Sherman's Food Adventures: Hachi Hana

Hachi Hana

Despite enjoying a nice meal at Koko a few days prior, we needed more quality Japanese food to erase the nightmare of a meal at Kawawa. I think it'll take me awhile before I recover psychologically from that meal. I wonder if there is such thing as a food shrink? Being that we were already on the North Shore, we headed up to upper Lonsdale in search of Hachi Hana. Interestingly, I already knew what the front of the restaurant already looked like since I looked it up on Google Street View. I must say this is a handy tool; yet creepy at the same time. I looked up some friends' houses and boy, I felt almost stalkerish. We got there at 11:45am and the door was open, so we strolled in. Apparently they were not open even though it said they opened at 11:30am. It seems that they changed their opening hour to 12:00pm. So instead of waiting in the pouring rain, we waited in the car. This sushi better be worth the wait and trouble!!! I was so tempted to go next door to the new location of Tamarind Hill and the other Japanese restaurant - Kokoro.

When we finally made it in there, I was surprised how small the place was. There is a table at the front that seats 2 people; but barely. The table we were at wasn't anymore spacious. It was tough to get into my seat since the table next to us was less only a foot away. However, I needed to sit there, it was the only one near the window! Looking over the menu, I noticed that the prices were quite reasonable, especially the bento boxes. Viv decided on the most expensive box which included green salad, tempura, dynamite roll, 4pcs nigiri and 4 pcs sashimi. I went for a Unagi Cone, Spicy Prawn Cone and 1/2 of a Futomaki. We got the requisite Chicken Udon for the kiddies.

Viv's bento box arrived first and the sashimi looked and tasted quite fresh. No mushy fish here. I actually removed the Dynamite Roll from the box to take a picture of it. I tried to take it in the box, but all I could see was rice and sesame seeds. Unacceptable! The roll was pretty good, rice was the right consistency being soft with whole grains while not being mushy. Despite what you see in the picture, the tempura was not not over-battered. It was crispy, hot and perfectly fried. We liked the addition of a green bean since we don't often get this.

My 2 sushi cones arrived next and they were filled with plenty of ingredients. First of all, they looked nice and secondly they tasted quite good. I found that the Spicy Dynamite Cone was really not all that hot; rather, it was more sweet than anything. It didn't detract from the cone itself; but if you were looking for spicy, this is not it. The Unagi Cone was stuffed full of unagi, pickled ginger and crunchy cucumber. It was a nice contrast of textures and flavours, with the ginger giving a nice kick. I also got 1/2 of a Futomaki Roll and this one was rolled tightly and full of ingredients once again. I emphasize the "tightly" because if not done right, the thing falls apart since it's so large. As you can see in the picture, lots of imitation crab, tomago, oshinko, cucumbers and shiitake mushrooms. I liked that there was not too much rice in their rolls either.

The kiddies split a Chicken Udon and well, it was an udon. The soup base was quite flavourful; however, I found the udon a bit on the soft side. Actually the kids like it soft, so it all worked out. Another solid Japanese meal! How about that? My faith has now been restored! I think the
meals at Koko and Hachi Hana have exorcised the demons of Kawawa. The sun is shining again, the grass is green, birds are singing and people are driving safely in Richmond (okay, let's not get carried away here). Bottom line, the food was fresh and prepared properly. Prices were reasonable and the service was friendly. The place might be small and unassuming; but I'd eat here again.

The Good:
- Food is fresh and prepared properly
- Prices are reasonable
- Service is friendly

The Bad:
- Seating is a bit tight
- Not good for big groups

Hachi Hana on Urbanspoon

8 comments:

Anita said...

HI Sherman,

Cool your faith has been restored in Japanese restaurants again! As in your last post Koko seems quite decent. It's around where I used to live but now my fav hole in the wall is Shima-Ya. Let me know if you are in the area! hehe

HAHA as for the Google street view. Yah it is a tad creepy. HAHA

Jessica604 said...

I think it takes a triple whammy to exorcise the food demons from Kawawa. Please don't play into that cult horror movie genre and think that the demons are gone for good - they're just injured! :D

I love Hachi Hana! I always thought that they (and a lot of other businesses on the North Shore) made too much money though - they are never open on Sundays or holidays!

I miss the North Shore. *sigh*

Sherman said...

Anita, tahnks for the tip, I'll definitely give Shima-Ya a go. Google Street View is stalkerish!

LOL Jessica! Yah, I'll do more good Japanese then! I was surprised at quality of food at Hachi Hana. If I'm on the North Shore, I'll definitely eat there again.

KimHo said...

Darn, why do I still feel guilty about Kawawa??? NOT! :P

Well, it is more than one person who is suggesting Shima-Ya so there is no way for you NOT to go, hehehehe.

Michelle Tchea said...

this was probably one of the worst sushi places i went to. i know this comment is late following your post, but the rice has since been changed and is 'average'.
how can a japanese style chef, be so rude to people who walk in - paying customers - and also use 'non sushi rice' disappointing to say the least....
how are you sherman? haha!!!! thought i would spice up your website!

Sherman said...

Hey, no worries Michelle, my experience was good, yours not. Perfectly fine.

Unknown said...

We just went to Hachi Hana and the goma-ae featured rancid spinach that was turning brown. The waitress thoughtfully returned it to the kitchen. Not another word was said other than me saying that I wasn't going to pay for that item. I find Nami just a block down the street a million times better service and food.

Sherman Chan said...

Note that I went here in 2009, it could've gone downhill since then...