Sherman's Food Adventures: Kaneko Hannosuke (The Amazing Brentwood)

Kaneko Hannosuke (The Amazing Brentwood)

Here I am again at The Amazing Brentwood.  This time around, I was invited with Roanna, Jess and Eileen to try out Kaneko Hannosuke.  Now I've been here before and in fact, is one of my son's favourite things to eat.  This happens to be the only location of Kaneko Hannosuke since the Robson store has quietly closed.  To be honest, I was initially skeptical of tempura on rice as it just didn't seem like something I'd enjoy.  But after several meals later, I have concluded that I indeed like it and have come back a few times.  Unlike those individual visits, we decided to try the whole menu out at this tasting.

So let's start with the most basic version first in the Regular Tempura Bowl sporting mushroom, shrimp, kakiage, soft boiled egg, seaweed and green bean.  Underneath the tempura was a layer of rice that was about 1/2 deep from the top (as the plastic bowl inside the paper bowl doesn't go all the way to the bottom).  On the side, we found miso soup, tendon sauce and pickled ginger.  I can confirm that this is a sufficient amount of food as it was enough for me.  The sauce on the side ensures that the tempura doesn't get soggy and also you can control the seasoning for the dish.

For those who want some meat with their seafood, there is the Chicken Tempura Bowl with everything in the regular bowl except the mushrooms were subbed out in favour of chicken.  Hence, this was a bit more filling something was like chicken karaage but not (due to the batter).  Chicken was tender and juicy while the batter was crunchy, even with sauce poured over it.  The rice was nicely chewy where the fried soft-poached egg offered up some moisture. 

Continuing on filling, the Salmon Tempura Bowl had 2 pieces of fried salmon that were the same size as the chicken.  It wasn't as juicy per se, but it wasn't dry either.  Once again, the batter was aggressively crunchy on all of the ingredients (they actually stay crunchy even if you bring it home as takeout).  The sweet and salty sauce complimented the rice and tempura nicely.  I found it similar to tempura sauce, but with a bit more depth and flavour.

One of my favourites is the Sea Scallop Tempura Bowl where if you notice, the ingredients are the same except for one item.  These are the giant scallops in this case and they were cooked perfectly.  Being buttery with a rebound, these scallops were sweet and featured a taste of the sea.  Just like the other bowls, the tempura batter was not exactly thin, but it wasn't heavy either.

Another one of my preferred options, the Oyster Tempura Bowl that, you guessed it, replaces the scallops with 3 medium-sized oysters.  The oysters were fresh and fried up just right.  They were juicy and briny with a slight amount of chew from the mantle.  Due to the shape and indentations of the oyster, there was much more tempura batter on it and hence, it was even more crunchy.

For those who really love their shrimp, the Ebi Tempura Bowl is the one for them.  It not only includes the 2 shrimp tempura from the original ingredients, this bowl added 3 more to give it a total of 5 shrimp tempura.  This featured shrimp that had a meaty snap and plenty of sweet shrimpy aroma.  Batter was aggressive and hence the crunch was firm.  I put a bit more sauce on these to soften them up a touch.

Now onto the Special Tempura Bowl, this also included the same stuff but the main ingredient was subbed for white fish.  It was quite heavily battered, but once again, the crunch was not heavy.  I didn't have the appetite to try this one, but based on past visits, the fish does remain moist.  Also love the fried nori as it eats like a chip.  The mixed seafood tempura was mostly comprised of squid which was tender with a soft chew.

The granddaddy of them all is the Premium Tempura Bowl featuring a really large piece of conger eel.  As such, this was the most filling of all and worthy of the $19.95 price tag.  My teenage son gets full after eating this and in fact, I bought one of these (on my own coin) to take home because he wanted one.  Compared to the salmon and white fish, the eel was the most moist of them all.  So as you can see, the bowls are very similar except for one key ingredient.  Prices range from $16.95 to the aforementioned premium bowl at $19.95.  If you love tempura, this will suit your fancy.  I never thought I would like this, but after many visits, it has won me over.

*All bowls were complimentary except for the one I bought for my son... LOL*

The Good:
- Crunchy tempura that isn't greasy
- Is quite filling
- That sauce is nicely balanced and not salty

The Bad:
- Only location locally for now since the Robson one is gone (so only food court for now)
- May need more sauce than what is supplied


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