I’m continuing my trend of clearing my ever-expanding backlog, but I’ll give Melbourne a break for now. Can’t have too much of a good thing, right?
Turns out, you can always have more good things. Trick is, you gotta vary it up a little bit.
Now, I say “a little bit”, but with Hana Japanese, located in Leura of all places…I think I pulled a pretty massive segue.
Like the Japanese cuisine it serves, I like to keep it fresh.
Why would you ever visit a Japanese restaurant out in Leura? As it turns out, it’s a damn good restaurant. I say that even considering the possibility that there isn’t likely to be much competition around the area. Read on for the noodle-tastic details.
Date Last Visited: 3/8/13
Address: 121 Leura Mall, Leura NSW 2780
Recommended Dish(es): any udon dish
Another rather obvious reason to visit Hana is if you’re on a trip to the Blue Mountains or its surrounds. That was how we stumbled across it. You’d have to be a bit of a foodie, given that it’s not exactly on the way, but a quick Urbanspoon search yields an appealing result. You could do a lot worse for choice if you forgot to bring your picnic goodies.
Walking in doesn’t present anything special – the lantern ornaments make it obvious you’re about to step into an Asian restaurant.
As can be seen from the cover photo, the restaurant itself is sizable, yet the inside doesn’t seem like it can seat many. I’d hazard 50 people at most. It’s a nice space though, and most importantly, clean. That’s kind of important when it comes to running a Japanese restaurant.
I’ll get into it without talking too much fluff. You can get a selection of flavoured teas which are by all accounts, quite good. Their price should be reasonable – I wouldn’t think they’re more than $6, but I can’t for the life of me remember.
Continuing the drinkables, we come to Tsunami – a superb drink. Tsunami and I are like lines that intersect only once – that point is heaven, but I’ve never had it again since. Downing this sugary deliciousness reminded me that some calories are worth drinking.
Miso soup comes with most mains, but if you order it separately it’s $3. There’s not much to comment on here – the miso soup tasted great, especially as I haven’t had it in so long. I would probably pay $3 to have it come with my meal if it isn’t included. It’s at least that worthy.
Though I forgot the exact price of the assorted sashimi, I recall that it was quite expensive – $19-$2X.
For that kind of price, I wouldn’t say it’s worth it. It’s about as much sashimi as you’d get on 2 sashimi plates on a decent sushi train, so you’re overpaying, really. Tastewise, well it’s sashimi – I dig that shiz. You’d have to give me some pretty rotten fish for me to dislike it.
I have to say, if the sashimi was a rip, the assorted tempura is a far grosser offender. Look at the picture, then know that its contents cost $19. No words.
Once again, it tasted quite good, but I really do have to bring value into the equation – something I usually refrain from doing. The taste of food doesn’t always overwhelm the pain of the wallet.
The value proposition gets a lot better when we talk the rice and noodle dishes. Unagi-don, a favourite of mine, comes in at a decent price of $14. The pictures here are all rather steamy, which is hopefully an indication that everything is cooked fresh. Or at least the rice is kept warm in a decent manner.
Regardless, these dishes come to you piping hot. I really mean that – they’re too hot to eat when they’re set down. Once they cool, they taste superb. We were particularly hungry then so this compounded the effect. The unagi is soft and buttery, with a great teriyaki glaze. The rice, fluffy and yielding, steamed beautifully. Mmmmm, that hits the spot. Positively pornographic.
The noodle dishes provide a similarly satisfying experience. They come hot, and taste great, and go down well. Udon for me has to succeed in both the dashi, as well as the noodles themselves. Many people find dashi too salty, but I don’t mind that at all. I grew up on that stuff. I’m 40% salt.
As for the noodles themselves – the slipperiness, the wet but chewy texture even when bitten into, is delightful.
Similar sentiments are awarded to the Nabeyaki Udon. After all, it’s the same great noodles and soup. What I love about Nabeyaki is that it includes a bit of everything which is fantastic. Variety is going to beat any other spice 😉
That makes Nabeyaki udon my favourite type of udon. Easy enough win.
Concluding this post isn’t difficult – Hana is a restaurant that serves great food. It’s worth a visit if you’re hankering for something a bit more upstream than picnic fare. Just be sure you want to pay high prices for some of the dishes. I’d say stick with the rice & noodle dishes. Can’t go wrong there.
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three 😀
- Very down to earth, but excellent Japanese food
- Surprising variety for a place so remote (I’m looking down on the outer regions I know)
Not so Awesome:
- Pricier than I’d have expected