced with cranberry sauce and pomegranate seeds; while the signature lamb racks ($34) are left to marinate in koji for over 36 hours to yield a delightfully tender result.
Wash it all down with a tipple or two from the drinks counter. Tanglin Spark ($22) is a refreshing, herbaceous number of Tanglin Singapore Gin with rosemary and lime; or try the mango kaffir sour ($25), curated by award-winning Vijay Mudaliar of Native fame. Rum gets enhanced with tropical notes from mango, kaffir lime leaves, yuzu, and grated nutmeg.
The party doesn’t need to stop when the dinner ends.
Venture down to the basement (Social@HONCHO) to discover a sleek, members-only drinking den that fosters networking (it’s described as “a cocoon for members to find solace, inspiration and camaraderie”); or head up to the rooftop for a scenic hangout spot.
Alfresco bar, Jō, offers a worm’s eye view of the buzzing neighbourhood. Snack on mod-Japanese bar bites of edamame tossed in spicy miso ($10) and truffled-scented sea bream ($28) as you quaff down a cold pint.
HONCHO is a marriage of culture, food and drinks in one space, showcasing imaginative and surprising designs, sensitively-curated music, and fresh, modern takes on traditional flavours.
12 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069692