Hana is no stranger, especially to Japanese food lovers. Previously, wow-ing us over with its $30 omasake menu, this time the restaurant sets its standards high (literally) with its flying soba and udon series, alongside the other new dishes in its menu.
Located at Forum Shopping Centre, you can always pop by for a meal when you’re in town and are in need of a good Japanese meal fix.
Flying soba and udon? What are these you may ask…these, dear friends, are really ingenious presentations of the usual Japaneae cold noodles, almost like stepping into a trick-eye-museum, or watching a magic show right before my eyes. The noodles were seemingly floating in mid-air, hanging on a pair of levitated chopsticks — but of course, you wouldn’t take long to know how these thingamajig work.
Apart from its fascinating presentation, the cold noodles came with an interesting serving of dipping sauces that are different from the usual soba sauce.
Flying Cha Soba ($16)
Served on stacked zaru, dim sum-like baskets, the dish came with a portion of springy soba, cold tsuyu sauce, and Spam-Cha Soba Maki, garnished with nori and spring onions. A serving of seasoned onsen tamago serves as an additional dipping sauce, which gave the noodle a richer mouth-feel.
To avoid feeling too jelak, try alternating between the two dipping sauces to refresh your taste buds.
The Spam-Cha Soba Maki is made with a layer of cold soba surrounding a bed of rice and a cube of spam meat wrapped tightly in a nori sheet. You may have thought that mixing up two kinds of carbs may be too overwhelming, but the cha soba adds a soft texture to the maki, making it easy to chow down.
Flying Salted Egg Skinny Udon ($18)
Hana gave the dish a localized twist, jumping on the salted egg yolk bandwagon craze. The skinny udon is light and translucent, sort of like the Japanese version of kway teow, which is garnished with curry leaves and chilli padi – very light and suited for the creamy sauce.
The salted egg yolk dipping sauce was extremely creamy and smooth, which allows the skinny udon to be completely doused in the sauce. Leaning towards the slightly sweeter side, the sauce reminded me of authentic salted egg yolk sauce from zi char stalls.
Flying Truffle Somen ($25)
Tuffles and somen is uncommonly heard of, but goes so well. Before we could even sink out teeth into the noodle, an earthy scent have already engulfed our nose. Add in the quail eggs and bonito flakes to the sauce to enjoy a full flavour of the dish. I would highly recommend this dish as we could not stop our chopsticks from reaching out for more.
Chef Special Maki – Salmon Cheese ($23)
The presentation at Hana never fails to impress, chef special maki are served in a see-through drawers with two makis in each level. The flavour and ingredients change from day-to-day, so be prepared for a new surprise whenever you order this dish.
The salmon cheese melts right in your mouth, with the aburi salmon being delightfully supple and soft at the same time. I would have finished all eight makis if there wasn’t anything else on the menu.
3 x 3 Grid Box ($29)
The grid box is an assortment of small bites of truffle chawanmushi, tempura, sashimi, makis, and more. It is great as starters, to whet your appetite for more, while waiting for the comprehensive meal that’s ahead.
Lobster Mayo Taco ($15)
Essentially a lobster mayo sushi encased within a crispy taco outer, the lobster mayo taco is a recreation of a lobster roll. Yet another starter option to be shared amongst two.
Like a lush, healthy terrarium, the matcha-misu looks like it belonged on my work desk along with the cacti we have in the office instead of a dish on a restaurant’s table. We were so reluctant to have it as it looked too pretty to be eaten.
We eventually had to cave in and go ahead with digging into it, which was velvety and creamy and it was to die for, especially for matcha and tiramisu lovers.
Over the top Apple Cider ($25)
Forget monster milkshakes, this over-the-top apple cider is for grown-ups, and we loved it! It was like sipping on an alcoholic slushie, fancied up with sour candies, which made the drinks a tad sweeter when you chew on a gummy while taking sips.
Alcoholic Omakase Dessert ($38)
The alcoholic omakase dessert was like unveiling a trove of treasures! Being a lover of all things alcoholic, this dessert was the best to end off the heavy meal we had. If you’re deciding to have a wile-away the afternoon with your girlfriends, do order this to complete the meal with some sweet indulgence.
We were told that this alcoholic omakase dessert was fresh off the new menu, and put together on the spot when we were there. It contained a 3 x 3 grid filled with drinks, fruits, Thai fusion-styled mango sticky rice presented like sushi, and cakes. In which I thoroughly enjoyed the candy floss margarita.
Overall a very refreshing experience at Hana and definitely a hit with the younger crowd.
Expected damage: $16 – $30