Last Updated: July 28, 2015
New kid on the block Hanamidori has just opened, and is now part of the cluster of Japanese restaurants located at level four of Plaza Singapura.
Hanamidori specialises in hotpot, but what sets it apart from other similar joints is its mostly chicken menu. Originating from Hakata in Kyushu, Japan, this Mizutaki (a type of hotpot) consists of chicken cooked in soup, with vegetables and rice added after for a wholesome and filling meal.
Hanamidori’s interior is spacious and has many elements of Japanese dining culture built in as well, like wood finishing and tatami textures.
Besides the main star, the hotpot, Hanamidori has side dishes to order as well. We first tried the Mentai Takana ($5.90), which is seasoned leaf mustard with cod roe. Just like pickled vegetables, this was salty and appetising, great to go with rice or porridge.
Next was the Hana Soboro Collagen Salad ($9.90), a typical salad but with minced meat, a runny egg and several cubes of collagen. The way to eat it is to mix them all up, coating the components with the egg.
The result is refreshing and crunchy, with the savoury taste from the minced meat, which does not overpower and allowed me to taste the egg. The collagen cubes have a jelly-like texture, and have no specific taste. I do not particularly like to consume collagen in general, but the lack of taste and its contrast with the crisp salad makes it easier to swallow.
After two vegetable dishes I guess it was time to move on to the meat. We were served the Mizutaki Karaage ($7.90), which tasted normal, despite being marinated with ponzu and yuzu pepper. It did however, have a hint of fragrance uncharacteristic to the common deep-fried dish.
More chicken! It is a mostly chicken menu after all. The Sanzoku Yaki ($11.90) is served on a hotplate and coated with black pepper sauce. Bite into pieces of tender chicken covered in a tasty sauce. I felt that the pepper aroma could be stronger but otherwise, this would be suitable even for people who cannot take spicy food.
The Chicken Nanban ($11.90) is another fried chicken dish, but with a different take. The white dressing on top has a coleslaw-esque taste, creamy yet light.
The restaurant also offers the Hanamidori Hana Full Course Set at $25.90 per person with a minimum of two person servings per order. For less than $30, you get a range of dishes that include appetisers, Mizutaki and dessert.
The first off the list is the Appetizer Trio, consisting of Tori Soboro Tofu, Tori Tataki and Atsuyaki Tamago. All the flavours here are on the lighter side; the tofu had a tasty sesame dressing, the tori (chicken) were seasoned subtly and the tamago (egg) had a mellow sweetness to it.
Next was the Tori Chawanmushi, which is steamed egg with bits of chicken in it. The egg was incredibly smooth and silky, which had us sending slivers down our throats.
The Mixed Teppanyaki, comprised of salmon and scallops had a decent sauce which went well with the palate.
The Mizutaki hot pot finally makes an appearance. With the waitresses’ direction and assistance, we were served different courses using the hotpot in an order, Hakata style. We first had a taste of the broth, which had a robust chicken flavour and was very tasty.
Then, the Momo (fresh chicken), which had been cooking in the soup was served with some ponzu. The sour ponzu went well with the chicken, adding an appetising flavour, at the same time allowing us to savour the freshness of the meat.
As we ate, the waitress was already preparing the next course – the Tsukune (minced meat), by rolling balls of it before plopping them into the boiling broth. This was interesting to watch.
After the Tsukune had been cooked, the Assorted Colour Dumplings and Vegetables were added into the soup, adding some taste and colour. This is the nutritious part of the Mizutaki. Besides getting protein from the chicken, you have vegetables to make it a nourishing meal that could feed a family or a group of people.
At last, on to the final few steps. This is actually my favourite part of the very long lunch. Rice and a raw egg were added to the chicken broth to create a porridge, and this speaks to me of the versatility of the chicken hotpot and the resourcefulness of the Hakata natives. Using the same broth throughout, a multi-course meal has been created with the use of simple ingredients that are healthy yet delicious.
The porridge was tasty and filling, comfort food at its finest. Even after having so much, I managed to get a second serving into my stomach.
The last one of the meal was the dessert – Collagen Pudding. A dessert that makes our skin look good? Seems to good to be true. Do not be deceived by the way it looks; it does not taste like tofu at all. Unlike its look alike, it is dense and creamy, and served with the sugar syrup is a great dessert to end off the meal.
Hanamidori is a great place for affordable and tasty food. The new chicken hotpot concept is a nice spin to other similar restaurants in Singapore. Also because it specialises in chicken, a common meat ingredient here which is widely eaten, it would seem be a good place for friends and family to gather.
So bring your loved ones and cluster around a good pot of hot chicken soup at Hanamidori, and pick whatever suits your palate from their variety of dishes!
Expected Damage: $15 – $30 per pax
Hanamidori: Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, #04-01, Singapore 238839 | Tel: 6333 9287 | Website