HARU is a modern restaurant with a fresh take on traditional Japanese and Korean dining concepts such as Chazuke, rice bowls and specialty teas. Owned by the siblings behind F&B consultancy firm TwentyNine, it is nestled within the compounds of the historical Old Badminton Hall at 100 Guillemard Road.
HARU prominently features a common staple, rice, and serves it in various interpretations with a distinct Japanese and Korean identity in terms of ingredients and both preparation and cooking methods.
“The idea was to allow enjoyment of the ideology and principles that define Japanese and Korean cuisine – freshness, refinedness and well-being, sans the solemn structure in a comfortable and informal setting. We believe that food should be delicious, unpretentious and above all comforting to both the body and soul.” – Benjamin Yong, Co-founder of HARU
HARU’s menu was entirely conceived by the younger of the two Yong brothers, Benedict. Having graduated from Temasek Polytechnic with a diploma in Culinary and Catering Management, Benedict has worked in the kitchen since the age of 18 under chefs such as Michael Han, owner of restaurant FiftyThree, Singapore, Hiroki Yoshitake of Michelin-starred restaurant SOLA, Paris and also trained under the Singapore National Culinary Team U25 back in 2010. Upon completion of his national service, he helped a friend head the kitchen in a café, Department of Caffeine, along Duxton Road from when it opened its doors till 2014, before starting his career in F&B consultancy.
Hokkaido Scallops Chazuke with Ikura, Tobiko , Yuzu Soy & Ume
Chazuke or ochazuke is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea, dashi, or hot water over cooked rice. In this dish, generous serving of Hokkaido scallops topped with Ikura and Tobiko. Eat it on its own and half way, you could pour the hot soup over the rice for a different experience.
Anago and Ume
Saltwater eel with salted plum sauce. spring onion salsa, watermelon radish, hanjuku egg, menma, fermented tomatoes, crispies, and nori.
Salmon Tartare “Bossam”
Yuzu-soy salmon tartare soy-cured egg yolk puree, Japanese cucumber, lime, furikake on perilla leaves.
Shredded kale, Perilla, Furikake, Charred scallion and sesame dressing, red onions and crispies. This kale salad is refreshing, and a great starter.
Steamed buns with pulled pork, yuzu kosho mayo, tobiko, spring onions and nori. The steamed buns get cold easily so we suggest to take your pictures quickly and dive right in before the buns get cold. Delicious pulled pork goes well with the steamed buns.
Matcha Milk Tea and Salted Plum Tea Fizz
WHY “HARU” ?
The choice of the name was significant – HARU is a word found in both the Japanese and Korean language. HARU in Japanese means “Spring” and in Korean, “Day”. Owner/Partner Benedict focuses on bringing together classic Japanese and Korean flavors in a modern setting with ingredients such as sakura shrimps and bamboo shoots that are reminiscent of the spring season. “We want to feature ingredients in a way that best represents them, and bring comfort and warmth to the hearts of our guests with the meticulous thoughts behind our food.”
How did it all started?
Benedict and Benjamin jointly manage F&B consultancy firm TwentyNine since 2014 and have been involved in some of the unique F&B cafes and restaurants in the city, including Clinton Street Baking Singapore and MAY MAY.
“We were mostly conceptualizing and managing different restaurants for our clients but we were always looking to wholly own and manage our own brand someday. It seemed like an opportune time when we chanced upon the space for HARU. Literally HARU signifies a new dawn or beginning very much for the 2 of us, both personally as new business owners and professionally as it raises our company profile and presence.”
Open from 12pm to 3pm for lunch and 6pm to 10pm for dinner, Tuesdays to Saturdays, HARU’s mostly white and light-wood stylish Japanese minimalistic interiors provide two distinctly contrasting dining experiences. During the day, one can easily immerse in this casual and laid-back enclave that is HARU and enjoy the meticulously crafted bowls at affordable prices, ranging from $10 to $12.
LUNCH SELECTIONS: JAP-KOREAN RICE BOWLS
Their lunch menu showcases an interesting selection of staples such as HARU’s house blend of multigrain rice containing nutritious superfoods like buckwheat and millet, classic Japanese pearl rice or chilled soba tossed in a yuzu-soy dressing. Pair these with any one of their many unique combinations of Japanese/Korean toppings. Amongst these are the Bulgogi ribeye with soy-sesame dressed baby corn and a soft-centered egg, the Salmon with miso-sake dressing that comes with tomato & cucumber and bamboo shoots salad or a healthier option such as the Soy-marinated Tofu with kale, herbed mushrooms and roasted garlic guacamole.
DINNER SELECTIONS: CHAZUKE
As night beckons, HARU takes on a slightly different persona and the dining experience becomes more sophisticated with its own interpretation of traditional Chazuke. Most mention-worthy would be its Lobster Chazuke, which uses air-flown Bamboo Lobster known for its rich flavor and meaty texture. The Lobster Chazuke, lightly poached and served with kombu, tobiko, menma, spring onions and nori, is accompanied with a Korean tea-soup made with bonito, kelp and infused with local premium tea blender Tea Bone Zen Mind’s Charcoal Oolong. With a choice of either HARU’s multi-grain rice or Japanese pearl rice, and with a complementary side salad of the day, this umami set is priced at a wallet-friendly $19. Non-seafood eaters can choose the Mangalica Pork Chashu, which is priced at an even more affordable $17. The Mangalica is Hungarian pork known for its superiority in flavor and succulence and considered by connoisseurs as the Kobe equivalent of pork.
100 Guillemard Road #01-06 Singapore 399718
Opening Hours: 12pm to 3pm / 6pm to 10pm Tues – Sat
9am to 6pm Sun (All-Day Brunch)
Seating Capacity: 20