Attempting to juggle the blog (The Afterimage), sketchbook, camera and a small forest's worth of university readings around Sydney.
Published May 21st 2013
Affordable, convenient Japanese food & relaxation all around
As much as I love the 'sitting in the bustling streets and scarfing down noodles/rice' vibe of Mappen and Oiden, stores with a 'duck in, eat and duck out' policy are generally not the best places for relaxing conversation or a D&M with a best friend.
Boasting affordable, convenient Japanese cuisine, a large, airy dining environment and with the Sussex St branch a mere two streets away from George St, it's become one of my go-to places for a quick Sydney CBD lunch.
Touch screen computers at the entrance do all the ordering work for you. The dishes range from Japanese udon to curry to don (rice) dishes and even okonomiyaki.
There is an open, self-serve fried dishes section, offering tempura fried vegetables, meat and my favourite takoyaki octopus balls.
Hana Hana falters a little here - the slower turnover rate means that some hot foods tend to be a little lukewarm. I'd keep an eye out for the chef unloading freshly cooked batches and grab them while they're hot.
Hana Hana also offers cold foods including sashimi boxes, salads (definitely give the sesame dressing a try), Japanese soft drinks and cold seafood dishes like abalone salad.
Going upstairs will take you to some beautifully furnished tables and the dessert counter. You can get a decently sized coffee or black sesame latte (and may luck out with some cute foam art) for around $3.50.
There are also pancakes, (very chewy) mochi waffles and ice cream parfaits on offer. All the food is affordable, and pretty good value for money.
Return your plates to get a stamp – five of them will get you a free bukkake or kake noodle dish.
I would have gone back anyway, but a reward for my dedicated patronage certainly doesn't hurt.