14 August 2012

Hana Hana ~ Japanese - Chinatown

Hana Hana is a new Japanese noodle bar in Chinatown that fans of Menya Mappen should check out.

Hana Hana appeared recently in the spot on Thomas Street previously occupied by the ill-fated Daikichi Ramen. We love the food here, but just like the equally good Menya Mappen, the food just doesn't quite have the simple magic that these kind of joints have in Japan.

We're not sure what is missing. Places we visited in Tokyo and Osaka have fresh noodles delivered daily, or noodles made on the premises. And the broths are hotter and 'cleaner.' But hey, it's here, it's cheap, and it's as good as we can get.

Walk in the door and you're presented with a touchscreen. Order your main dishes here and grab your ticket. There's three separate little stands that help get your order going, reminds us of the food ticket machines in many little food joints in Japan.

The menu is fairly short and sweet which is a good thing, Japanese is best in specialised joints. There's a selection of soups, rice bowls and okonomi-yaki.

Take your ticket to the counter down the back.

Grab a tray and pile on your selected extras. There's lots of deep fried goodies, sides and sweeties. Pay then scoff.

We go for cold sides of squid ($2) and pickled cucumber ($1).

Onotama bukkake - $4.90. A favourite of ours: a simple noodle soup with buckwheat soba noodles and a soft boiled googie. There's a thermos of hot soup on the counter to top up if you need more.

Gyu don - $5.50. Simmered beef and onions on rice. A big serve too, great value. We've been cooking gyudon a lot at home lately, following this easy recipe by our Youtube heroes, Frances and Chef on Cooking with Dog.

Ika mentai okonimiyaki - Japanese pancake - $8.90. This is a great stomach filler, with batter, noodles, veggies, egg, squid and roe. Topped with dancing bonito flakes.

Japanese puddings - $2 each. The taro is our favourite, the green tea is flavour is pretty good though. Served with a dollop of sugary red bean paste. While eating this Miss Chicken's eyes glaze over with pleasure and finds herself speaking aloud, "I love Japanese pudding." Better that than saying aloud "I love bukkake".

Mr Shawn sneaks back the next day, unsupervised... Ontama bukake - $4.90. Udon noodles with a soft boiled googie.

$2 sides of steamed pumpkin and beef potato salad, which is like a mushed up shepherds pie with a slice of cheese and a dollop of ketchup. Strangely delicious.

Mentai ontama udon - $5.90 - udon noodles with a soft boiled googie and spicy salmon roe.

Mentai ontama soba - $5.90 - soba noodles with a soft boiled googie and spicy salmon roe.

Tuna tataki - $3. Slightly seared tuna sashimi with a little salad and dressing.

Sashimi set - $5.


Mentai ika - cod roe and squid - $7.50. Cold soba noodles on a 30 degree summer day is superb, the mentai gives it an extra kick of wonderful. So happy!

Hana Hana is at 5/209 Thomas Street Chinatown. Phone 02 9280 1570.

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  1. Awww, I feel like you've written this post just for me! Sounds pretty good (and looks empty which means easier to get a seat than at Mappen). Yay!

  2. Poor Daikichi. This place sounds like much more fun though - will have to run along and check it out soon!

  3. Steve would love both :)

  4. If you ever need a quick, cheap snack, you can't go past Sydney Best Dim Sim next door (in the same shopfront as Chatime). The $1 pork buns are amazing.

  5. We were sad Daikichi closed too. It never really got off the ground.

    Yes, Miss Piggy, I went just for you to test it out before your trotters graced it's presence.

    Thanks for the Sydney Best Dim Sim tip too!

  6. LOOKS SO YUMMYYYY!!!! ^_^ ~
    check out my blog too :)) ~ http://kenskitchen371.blogspot.com.au/

  7. cheap food japanese food excites me :) might check this place out tomorrow, hope there aren't too many people during lunch!

  8. Went today at lunchtime and it was awesome! Great cheap food, quick service and i LOVE a touchscreen ordering system. Definitely will be a regular (esp as they have a frequent diner card with a free udon after 5 meals. WOOO!

    1. Sounds like you'll be getting that free udon in no time. I love the super quick service too, especially when there's not a lot of time for lunch.

  9. Been hanging out to go here ever since reading this post and we finally made it on the weekend. It was quiet there earlyish on Saturday night but we left with happy bellies - okonomiyaki was good!

    1. The okonomiyaki was good indeed, wouldn't it be great if someone would open a 'make it fresh in front of you' okonomiyaki joint, or even a do it yourself one.


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).