You know when someone tells you a really good secret and you wonder if you should tell others about it cos then it won't be a secret anymore. Well, that's what Hana Hana is like for me. The concept at Hana Hana is pretty much the same as Menya Mappen - quick, cheap, delicious noodles, in a self-serve canteen type place...but less crowds (so far). I like it. I hope Mappen-like queues won't begin to form shortly...or ever
I'm pretty taken with the cool touch-screen ordering kiosks that greet you upon first entering Hana Hana. Just make sure you consult the board outside before you go in to order...so the line keeps moving along (if there is a line that is). And don't forget your ticket so you can collect your oodles of noodles at the counter.
There's a great selection of fried tempura goodies to choose from - and some really different things too such as King Brown Mushroom Tempura, Crysthanamum + Tuna Tempura, Fish Cake + Cheese Tempura. Decisions decisions. Just around the corner from the tempura station a tempting array of salads and ramen toppings await. God, I feel so happy here!
The BFF (who'd already visited Hana Hana without waiting for me to join him as promised) nabs himself a bowl of the Ontama Bukkake with Chaudon Noodles ($5.40). In English - that's bright green Udon Noodles (that are green due to the use of green tea powder I believe) with a soft boiled googy egg. He also selects a basket of Mixed Tempura goodies ($3.00), an Ebi (Prawn) Tempura ($3.00) and a Seaweed Salad ($2.00). So all up his feast cost him just under $15.00.
My dinner is not too different from The BFF's. I'm pretty happy with my bowl of plain Bukkake Udon sans egg ($4.20) and I could not pass up the delicious sounding King Brown Mushroom Tempura ($2.00) which was chewy + meaty. The Crysthanamum + Tuna Tempura ($3.00) sounded so exotic and was so crispy it shattered into pieces with every bite. I've got a bit of a thing for Japanese potato salad ($2.00) so that also graces my tray.
Despite having inhaled what may look like A LOT of food we're still a bit peckish so indulge in a few more pieces of fried goodness plus a prawn salad. I love that Hana Hana has a loyalty program - each time you take your dirty tray/plates back to the counter you get a stamp on your loyalty card. Five stamp = a free bowl of Bukkake!
It's not long before The BFF and I are meeting up for another Hana Hana dinner. The BFF is having an early dinner in preparation for a second dinner later on (seriously - he should be a food blogger!) so opts for a half serve of Tonkatsu (Pork) Ramen ($4.70). He's pretty impressed and think it tastes close to the "real deal".
I wanted a bowl of plain Bukkake like I had on my first visit, but there was a massive Lost in Translation moment with the women helping us at the kiosk and I ended up with a HUGE bowl of Kake with Udon instead ($4.20). It's pretty much the same thing to be honest, but the noodles come in a big bowl of broth, rather than sitting in a few scoops of the mystery sauce that Bukkake comes in. I also had to ask for a lemon wedge (oh, the horror) and because there is so much broth you don't get that nice lemony slurry when you near the bottom of your bowl. Did I like it? Yes. Would I order it again? Yes. And I did about five minutes later!
The BFF wanted dessert so ordered a round of Mochi ($3.00) - a Japanese glutinous rice cake. One of the balls had a red bean filling and the other was Vanilla flavour. I've never been a fan of Mochi as I don't like red beans, but The BFF thought these were tops. My dessert was a half serve of Kake Udon ($2.60) - cos you can NEVER have too many noodles.
So was Hana Hana as good as Mappen. Probably. If the lemon that was served with my noodles had been a bit more juicy my noodles would've been tangy perfection. I loved the different choices of Tempura - things I've never seen battered or fried before! Will I be back (again)? Hell yeah!
Hana Hana is at 5/209 Thomas Street, Haymarket.