Korean cafes are in a league of their own with their distinctive design and extensive menu options. Two Hana is no exception. Immaculate and pristine, the pastel blue hues and light wood details are accented with the occasional green from potted plants. Incredibly inviting despite a relatively large space, this bistro somehow manages a cosy, intimate vibe.
The “Korean meets The West” menu is conceived by Chef Jodin, previously of Joo Bar on Tan Quee Lan Street. We begin with a selection of light bites meant for sharing like the signature Kimchi Mac and Cheese ($9). Boiled macaroni and mozzarella cheese are combined with bits of Kimchi into sizable cubes before being coated with panko and deep fried. The star component of this dish, however, is the spicy chilli sauce made from a blend of chilli padi, sesame oil and kimchi jigae paste meant for dipping. A twist of the classic Mac and Cheese that would be rather underwhelming without the chilli sauce to give it a spicy kick.
Next up: the Korean Cauliflower Fritters ($8). Resembling Korean Fried Chicken in terms of seasoning, this makes for a brilliant vegetarian alternative. While the tempura batter is a touch too thick, the sweet and spicy sauce makes up for it. Personally, I’d rather go for the Honey Butter Drumlets ($9). The overpriced salads at cafes usually put me off ordering them but the Korean Slaw Salad ($9) proves otherwise. With this reasonably sized simple salad with an assortment of rocket, white cabbage and red cabbage topped with pear and mandarin orange slices drizzled with a tangy citron sauce, you’ll definitely get your daily recommended servings of fruit and veg.
Moving on to the hearty mains; the fork-tender Braised Gochujang Lamb Shank ($24) good for two. Sous-vide for 36 hours and braised with a myriad of herbs and a sweet tomato sauce made up of gochujang, tomatoes, onions and carrots, it’s served alongside a delicious kimchi mash that we wish was available separately. This rich dish is definitely a good value for money option.
My favourites would have to be the Korean Seafood Ciopinno ($12) and Striploin Bap ($13). Two Hana’s take on the American seafood stew is reminiscent of a rich prawn or lobster bisque. Enjoy the creamy full flavoured tomato base with either tofu or Two Hana soft rolls. You’ll find a seafood medley of mussels, clams and prawns along with mushrooms and carrots. This dish is an easy choice for seafood lovers.
The Striploin Bap is comfort food done right. This meaty version of the classic Korean favourite Bibimbap is a hearty bowl of Kimgarou rice topped with kimchi, spinach, bean sprouts and caramelised onions. A perfectly poached egg that oozes and congeals all the ingredients together and a generous portion of seared medium rare striploin slices sit on top, making it your perfect lunch companion.
Desserts at Two Hana are not just pretty, they hit the sweet spot! The Strawberry Waffles with Honey Citron Ice Cream ($9) is a safe bet with crispy waffles, fresh fruit and creamy ice cream. The fairy floss sourced directly from a supplier in Thailand makes it all the more easy on the eyes. The Apple Caramel Waffles with Doenjang Caramel Ice Cream ($9) on the other hand, is an acquired taste. Vaguely resembling salted caramel with a malty aftertaste, the Doenjang (soybean paste) caramel ice cream is not for everyone. Try it if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
For a less risky option, the Hojicha Pudding ($5) is a good choice. This decadently creamy homemade pudding (more mousse-like than pudding in terms of texture) comes with pieces of pound cake and fresh fruit, and topped with buckwheat puffs and whipped cream.
Drinks at Two Hana Cafe don’t disappoint either. Their coffee consists of a special blend of 4 different types of beans that makes for a wonderfully robust, nutty flavour. Apart from their aromatic cuppas, they have a wide selection of fruit teas and tea lattes. My usual gripe about how loss of the flavour of the tea in iced tea lattes due to the copious amounts of sugar and cream doesn’t apply to the Ice Chocolate Hojicha Latte ($7). It comes with Bungeoppang (fish-shaped bread) that had a delicious flavour, though I would’ve liked it better if there was an option to have it toasted.
Two Hana is located at 2 Tampines Central 5, #01-21, Singapore 529509, p.+65 6260 4321. Open 8am-10pm daily.