Newest Review: ... Teppanyaki roughly translates as 'hot-plate pan fried' and this pretty much sums up the experience. Guests are seated around a la... more
Japanese food cooked right in front of you, lovely!
Hanahana Restaurant (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
Member Name: Gemma_C
Hanahana Restaurant (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
Date: 21/04/09, updated on 03/02/10 (675 review reads)
Advantages: Gorgeous food, fun to watch it being cooked and brilliant service.
Disadvantages: Can be really busy at weekends but it's a fun atmosphere.
Hanahana is a Teppan Yaki restaurant in Newcastle Upon Tyne. It does typical Japanese cuisine with lots of fresh fish and vegetables on the menu, but it also contains something for everyone if you're not a fish fan!
I'd never been to Hanahana before but I had heard lots of good things about it. I love Japanese culture and food so I was really excited to try this out! I went as a party of 4 on a busy Friday evening. The outside of the building is painted a nice red colour and inside looked warm and cosy!
As we entered we were greeted and seated in the bar area. It was nice to see all the staff and chefs were of japanese origin and the women wore lovely colourful robes. The bar area was a bit cramped, but it's more of a holding area anyway until you get seated, not an actual bar itself. A lady took our drinks orders and left us to look over the menu.
The menu is very extensive. There was a huge range of appetisers and sushi dishes (makimono), then there were some set banquets, set dinners and the ala carte menu. I opted for one of the banquets (as did the rest of the party) and we ordered 2 sushi dishes.
Not long after we were ushered to our seats. The man showing us bangs a drum in the entrance way and shouts something out, before leading us up to our table. We couldn't quite make out what this drum banging was all about, we guessed it's to signal to the chef that the people are being seated! You are sat at a communal dining table, ours had 8 seats. You are seated around a large hot plate built into the dining table. Our drinks were carried over from the bar area to the table for us. Infront of us were lovely little square plates with a japanese design on them, and the chop sticks. No knives and forks here! I'm not sure if they provide you with other cutlery as we were fine with the chopsticks, but I imagine they might?
It wasn't long at all before our starters to our banquets were brought to our table (this isn't cooked infront of you). As we started to eat our other people seated at our table and the chef arrived and began banging his cooking utensils together and off the hot plate in a kind of musical way. The food which he was going to cook was on a trolley and all looked nice and fresh.
The chef begins cooking as you eat and it was amazing to watch him. He slices the food up very quickly, so quick that when I took photo's his hands are always blurred! Everyone around the table had obviously ordered something different, he seemed to glance at the order note once, then that was it, he had it memorised. As the evening went on he expertly served us our food, whether it was the small portions of fish, or the chicken etc. Before he begins to cook the egg fried rice he does a little act of throwing the egg into the air and catching it in his chef's hat. He then invites people up to try and do the same. This was quite funny to watch! I decided to give it a go, and failed miserably as the egg smashed open on the hotplate!
The sirloin steak was set on fire at the end, quite a blast of heat in your face!
The service whilst at the table was brilliant, waiters and waitresses were always about to clean up dishes and empty glasses, and quick to ask if you needed any more drinks. At one points some drinks were brought over but they were wrong, straight away a supervisor type man noticed and came over, ushered the waitress away to get the correct drinks quickly and apologised to us. Very efficient service!
Of course this restaurant is quite pricey, a once in a while treat, but certainly worth the money! We spent around £30-£35 a head including a couple of drinks, not too bad really as this was a lovely restaurant.
I will certainly eat here again, the food was gorgeous and it's so nice to see it being cooked infront of you. The service was great and the atmosphere was fun, it's certainly worth the money.
Summary: Japanese food cooked infront of you, and brilliant service. Excellent!