404's harmonious 'subtle sense of discord'
A restaurant named 404 aroused my curiosity recently.
As the name suggests, 404 is an HTTP-status-error code alerting you to the fact that the website page you are trying to reach can’t be found on their server. Similarly, the 404 restaurant is mysteriously hard to find.
Located on Wulumuqi Road S., the restaurant’s entrance is easy to miss as the door is placed on the side instead of the street front. There are no obvious signs outside the venue thus, representing a hidden spot as the name 404 suggests.
The restaurant manager revealed 404 has a unique way of understanding our daily life and is trying to create a “subtle sense of discord” so as to make people re-examine their lifestyles and the reality they live in. It appreciates individuals with independent thoughts and tries to provide opportunities and uncertainty for rethinking.
As a newly opened nighttime restaurant under the OHA group, 404 provide yakitori and cocktails with fusion flavors. But it is not a typical Japanese yakitori spot.
The yakotori recipes, developed by group chef Blake Thornley, blend different regional flavors that go along with their house-made 15-choice highballs.
With an open kitchen and bar that take center stage, the dimly-lit restaurant has a vibe that make you feel part of a secret community. It also provides a cool ambience to enjoy a delicious dinner.
The menu looks interesting and attractive. I picked some grilled skewers and snacks to start. The skewers are done nicely without over seasoning but what I liked most were the creative vegetable snacks, such as the seaweed vine tomato and shaved radish and peer. The unique seasonings elevate the overall simple plates and show off the chef’s understanding of the ingredients.
While other restaurants under the OHA group are keen to provide natural wines, here at 404, they encourage customers to enjoy their well-made highballs. While their highball may appear simple, each one is made with a fastidious attention to detail, Zen-like focus and high-quality ingredients, such as the clarified fruit juices. The perfectly shaped ice cube melts slowly so it does not affect the taste before you finish a glass.
404 is not just a place with delicious food but a restaurant that provides an unusual experience.
Opening hours: 5pm-1am
Address: 122 Wulumuqi Rd S.
Average price: 180 yuan (US$27.36)