Watch out Mappen, there’s a new kid in town! I absolutely love Mappen but the hordes of humans always makes me want to bite off my arms when battling for a seat so when I spotted this post I quickly dragged the boy out for dinner after work. Hana Hana (5/209 Thomas St, Haymarket) is blissfully quiet without the dreaded crowds and comes with the novelty of touch screen ordering. Photos and easy navigation makes ordering simple, there are soups, rice bowls, okonomi-yaki, ramen and udon.
After placing your order and grabbing the ticket from the machine, make your way into the restaurant and take a tray. The fried foods section is first and I can’t resist the Croquette ($3) which is a fat, golden crumbed puck of smooth potato. Noods stares entranced at the Chrysanthemum Tempura with scallop ($3), drawn to the neon green.
Slide on along to the cold foods fridge where boxes of sashimi, seaweed, salad and desserts live. We grab a box of sashimi ($5) and while it is a tad on the small side it is enough to appease us, the slices of salmon, tuna and kingfish are fresh and tasty.
The Ontama Bukkake Udon is a steal at ($4.90), fat squiggly udon are satisfyingly chewy with the right amount of bite. And an oozy soft boiled egg? Just perfect for stabbing and letting gloriously yolky innards bathe the noodles in deliciousness.
Noods has chosen the Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen ($8.90), the soup is not as flavourful as the nearby Menya but we love the ribbon of fatty pork and the bouncy noodles.
There’s also a nice little incentive to return your tray- receive a stamp on your loyalty card, five stamps = a free bowl of Bukkake! Hana Hana is right next door Emperor Garden and down from Paddys markets and I reckon it’s only a matter of time before it gets inundated with the uni students but for now get in and enjoy no lines!