Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hana Hana (華花), Orchid Hotel

Yamashita Teppei seems to have done pretty well for himself. His other (actually first) restaurant Teppei is fully booked up a couple of months ahead and Hana Hana (#01-17 Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link, tel : +65 6222 7363) which is just next door that doesn't take reservations has a queue that stretches all the way to Keisuke's Tonkotsu King down the pavement. He's a funny guy too. More about that later.

This was omakase.

That's shoyu braised mid wings. 

Cabbage which is refillable for fibre and alleviation of guilt.

Akami, chutoro and sake harasu. The salmon belly was pretty flavourful.

Toasted edamame. It tastes almost exactly like the boiled ones. No, those burnt marks don't lend char aroma to the protected bean.

First of the skewers. There's some beef, squid, chicken parts and enoki in pork belly. All were pretty tasty.

Next came the negitoro rolls with bits of tempura batter. This was really good. I'm sure the crispy bits of batter helped some, but the chopped tuna belly was delicious. Well shoyu-ed if you know what I mean.

The first of the nibbles on sticks that was handed out through the omakase. It was a mangled grasshopper. One leg left, possibly left leg, probably dipped in tare and deep fried. It tasted like a dried shrimp if anyone's wondering.

Teppei-san introduced these as dinosaur when he served them.

Of course they are goose barnacles. This was possibly the first time eating them for me. They tasted like abalone or clams, chewy to the texture and briny in flavours. I kinda liked them.

Next handout on sticks, quail eggs.

The next batch of kushiyaki were mushrooms, wagyu of underdetermined origins (by myself) and unagi. All competently done.

And then some big assed prawns, chicken wings and thick cut pork belly with onions. I wasn't so much into the wings. The huge prawns were very nice. The char aroma got through and the flesh was sweet-ish. Pork belly was hearty.

Next sticks handout.....chicken windpipes. They're a little chewy, like tripe or intestines. Tasty.

Some chicken part I couldn't clearly identify, but I reckon it's probably thighs. There was some fat and the meat was flavourful and tender.

Clear prawn soup. This was not bad at all.

The omakase comes with rice bowls which one gets to choose from the a la carte menu. I recommend the barachirashi which rocked for me....

...over the beef bowl which I found a little too sweet for my liking. The meat was not as tender as I had been expecting too.

Those on top were deep fried rooster crowns. After all the deep frying, they tasted like crackers. It's all crispy so that's pretty much all there was to the texture. There's some of that tare sauce so it's a little sweet and savoury. Again, Teppei-san refused to say what they were and simply smiled.

These tasted like deep fried cartilage so I'm guessing that they are those.

Sawagani season must be in, so we had some of that too. 

sawagani right side up

sawagani upside down.

I had no idea what these were when it was served. Another mystery service from the kitchen. Turned out that half the spoon handouts contains edamame paste and the other half was wasabi paste disguised under a bit of edamame paste. The chef had more than a few hearty laughs over the reaction of those that picked the wasabi.

This was the last handout. We were stuffed at this point. Sliced fried potatoes from Hokkaido.

For what Hana Hana charges along with both the quantity and quality of food, it was very good value. It's little wonder why people queue for this place. There's no pretence to the offerings, just straightforward good eating which we enjoyed.

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