December 11, 2022

New intimate Izakaya-style Japanese restaurant Hana opens on Geelong’s Malop Street

Get ready for melt-in-your-mouth Japanese dishes, refreshing sake and rich Japanese whiskey.

There’s something about Geelong and its adoration of Japanese cuisine. Whether it’s our passion for sizing up a good ramen, a night out with rare sakes and whiskeys, or just love tearing up yakitori, our love affair with Japanese cuisine is something that continues to grow. , aided by high-quality local restaurants. we have access.

That being said, there is always room for more. And this month, we were honored with an excellent – ​​and creative – approach to cooking with Japanese restaurant Hana.

Keep up to date with the latest food and alcohol news in the area here.

Opened last week, Hana has nestled in the heart of Geelong, occupying space at 35 Malop Street, right next to Italian restaurant La Porchetta.

Taking a minimalist approach to Japanese design, the space is sleek yet cozy, with oak surfaces, intimate booths (for added privacy), a warm palette of brown tones, textured plaster, and a soft glow from intricate lights. . Inspired by Japanese minimalism, the less is more approach pays off.

The welcoming and warm atmosphere here is well suited to the Izakaya-style dining that Hana aims to offer. Omnipresent in Japan, an izakaya is a place where people come to relax with colleagues and friends. More like a tapas bar or gastropub than just a bar, at an izakaya you take your pick from beer, whiskey, sake, and a wide variety of Japanese (and not-so-Japanese) foods.

And that’s exactly what you’ll find at Hana. Here, sharing plates are king and you can expect a carefree and interactive dining experience, with a dynamic and playful menu fusing modern, traditional and energetic flavors with innovative execution. Each visit to Hana promises to be unique as their ambitious chefs constantly rotate the menu around the freshest produce and seasonal ingredients.

To start, dip into Edamame, Pork Gyoza (or Shrimp or Vegetable), Tori Karaage (AKA Japanese-Style Fried Chicken Diced), Yakitori (Chicken Skewer), Japanese Fried Chicken Wings, Crab Claw, Fried Oysters, miso soup, or a Wakame Salad. It’s barely scratching the surface of the entrees menu: Hana is serious and serves a comprehensive and intensive introduction to authentic, traditional Japanese cuisine.

Responding to the area’s love of soul-warming ramen, Hana serves up bowls and bowls of it. There is Hakata Chashu Pork ramen, Wagyu Yakuza Ramen, Hakata Pork Gyoza, Tokyo Tofu (in soy broth) or the Hakata Chicken Karaage in creamy pork broth. If udon is more your style, there’s teriyaki chicken udon, beef udon, and tempura udon, all served with a delicious bok choy soup and udon noodles. There’s also a dry ramen dish in Teriyaki Salmon that looks like a must-try.

You’ll also find a dedicated Don menu, featuring Oyako don, Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Don, Original Ontama Beef Don, as well as a curry selection.

As you take in your surroundings and indulge in the food, sip sake, Umeshu, or a Japanese whiskey. The restaurant has impressive selections from all, with particular highlights being Hibiki and The Yamazaki on the whiskey front. As for love, well, you’ll have your work cut out trying to decide. Our advice? Go on a Friday night and work your way through the listing. No regrets.

There’s also a selection of beers and ciders, as well as soft drinks, sparkling water, iced tea, and juices.

Sit back and enjoy the unforgettable Japanese dining experience of Hana’s innovative and changing seasonal dishes. A hidden gem, Hana is perfect for your next date night or for getting together with other foodies in Geelong. Thank us later.

Hana Japanese is located at 35 Malop Street Geelong and is open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday 11am-3pm and 5pm-9.30pm; Saturday 11am-9.30pm; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Learn more and explore the menu via the website here.