May 23rd, 2010. Hanako Sushi~
Jaewon was home for a couple weeks before heading back to Kansas for summer courses. So the “nuna posse” took him out for sushi…..in Surrey, of all places! Kipum said that she recently discovered this great place right by Guildford Mall and highly recommended it. When I asked her the ethnicity of the owners Kipum said the place is run by Japanese, which is quite rare to find in Vancouver, and almost impossible to find East of the Port Mann Bridge! She also said that while the head chef is Korean he trained and worked in Japan. Well, I figured we could put this all to the test! In any case, Kipum, JooHee, Jaewon and I headed out to give it a try.
I don’t know what it is but somehow when we walked in It just felt authentic. Traditionally Korean owned sushi places try really hard to make it seem like they are authentic Japanese by putting in bamboo dividers, plants and rice paper decor everywhere and perhaps one of those tranquility fountains by the door. It makes me think that when you’re not the representative of an ethnic cuisine you somehow try to make up for it in decor. What sets Hanako apart is that it’s very simplistic bordering on stark but still makes you feel comfortable. I suppose it’s kind of like a judge-us-for-the-food demeanor. The staff seemed like they were Japanese, the small restaurant was clean & full.
What excited me about the place was the menu! At the door was a list of special seasonal items, such as Spot Prawn and Blue Fin Tuna! And they have Battera on their regular menu! From what I have read on other blogs, THIS is hard to come by 😉 I was having a great feeling about this place and couldn’t wait to see whether the food would be able to prove itself.
We were starving, but due to the surprisingly diverse menu it took us a couple extra minutes to figure things out. Okay, FINE. It took ME a few extra minutes to pick out what I wanted to try!
Kipum started off with a wonderful Oyster Motoyaki. I didn’t partake in the tasting due to my not being overly fond of oyster, but from what I could gather it was nice and creamy without being heavy. Everyone seemed delighted by it, so I take that as a definite plus.
Joohee & I shared a Tuna Gomae to start. I think we were both expecting the typical spinach salad with bits of tuna in it..but instead we got this raw tuna in a sauce! Not sure what all went into the sauce..but i’m guessing soy sauce, some sugar, sesame seeds…and topped off with green onions 😉 The tuna was fresh and the sauce was light but tasty!
I know I already did the Spot Prawn thing at Guu Garden, but I just couldn’t resist! I ordered the Spot Prawn 2 Ways which came first as a Spot Prawn Miso Soup with the head. It was perhaps one of the best misos I have ever had at a restaurant! The soup was so clear, and I think they used prawn stock as the soup was also very light and had taken on the fresh taste of the spot prawn. Never have I raved about miso soup..until now!
For my meal I had the Spicy Salmon Roll & the rest of my Spot Prawn came out as a Nigiri. Sweet, fresh, clean. Just how I like my sushi! Happy Happy Jenn ❤
Kipum suggested Jaewon to get the Chirashi Don. Wooooooow! Look at how amazing it looks!!! I don’t think I have ever seen a Chirashi Don that looked this good and with such an amazing variety! I love the vibrant colors, how fresh everything looks…premium!
Kipum Unni had the Battera. As you can see the sushi rice has lemon as well as a hint of green onion in it and is pressed to a rectangle. I think she liked the novelty of it. I’ll have to try it next time I’m there so I can see what all the talk is about 😉
I have to say, all the food was fresh, presented well, clean and overall a hit. I gladly paid a few extra dollars just because of the great quality of everything. A new find! Who knew you’d be able to find true sushi in Surrey? Score for us!!