Hidden along Duxton Rd, you could easily walk past and miss Hanayoshi… Opened only a few months ago, Hanayoshi is one of the latest additions to the Duxton neighborhood, and being that it’s a rather sexy looking Japanese restaurant with reasonable prices, Ms Demeanour and I couldn’t resist stopping over for a extended lunch.

First thing to say about Hanayoshi is that it looks COOL. Downstairs is a very elegant sushi bar with sleek wood finish. It’s got a very underground salary-man kind of feel to it. Upstairs on other had is particularly somewhat different. If you had a chance to read our Valentine’s review from 2 weeks ago, you may remember it was one of our top picks for it’s very stylish tatami rooms. It’s the kind of setting that you could just as easily imagine some yakuza dealing going down, a group of friends hanging out or even a nice date…It’s very versatile.

Anyway, great design is one thing…but how would the food hold up?

Looking at their menu (which is enormous by the way!), we decided to order a couple of small dishes before getting going on our lunch bentos. Starting off with tatami awashi ($8) – Basically a sort of fish-cracker…literally, tiny fish stuck together to make a very moorish, salty snack served with a dollop of Japanese mayonaise. So far so good.

It’s become something of a mission for us to find the best Agedashi tofu in Singapore so ordering this was a must. A healthy sized portion,, good flavour and texture with the crispiness of the skin matching the silkiness of the tofu inside.

Ah now for the main event. I-TA-DA-KI-MAS!!!! Shown below is the Wagyu Beef & Sashimi set, accompanied of course by miso soup, rice, and a small salad.

Whilst everything on here was good (fresh sashimi, well cooked rice etc), what really made my mouth water was the Wagyu. This beef hardly needed chewing it was so soft…and it was lean too, with hardly any fat. The sweet marinade showed superb flavour and mixing with the warm rice made a wonderful combination.

As for the other set, we decided to have the Sushi & Soba set. The side dishes were the same as the above Bento but this instead came with a generous helping of green soba and assorted nigiri sushi. As mentioned already, the fish was very fresh and rice well done so the sushi of course went down nicely. :-)

The Soba on the other hand was something special. Served with traditional stock, spring onion, wakame flakes and wasabi…I was dipping and slurping to my heart’s content. Simple savoury and firm noodles.

To polish off the meal, the set included a scoop each of a selection of Japanese gelato. We decided to stick with tradition and ordered Green Tea and Umi (Japanese Plum). It’s something of a novelty to have Japanese ice cream made as gelato and it works very, very well. A sweet and creamy end to a great lunch.

Worth a visit? Let’s just say we like this place so much that we are looking at running some potential City Nomads events there in the future…think sushi, sake and shochu and you get the idea ;-). More information to come….

Written by The City Nomad