With a loyal and ever-expanding following of those who work and lunch in the CBD, husband and wife team Masahiro Horie (ex-Kuni’s) and Ji-ah decided their original location, the tiny Degraves Street hole in the wall, would no longer suffice. There are only so many Bento boxes that can fill a 20-seat space – they needed more room. The result is a large warehouse-style space with chocolate floorboards, old rusting window frames, and wonderfully high, black ceilings.
The space feels cozy and warm, an escape from the hustle of the city outside. The sleek yet sophisticated fit-out compares itself to some of Melbourne’s top restaurants, while the menu offers casual, traditional Japanese food.
Veritable Japanese flavors hum around the room, wafting from the steaming, ornate, ceramic pots that are placed in front of eagerly awaiting diners. A slice cut out of the back wall reveals a calm and efficient kitchen, working with mechanical precision.
Hako boasts an impressive Sake list, and even uses the ornamental aesthetic of the Sake bottle to line the windows. The Omakase (chef's choice) menu (offered only for dinner) is where the real authentic and exciting Japanese food experience is on offer. Head chef, Masahiro Horie’s signature dish, the ebi tempura, is a must.