There were always plans for local music OG KoFlow (aka Wayne Liu) to venture into the F&B scene. But a year’s stint in China and other music-related work commitments dampened that resolve. And like what happened to many of KoFlow’s contemporaries, it took a worldwide pandemic to halt travel and live music-playing to reassess his situation.
Casting his lot in with asset management company Threephoco, they created Honcho, a crossroad of food, drinks, music and the arts. Comprising three storeys of a shophouse are Honcho’s three main areas—a rooftop bar, a restaurant and a VIP room. This is a project that’s near KoFlow’s heart: supporting the local scene.
Collaborating with local personalities like Vijay Mudaliar of the award-winning bar Native, Honcho produces cocktails like the Mango Kaffir Sour (SGD25), a rum-based drink that’s buffeted by kaffir lime leaves. There is Off Day Beer Company, which occupies the Honcho’s craft beer offering; house-pour gin comes courtesy of Tanglin Gin. The drinks are captained by Noreen Dunzo, Honcho’s head bartender, and the food is helmed by chef Terence Ong.
Our dinner tasting started with the Sakura Tomatofu (SGD14)—a home-cured Sakura mascarpone tofu that’s drizzled in yuzu vinaigrette and topped with Japanese Amela tomato slices. This was followed by thin slices of raw Japanese sea bream. Truffle oil, salmon roe and cured sea kelp rounded up the Truffle Tai Carpaccio (SGD28).
The mains include Koji Lamb Rack (SGD34), which was a surprise and quickly became our favourite as we didn’t expect anything special from a lamb dish. Still, colour us shamed by the assumption. Wet-aged lamb rack is marinated in koji yeast for 36 hours. That piece of meat is chargrilled and crusted with spicy cod roe. The crisp exterior complements the tender flesh that brings an umami flavour to the palate.
Upstairs at the rooftop bar, music blares from the speakers; the place was packed (and socially compliant). It was a welcome sight. A night that shows no signs of ebbing. This was the scene on a Thursday evening after two years of the pandemic. When the nightlife scene finally returns, KoFlow’s Honcho will be here to lead the way.
Honcho is at 12 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069692. They are closed on Sundays.