Hanamizuki

There are positives and negatives in squeezing every ounce of time in a theme park.  The value-side of the argument would imply that you got everything out of the day while the saner person would reason that health and well-being (of the adults, with tired whining kids) are more important.  Well for me, the main problem is eats afterwards - most places are closed!  Hence, that led us to a lil' Japanese joint right behind our hotel.  Hanamizuki was open late and run by Japanese people!

Viv ended up going for their dinner combo where you pick one entree and then add $12.00 for soup, salad, appetizer, tempura or sashimi, chawanmushi, rice and dessert. As evidenced in the picture, the Green Salad was fresh and we loved how they gave us a bottle of dressing (so we could regulate the amount ourselves). Viv chose the Appetizer Tempura and it was pretty much sub-par with soggy and limp ingredients encased in even soggier batter.  It was thick, pale-looking and not very appetizing.  As much as miso soup can be pretty boring, this one was actually quite good where the flavors weren't predominantly of salt.

For $21.00, the Chirashi Don was lacking a bit in substance.  Not that there was not enough ingredients nor were they lacking in quality either, but they were sliced rather thin.  As for the sushi rice, it wasn't bad with a chewy texture.  It was on the bland side though. The Hanamizuki Roll consisting of tamago and eel was okay with decent sushi rice, but there seemed to be very little substance to it.  All I got was egg.  We also got an order of Chicken Karaage which was meaty and crispy but also a touch dry.  I liked the tang from the lemon though.

The Teriyaki Chicken was nicely charred, but remarkably dry. It was a big portion though.  I did appreciate the light teriyaki sauce though as it was not the thick syrupy type nor too sweet.  I liked the rice vinegar hit.  As part of the combo, the Chawanmushi was very good being silky and not very watery.  Loved the subtle flavors from the mushrooms too.  For the kiddies, we got them the Tempura Udon which suffered from the same crappy tempura, but the high quality udon made up for it as it was chewy and had bite.  The soup was sweet and mild. Ultimately, Hanamizuki fulfilled a need - to fill our tummies with real Japanese food.  It was not cheap, but at least it wasn't burger and fries.

The Good:
- Authentic
- Friendly people
- Lots of choice

The Bad:
- Expensive
- It's authentic, but doesn't mean everything is good

Hanamizuki Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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