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Sake no Hana

Hideki Hiwatashi
Sake No Hana

Sake no Hana

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23 St James's Street

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The Chef


Hideki Hiwatashi

Hideki Hiwatashi was born in Tomakomai, a port city in Hokkaido, Japan. His interest in food developed at an early age and, like all good foodies, was inspired by equal parts curiosity and greed. One memory in particular stands out as the moment he knew he wanted to learn to cook. ‘My father took a big pot and put vegetables, chicken bones and pork bones inside to make ramen stock,' he says. 'He put it on the stove and let it cook for maybe two or three days, and the smells filling the house as it slowly cooked were very nice. I kept asking him, ‘When can I eat? When can I eat?’ – it made me interested in food and want to be a chef.’

With this ambition set in his mind, Hideki’s childhood pursuits often involved food in some way – learning from his mum in the kitchen, fishing in the river and diving for scallops and sea urchins in the sea – but the chef was under no illusions as to what the training process for chefs is like in Japan. ‘I knew that the job is incredibly hard, so I didn’t want to do it straight away,’ he says. ‘I thought I’d go somewhere first, see the world, start slowly, then come back to Hokkaido and learn cooking the traditional Japanese way.‘ He travelled a little across America and Australia before settling in Sydney, working at a sushi shop and fish market.