Thursday, February 24, 2011


Hanare: Round Five. Earlier entries: Feb. 2, Feb. 6, Feb. 8 & Feb 10.

Fugu tataki. Pufferfish, briefly seared and seasoned with ginger. Having happily survived to tell this tale, we can attest that Hanare's fugu is firm, fresh and flavorsome. Worth risking death to devour? Well, the peril wasn't all that palpable.

Fried fugu. Double the danger, double the fun! Fleshy fish, thinly blanketed in greaseless batter. Absolutely addictive (way better than fish & chips, at any rate).

Fugu soup, the sole letdown in our trio of pufferfish recipes. Bland broth, bony fish. Each fugu dish costs about 80 ringgit (note: they're not listed on the a la carte menu).

Inaniwa udon. Silky smooth noodles, served nearly icy cold.

The udon is paired with nuclear-hot chicken soup. Dunk 'em in for a tasty treat. Simple and savory; as comfortingly traditional as Japanese cuisine gets.

The fun of visiting Hanare over and over again rests in trying ingredients cooked in different styles. We sampled the steamed cod milt several weeks ago, so we wanted to check out another preparation this time. The kitchen obliged, and voila! This shirako tempura was equally enjoyable, with a beautifully crisp coating.

A generous serving of grilled tuna belly. Succulence squared.

Simmered snapper head with root veggies. A knockout; the flesh was achingly moist and subtly sweet, but we especially enjoyed the gooey, gelatinous eye.

The amberjack fillet, on the other hand, seemed a bit dry and overcooked.

Miso soup. The ultimate in umami.

Grilled Wagyu beef helped restore order to our universe, with its bold, intense flavor and mouthwatering tenderness. Pretty much perfect.

Seafood porridge, packed with prawns & fish Not what we expected, but we liked it. Thick and creamy, with a consistency akin to risotto but the mild taste of congee.

Hatsukuru Karakuchi. A bottle a day does not keep the doctor away.

Ground Floor, The Intermark,
Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2164-2133


  1. Wow Hanare must be one of your favorite restaurants of 2011. And so much fugu as well :S

  2. Baby sumo: hanare ranks really high for me ... its scope and quality of ingredients seem to be as good as things can get in kl. I've never been a major fan of fugu (it's often too bland or rubbery), but the preparations here made the best of it =)

  3. YAY! You survived! *hugs*
    (Fugu is scary... to me anyway)

  4. woohoo! same post today. THIS is my top Jap resto for the year.. i don't care:P

  5. and now, i got another reason to go back. FUGU. poisonous buggers just poisoned my mind with the thot of eating them. grrrr.

  6. It's a pity it's so expensive or I'd go there more often. Sigh....

  7. fugu sounds very they slice it fresh or has it been pre-sliced?

  8. Have u tried the entire menu by now? hahaha never a fan of fugu (i know i know...) but this tataki looks mouth watering

  9. I cannot wait for another return to Hanare. I <3 that place!

  10. j: thanks! ya, i used to have trepidations about fugu too, but it sounds like only a few people die from eating fugu worldwide every year. so it seems less risky than driving on the highway =)
    ciki: heheh, very glad to read that you and cumi had a good dinner here! yeah, now that you've bravely conquered the shirako/cod sperm, you can return and try the fugu! :D
    lemongrass: ya, i wonder if the high prices will be a major problem in the long run. every time i ate here, there were only one or two other tables occupied...
    joe: yikes, i have no idea, sorry. i suspect pre-sliced, but i'll have to ask next time :D
    augustdiners: the great thing about hanare is that the seasonal items that are not listed on the menu are much better than what's actually on the menu! so throw away the menu and just ask the staff to tell you what recommended for the day =)
    michelle: yikes, but you're thousands of miles away now! hopefully you'll have another excellent dinner here when you return at the end of the year :D

  11. i didn't get to visit Hanare the last week as I went to Zipangu instead due to logistics convenience. hope to try this place soon

  12. Eiling: zipangu's nice too! It's probably my favorite hotel Japanese restaurant =)

  13. *broke from Aussie* [kept silence]

  14. Tng: eeks! I guess that's the danger of the weak ringgit vs the strong dollar!