I was casually looking for a good Japanese restaurant serving high quality sashimi and Japanese dishes when Hana restaurant came to me in the form of a Facebook ad. Looking up reviews of Hana, I was pleasantly surprised that Hana came highly recommended so I quickly made a booking with them for dinner.
Nestled in a quiet corner of Forum Shopping Mall, it is very easy to miss out on Hana with its discreet signboard and entrance. The view of the restaurant is partially blocked by a pillar so I actually walked past it and missed the entrance twice.
I was half expecting a traditional looking Japanese restaurant but was surprised by the modern contemporary décor of the restaurant itself. The overall vibe was a refreshing casual chic which reminded me of a hipster café more than a Japanese restaurant. Adorned with huge chalkboards on both side of the walls, the menu for their popular Omakase meals and flagship dishes are written on the boards for all to see.
Other than the very popular and affordable Omakase set priced at less than SGD 50, Hana has quite an extensive menu with some extremely interesting dishes which are not found elsewhere
First up is the sashimi platter which came in very cute sake grid boxes. There is 2 options for the sashimi platter, the regular for SGD 48 and premium at SGD 80. There are 5 types of fish for the regular platter and good for sharing for 3 pax as there is 3 slices per type. The sashimi slices are standard in width and not the very thick kind but the fishes are extremely fresh and sweet.
We had side orders of ika and hotate sashimi which also came in these cute sake boxes. The scallops were quite big in size and sliced into half t make 4 pieces which the squid is nicely sliced and scored. Just like the sashimi platter, the quality of the seafood was very high and you can taste the natural sweetness of the seafood.
Ever since trying chu toro in Japan, I fell in love with the melt in your mouth sensation and flavour but have never gotten to relive that heavenly flavour here in Singapore. I have been to very expensive sushi restaurants but the chu toro was disappointing. I was really elated that Hana managed to satisfy my taste buds as their chu toro had the perfect marbling to give the melt in the mouth texture. Although pricey, every bite was totally worth it.
I started out as a non fan of uni ( sea urchins) due to the metallic taste until I tasted the ones from Tokyo’s Tsukiji market which were creamy and milky. Now I am a die hard fan of the precious yellow creamy mash. I hesitate to order uni from normal Japanese restaurants as most of those carry the ones with that metallic taste or have ones that are not extremely fresh. As the the rest of the sashimi was wonderful, I decided to give their uni a try and boy am I glad.
The uni was extremely fresh and had absolutely no metallic taste or whatever. The texture was creamy and the uni melted in your mouth with a buttery and umami flavour. Priced at SGD 35 for 1 serving of uni at this standard, I could do endless re-orders of the uni.
By now, I was on a high as all of the sashimi items were checking the right boxes for me so when the jumbo oysters were served, I was confident they were fabulous and indeed they did not disappoint. The oysters were huge and fat with meat and was light and savoury with ponzu sauce.
The ikura sushi was filled to brim with fresh juicy ikura and the seaweed was fresh and cripsy with the right amount of sushi rice.
We finally moved on to cooked food and this is one sushi that I highly recommend. The foie gras sushi came with a generous slab of foie gras which was grilled and glazed with brown sauce. The foie gras was perfectly seared with a tender and melt in your mouth center and a fragrant crispy surface. The sauce give it subtle soy flavour which did not take away the original flavour of the foie gras.
I can’t really remember which maki we ordered but it came topped with lots of ebiko roe. I’m suspecting it is the Hana maki which is nicely rolled with fresh and crunchy cucumbers and mayonnaise and melted cheese.
I was surprised to see this on the menu as it sounded more mexican than Japanese. I liked the innovation of using taco shells instead of the usual seaweed which gave the entire piece a good crunch texture. As the taco breaks when you bite into it, it does not hold onto the rice and lobster salad well which could make eating a little messy. The taste of the lobster salad however is perfect with huge chunks of lobsters and a nice mix of mayonnaise and ebiko.
Lastly, I had to order this just for the photos. I remember seeing this all over social media last year and was reminding myself to try it when I get a chance. The funny thing was that I visited Hana without noticing that they are the ones with this flying soba and ramen which is highly popular with customers. I ordered the uni and ikura version with plum flavoured noodles which were very subtle in flavours. Personally, other than the pretty way it was presented and the fresh uni and ikura, the noodles did not really wow me.
As I was celebrating my birthday, they served me a complimentary birthday dessert which was a small cup of their matcha misu which is a green tea version of tiramisu as well as a small slice of their cheesecake shaped like a block of cheese. Both desserts were really nice with creamy texture and not overly sweet flavours. They have some pretty good desserts in the menu as well as picturesque milk shakes but I was too full to order more.
Overall, the service at Hana was attentive and prompt and they have some of the best sashimi in Singapore which has made them one of my favourite restaurants immediately. As I am writing this review, I have already visited them a 2nd time and tried their Omakase which is equally good. I would highly recommend anyone looking for quality Japanese food to visit Hana.
Address: 583 Orchard Road, Forum The Shopping Mall, #01-17, 238884
Operating hours: 12 pm to 2 pm and 6pm to 9 pm