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This place is almost fully packed all the time and I pretty liked the idea of keeping the place small and cosy. The first time i was brought to this place it felt very traditional jap road side cafe feel... but as you dine, the cosy-ness slowly sits in.
Waiters were attentive however not smiling.... but its good enough.... Lets go straight to the food..
I however feel that the spread was not comprehensive enough for a buffet with regards to the price per head. The raw stuffs were fresh and juicy. The plating of the dishes were only normal and not extra interesting... However the tempura and grilled squid was nice.... As we know squid could feel very rubbery if overdone and this one was just nice... The sauce not too sweet and very yummy.
Tempura was usually good with plenty of sauce offered. I love handrolls however not to be consumed so much as the rice fills up alot of space.
I personally like the idea of the served up buffet style, instead of the usual buffet bar... Being served feels more spectecular....
A must try....
Hanabi Restaurant, situated at Bukit Timah Road King's Arcade. We went to this place on Sat for dinner. Read on Yebber's review that there will be a lot of people there so we decided to reserve a table for 3.
When we sat down, the waiter came over and ask us what drinks we want to order when we haven't even open our menu. Turned out its our fault as the buffet comes with complimentary hot or cold Ocha. So we ordered our drinks and sat to look through the menu.
Service was fast and polite. So fast that the moment some one saw my husband took up the menu, he came over and ask us whether we need to order. Not that this was bad. Service crew polite, food served fast and empty plates cleared fast.
Sashimi - I don't eat raw food as I find biting into raw meat very "恐怖“. But even to people like me, the Sashimi looks absolutely fresh and portions given were generously large. My friends who ate this said the meat were succulent and fresh but they ought to put the pieces on cooler or ice to keep the taste there. 2nd portion of the Sashimi ordered were not as nice though. Freshness was still there just that the cuts were not that good. Fish scales can be found.
Tempura - Not that great though served piping hot. We ordered Yasai Tempura and I felt that the vegetables were cooked too throughly and lost their texture. Unagi tempura was not bad with the tempura coating crispy and the Unagi itself soft and sweet.
Grilled items - Definitely pre-cooked and re-warmed. Items came out warm and some were cold. Looks dry and uninviting. Grilled items were not too good which can be understood as grilled items take longer to cook. To serve fast, they must be pre-cooked.
Others - We definitely loved the Chiizu Chawanmushi. Though except for a piece of mushroom, there were no other ingredients inside, it was surprising that cheese and eggs blended well together. Not to mention the chewy pieces of cheese at the bottom of the cup.
We also ordered Goma ice-cream (Black Sesame) and Yuzu ice-cream (Jap Lemon?) and Chocolate ice-cream. Both Goma and Yuzu taste heavenly. Especially the Yuzu which is a sorbet ice-cream. Different from other sorbet ice-cream was that it wasn't too watery hence doesn't melt too fast. Pieces of fruits inside the ice-cream and its thick texture makes this item absolutely worthed its price of $4 (per scope)
Total bill for the buffet was $124. Definitely worthed the price.
When we arrived, it was fully packed – not a place conducive for conversations over dinner. However, with over 100 items to choose from, patrons will definitely be spoilt for choice.
We started with the Sashimi, and it was excellent. It was fresh and the serving was generous – definitely bettered that of Ikoi’s – no wonder another friend of mine has been urging me to visit them for their sashimi.
The Mixed Tempura was also of pretty good standard. I like for the fact that it is thinly coated with flour and served piping hot – it is simply enjoyable to consume them.
However, the Sushi Handroll could definitely be better. I totally despise seaweed used for sushi not being crispy – an indication that it is not fresh and has been left in the open for too long – no matter how good the ingredients are inside the sushi, mushy seaweed just does not cut it.
Overall, Hanabi is ideal for non-fussy Singaporeans who delight themselves in Japanese cuisine. With a wide menu range, this restaurant certainly appeals to them with the quality of food – in my opinion, definitely a better bet than Ikoi. Service was found wanting at times especially when it comes to topping up of tea and taking orders. Service staffs are mainly non-Singaporeans so communication could also prove challenging at times.
You can view the photos and other reviews @ His Food Blog.
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