Discovering the right note with Japanese food at Hanazen

by - Monday, September 07, 2015

Whenever someone offers me a choice of Japanese food, I rarely say no.

Rarely, almost next to never, in my context.

No exception.

I am picky and while I love Japanese food in general, I still do have that few places which I hold close to my heart; well, they made it there because they just suit my humble and picky tastes, in terms of their food quality, ambiance, service and even price range.

It is a multitude of factors, really, rather than just the food alone although the food quality definitely tops the list, especially in the case of Japanese food.

All cuisines too, are based on the prime focus of their ingredients and the freshness is of utmost importance across all these cuisines; regardless of the culture, in determining the quality of the food.
The best ingredients are often used, and sourced to ensure that they play that role in making up a good dish.
Freshness is also the key to everything, in all the cuisines, not just Japanese cuisine.

Japanese cuisine play on that concept of simplicity and lets (most of the time), the raw ingredients to strike up that chord on their own note, and to take centerstage in the whole play.

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I like that; Simplicity is key.

That translates to light and not overwhelming tastes, not heavily laden with sauces which could be too sweet, too salty, too sour, or just too anything.

Seasoning is often kept to the minimum, if you noticed, to allow the freshness of the raw ingredients to shine through.

Sashimi, is that clear example of keeping their raw cuts of the selected fish and seafood to their best original state, at the point of its arrival (or delivery).

It is impossible to make a good sashimi plate, when the raw fish, are in the first place, not fresh.

I like my sashimi, and sometimes, I like them in that salad combination too.

Sashimi Salad in Hanazen 

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Sushi too, thrives on that whole freshness concept.

I may not be big on sushi, but everyone else is, when it comes to Japanese food.
That's how it (Japanese food/restaurants) became known, or fondly even termed as Sushi bars in some places.

Sushi has taken that leading role in Japanese food, probably due to the popularity of the sushi on conveyor belts in their first wave of commercialization, and the image has just stuck since.

The depiction of Japanese food, is always, about Sushi, first.

Sushi plate in Hanazen

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Light marinades and seasoning just make up that success factor and also the true test of the freshness of the natural source.

Sake Teriyaki, or grilled salmon served with teriyaki sauce is that clear example and is one of my personal favorites.
(Well, basically everything teriyaki works for me, as long as they are not too heavily drenched to overload and are just kept at that light drizzle to form a really tiny pool around the food object. 
I don't like anything with high salty content, or even sugary, for that matter)

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I am not sure if you are a fan of eel, or Unagi?
It is a delicacy and one of the rather premium favorites for Japanese cuisine.

I am not really a fan, to be honest, but I am surrounded by everyone (almost everyone) who just loves this to bits.
It is that slice of Japanese food that they crave.


Lightly grilled  and marinated Unagi (eel) 

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Most of the Japanese food are focused on the homely concept and it is not uncommon to see bento sets (meal boxes with a  combination of starter, appetizer, main course, soup, rice and dessert) on most of the menus of the restaurants.

A course set of both the Unagi and the Sushi

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A cup of Ocha (or green tea) is just the perfect complement to any Japanese meal.
It is almost a sin, in my context, to order anything else.

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(Most Japanese restaurants do offer this for free, and on a refillable basis, which is just echoing that need for this tea with every meal, or so I say )


I have discovered this new restaurant in Jaya One recently, thanks to my friend/colleague and everything just hit that right note with my tastes and craving, in terms of their food and even the ambiance.

Prices are slightly on the higher side, though not outrageously so, but the food and the environment make up for that price tag.

I think I may have just found myself a new favorite; and Hanazen Jaya One is probably going to be another one on my list of Japanese restaurants that will be on my regular haunts.

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*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and preferences and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.





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