I wanted very much to like this place – the people are nice, they clearly entertain plenty of regulars that seem to treat this place as their round-the-corner eatery, and it’s very conveniently located at the forum shopping mall.
but the food, while adequate, doesn’t nearly satisfy me nearly as much as akashi (which is similar in price) or sushi tei (which is great value).
we had came here, trying our luck and the entertainer app, and the buzzy ambience was what really led us in.
the wait is a little long – I think the kitchen is small and minimally helmed – and they know it. seemingly home cooked, slightly greasy, lotus chips end up on the table after you order, and they’ll tide you over until food comes (except that the oiliness can get a little sickening).
it’s got a large menu for a small place, and well. it’s all sort of only-okay: take for example the sashimi, which could be fresher and more tender, the salmon mentaiko which was slightly overcooked, and a uni truffle chawanmushi that sounds fantastic but falls quite far from the splendour that its ingredients suggest (this was disappointing as the truffle was barely noticeable, the egg was a bit on the firm side, and the tiny cooked uni had lost its unctuous lushness).
I don’t want to disparage the place too much – but expectations were rather high and they fell short of it. if you’re so lucky as to live around the corner, perhaps this could be your sake-drinking round-the-corner (as it appeared to be for quite a few patrons) but if not – even the sushi counter at isetan might do you just as well.
Hana Japanese Restaurant
01-17 Forum The Shopping Mall
583 Orchard Rd
tel +65 6737 5525
$$$: 40-60 per person