The trend for open-fire cooking has been making waves across the capital for some time now, but HUMO has branded its own unique stamp on the concept with a dining experience that extends far beyond the food.
We’re seated at the counter opposite its four-metre-long grill, while executive chef Miller Prada and his team tango around the roaring fire as they artfully char, smoke and cinder various items on the open grate. There is no gas or electricity here – just glowing hot coals, burning wood and plumes of smoke, all of which are utilised to achieve varying degrees of smoky flavour.
The a la carte menu is separated into four distinct sections – ignite, smoke, flame and embers - or you can do what we did and let the chefs take the lead with a six-course taster. Each dish is considered, nuanced and totally unique, from seabream with balsamic vinegar and a tomato and sake granita, to buckwheat-crusted aubergine. Our favourite was a dainty dish of sweet lobster with burnt courgette and sweet apple. Even dessert, a fruity twist on a crème brulee with underlying notes of passionfruit, somehow came together. We also like that the menu sprinkles vegetable dishes amongst fish and seafood, as if to prove that cooking over fire isn’t purely for carnivores.
If you get the chance to enjoy the wine flight, do take it. Our wonderful sommelier paired an intuitive selection of sake and wines with every course, although he’s also on hand to offer knowledgeable recommendations if you’d rather select a bottle instead. The wine list is smartly arranged by variety (Grenache, Sauvignon Riesling and the like) rather than region, to encourage diners to try something new.
That just about sums up HUMO actually, the dicovery of something totally new and unexpected. As far as dining experiences go, this one set our hearts on fire.