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Hashida Project Evolution: An affluent tastemaker's bucket list entry

Dylan Amirio
Dylan Amirio

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, March 13, 2018 | 09:39 am
Hashida Project Evolution: An affluent tastemaker's bucket list entry

Culinary adventure: Japanese restaurant Hashida Sushi is open to the public in a shipping container-sized structure during Hashida: Project Evolution in Lot 16 in SCBD, South Jakarta. (JP/Adeline Sunarjo)

A mini exhibition of culinary and couture crafts has descended upon an unlikely section of the SCBD area of Jakarta, showcasing two of the best artists in both the culinary and fashion worlds.

Hashida Project Evolution is a week-long exhibition running from March 10 to 17, held in SCBD’s Lot 16 parking lot. Restaurant-launching company PT Kula Utama Loka Agra (Kula), the organizer, describes it as the first “portacamp” exhibition in Indonesia, geared mainly to the upscale crowd.

One of the guest stars of the exhibition is prominent, award-winning sushi chef Kenjiro Hashida, who runs the premier sushi restaurant Hashida Sushi in Singapore. He previously worked alongside his sushi master father, Tokio Hashida, in their own Hashida Sushi restaurant in Tokyo.

A pop-up version of Hashida Sushi will be available to the public inside a shipping container-sized building on a small corner of Lot 16. Customers will be greeted by Kenjiro Hashida’s own unique sushi creations, presented under the omakase style, where the customer trusts the chef to choose the menu for them, giving the chef full freedom.

The pop-up restaurant will only be able to hold seven people at a time, and comes at a price tag starting from Rp 4 million (US$290) for one omakase session for either lunch or dinner.

Kenjiro HashidaKenjiro Hashida (JP/Adeline Sunarjo)

Kenjiro Hashida describes himself as a new-generation sushi chef, which means he is more willing to borrow food-preparation techniques from other cultures such as Spanish and French, while still retaining the authentic Japanese way of serving.

A true omakase sushi chef from the start, he relishes both the preparation as well as the amount of interaction and knowledge sharing that an omakasesushi chef engages in with their customers.

Like many acclaimed sushi chefs, Hashida was born and raised into the tradition by his sushi master father. For years since the age of 14, he honed the skills that come with being a sushi chef, starting from the basic techniques such as cleaning the equipment, moving on to rice preparation (considered the most important part of sushi) and then to careful knife skills.

From a far: A view of the Hashida: Project Evolution exhibition, with a 'portacamp' concept, in Lot 16, SCBD.From a far: A view of the Hashida: Project Evolution exhibition, with a 'portacamp' concept, in Lot 16, SCBD. (JP/Adeline Sunarjo)

After spending years working under his father at their restaurant in Tokyo, Hashida felt it was time for him to move on and run a restaurant himself. It was the 2011 earthquake that started to motivate him to bridge out abroad due to the lack of customers coming into his father’s Tokyo restaurant.

“I thought one day, I wouldn’t like to spend the rest of my life in my father’s shadow, so I opted to go out of Japan to bring [my sushi] elsewhere,” he said.

After a brief stint making sushi in Shanghai, Hashida Sushi later opened its first, and so far only, outlet in Singapore back in 2013. There are plans to open another Hashida Sushi restaurant in San Francisco in the near future as well.

Since opening in Singapore, he and his restaurant have won numerous awards, such as the 2017 Krug Champagne 1/18 Chef award, the 2016 World Gourmet Summit Best 20 Chefs, the Gourmet & Travel Annual G Awards in 2015 and the RAS Epicurean Star Awards in 2014. 

In style: Singaporean handbag designer Ethan Ko displays his designs.In style: Singaporean handbag designer Ethan Ko displays his designs. (JP/Adeline Sunarjo)

As a complement to the Hashida Sushi pop-up restaurant, the exhibition area at Lot 16 parking lot will also house a small room with an exhibition by Singaporean handbag designer Ethan Koh. Some of Koh’s most acclaimed handbags and designs are displayed and arranged, alongside an opportunity to sit a private showcase with the master crafter himself during the exhibition week.    

Koh’s works mainly showcase crocodile, lizard and snakeskin material, and are primarily clutch-style bags. 

“We are confident that this exhibition will be a great experience for those that love exclusive crafts, whether they be food or fashion, and we are honored to bring all of this to Jakarta firsthand,” Kula director Pratama Yudokusumo said.