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Hana.....

Intimate Japanese!

Blink and you will miss it! In fact, you may well have driven past it for years and never noticed it. Behind the hanging curtains in the doorway is one of Seminyak?s hidden secrets.

You may sit downstairs, either Japanese style or at table and chairs, or climb the stairs to the miniature mezzanine. Drop in for a dish of noodles anytime of the day, or come for a full Japanese meal. An amazing variety of dishes can be ordered at Hana for a surprisingly low cost.

Just for the few remaining uninitiated, Japanese cuisine is about much more than just raw fish, as great as that is! Japanese is a very simple cuisine that builds it strength around the usage of only the finest of fresh ingredients. Individual selections can be made, or a few dishes shared. Although the style of food at Hana is probably more suited to individual ordering.

Noodle dishes seem to be a part of all Asian cuisines. But Japanese noodles are different from all the rest. Even iced, if you dare!

Sansai Soba are hot buckwheat noodles in a bowl, topped with pieces of fern, eggplant and carrot tempura [dipped in egg, rolled in rice flour, then quickly fried to a crisp in hot clean vegetable oil]. Sansai Udon are hot thick noodles given the same treatment and accompaniments. Tsukumi Udon are buckwheat noodles, but topped with a raw egg!

San Somen are thin noodles serves unusually cold, in fact they are served in ice! Zaru Soba are buckwheat noodles, also iced.

Nasu No Agemono is lightly fried eggplant, in soya, lemon and ginger. Onigiri are those great rice cakes, baked balls of rice that have been wrapped in seaweed paper. Goma Ae are various green vegetables in a thick sesame sauce. Nasu No Hasamiage is fried eggplant, stuffed with minced chicken, in lemon and ginger.

Whilst no vegetarian, I could eat these dishes for ever! All so light and simple, so tasty! It is frightening to think that they are also probably doing you some good! In fact it is no wonder that the Japanese have one of the lowest rates of mortality from Strokes in the world, there is plenty of fibre and very little animal fats [cholesterol] in most of their food. Of course we won?t mention their heart attack rate, from overdosing on salt [soy sauce], and cigarettes.

Taino Usuzukuri is a simple entrée of thin slices of snapper that have been gently simmered in a sauce of herbs. Sakana Marinated Pirikara is fish prepared the same way but with chilli and lemon.

Of course there is also an abundance of raw fish if you have graduated to that wonderful delicacy? A comprehensive Sashimi Set or a Temaki Set [on a bed of seaweed and rice]. Sushi can be ordered separately [marlin, tuna, shrimp, squid or snapper] or as a compete meal, the Sushi Set. Tekka Don are slices of raw tuna [for me, the very best sashimi] on a bed of that vinegary sushi rice. Maki Rolls are also available, both the Californian variety and others.

Gyu Tataki Yasainose is a grilled fillet of beef with a lemon soya sauce. Sukiyaki Don is thinly sliced beef, combined with egg and vegetables, served on a bed of rice. That stalwart of Japanese cuisine, Chicken Teriyaki is as good here as it always seems to be. Tender chunks of chicken that have been cooked in a mixture of sake wine and soya.

The Tempura Moriawase is a selection of seafood and vegetable pieces in that ever-so-light rice flour batter, ready for you to dunk in that soy dip. Deep Fried Ika & Sakan are fried, crunchy, balls of squid or fish. Negitoro Don is an unusual dish of minced tuna and sliced leeks on a bed of rice.

Sakana Tataki Ninniku Lemon Syoyu is a great example of the simplicity and taste of Japanese cuisine. They are grilled fillets of fish that have just been sautéed in ginger, garlic and lemon. Ika Butter Yaki is squid, gently cooked in butter and soya. Sakan Misozuke is fish that has been marinated then grilled, then served in a miso sauce [more soy].

Wine is limited to the local Hatten Rose, but most visitors here indulge in shots of Sake. I like mine hot, but you can order it cold if you prefer.

Simple, good quality food, that is well prepared and served in the most congenial of cool surroundings. Add in the friendly, knowledgeable service, and all at an amazing low cost. What more could you ask for?

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QUICK REVIEW
Hana
Address:
Galeria Seminyak,
Jln. Raya Seminyak, Seminyak.
Phone:
732.778
Open:
12 noon to 12 midnight, daily.
Bookings:
Advisable
Parking:
Street only.
Price:
Rp. 180,000 for two [+ drinks]
Credit Cards:
- MC
- Visa
Food:
Japanese
Wine:
Sake only.
Service:
Professional and friendly!
Atmosphere:
Traditional Japanese eating house.
Overall:
Delightful experience, excellent value!
Last Reviewed:
September 2002.
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