Head Chef Nathan Lastevec has moved from sister restaurant LONgTIME to head up hôntô with Kogi Ohori from Tokyo.
Entry to the restaurant is through a small black door and down a black corridor that leads to a dimly lit space with walls of charred timber. There are two large, sprawling tables and stool seating at the open kitchen bar. The service is quick, friendly and informative.
The menu is Japanese-inspired, modern and designed to share. The hôntô drumsticks are savoury ice-cream cones made with seaweed and filled with avocado mousse and raw tuna – small but very tasty. With a shredded pastry wrapping, pork and vegetable siu mai dumplings look like little shredded wheat parcels in a savoury ramen broth – very more-ish. Delivering a wonderful blend of textures and flavours, chunks of lightly seared tuna are laid on top of shredded fennel and daikon, drizzled with a fragrant ponzu sauce and topped off with shredded nori.
PSST! hôntô accepts bookings up to 6.30pm. If dining later, you may have to enjoy drinks at the small bar while waiting for a table.