A new Japanese restaurant has opened up in the quieter stretch of Orchard at Forum the Shopping Mall. Hana Japanese Restaurant is located at the first level of the shopping mall. Stepping into the restaurant, I thought the black colour themed decoration, the selection of furniture and ambience felt a bit odd for a Japanese restaurant. Nevertheless, I am here for the food so let the taste buds do the talking.
Deep Fried Tempura Fish 3/5
Our omakase meal started with a piece of Deep Fried Tempura Fish. The fish mixture is made of 3 different type of fish, salmon, white fish and mackerel wrapped in betel leaves. I could taste onion inside the mixture too. Drizzled with a sea eel sauce, giving it a sweet finishing. This is actually quite an interesting opening to the courses which is more incline to Chinese cuisine.
Trio of Appetizer 3.5/5
Next up is a Trio of Appetizer of Octopus with Wasabi Leave, some sort of Grilled Fish and Fried Fish with Lime. If I am not wrong the grilled fish is Fugu Mirin Boshi. It is one of my favourites among the trio. It felt like biting into a grilled bak kwa or cuttlefish.
This is probably what I most looked forward to in a Japanese meal, the Sashimi. The platter comes with fresh selection of Amberjack, Toro, Baby Snapper, Scallop and Sardine. This is probably my first time having raw sardine. I was worried that it may come across too fishy but it was not the case. The spring onion and ginger dip not only helped to navigate that fishiness but complemented it.
The pot of Soup comes with mushroom, crab and uni flavoured with butter for the soup. I actually find it strange why would someone cooked uni in a boiling broth. I felt that the natural sweetness of the uni was lost in the cooking. Putting that aside, it is a still a good pot of soup with delectable ingredients.
Grilled Horse Mackerel 3.8/5
I actually like the simplicity of the Grilled Horse Mackerel that is lightly seasoned with salt and grilled. Nothing fancy but pure enjoyment of the freshness and sweetness of the fish. Unfortunately the mackerel was only well grilled on one side but not the other.
Fried Clam Tempura 3/5
Another fried tempura item with clam, wild herbs and mushrooms. Fried to a nice crisp and not oily, the play of different textures in this small piece of tempura surprised me.
Teapot Soup 4.2/5
I always like the Teapot Soup served at Japanese restaurant. The teapot soup was well infused with the seafood essence which was very refreshing. I probably have more than 5 cups of it. It was timely after all the fried and grilled food. It helped to cleanse the palate and washed down all the greasiness.
Aburi Sushi Platter 2.8/5
Lastly I was served a Aburi Sushi Platter of Flounder Fin, Sea Eel, Tamagoyaki and Radish. The Aburi Sushi was a letdown. It tasted bitter and burnt even the rice was torched.
Overall I think Hana Restaurant still needed some more fine tuning for consistency. There were hits and misses during my visit. Hana Restaurant currently is running two Omakase promotions which is very worthy and value for money. First is a 9 Course Omakase at $30 ONLY on all Mondays. Second is Omakase Special at $60/$80/$120 on every Fridays and Saturdays only. Don't miss these promotions while it still last.
Forum the Shopping Mall
583 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 67375525
Nearest MRT: Orchard (NS Line)
Daily: 1130am - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm
1) Alight at Orchard MRT station. Take Exit E. Walk towards Wheelock Place via ION. Exit Wheelock Place and turn left towards Liat Tower. Walk down Orchard Road to destination. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]