[SG] Hamanoya - The Dining Edition's hidden gem!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

We've walked past the new Dining Edition at Marina Square several times, not knowing exactly what to eat with the variety of choices available now. Finally settling on Hamanoya, an atas-looking restaurant that looked pretty intimidating with the golden mirrors and a dark interior, we decided to give it a shot since cy was feeling generous to splurge and treat us! :P

Warmly welcomed and served by their polite and courteous service crew, we were impressed with the strong understanding of their menu, knowing what to recommend and introducing their seasonal fresh catch with such fervour. With an appetite for adventure, cy happily told the service staff  'I'll leave it to you to choose our dishes'.

Specialising in robatayaki, or robata in short, it's a trending style of cooking in restaurants, where traditionally seafood and vegetables are slow-grilled over hot charcoal. Subsequently, most dishes that are suitable are also placed on the grill. Slightly different from the usual where diners would seat round the grilling area (like teppanyaki style), this had comfy seats where food was served to you fresh from the grill.

Grilled Squid and Scallop on Stick

First served with hot towels and complimentary amuse-bouche for a taste of their warm hospitality, we were pleasantly surprised with the charcoal-grilled squid and scallop on sticks. Fresh and tender, it was grilled just nice with a slight bounce in the flesh and a light taste of seafood lingering in your mouth. Simple yet nicely done to start off our meal with great anticipation! 

Verdict: 8.5/10

Robata Catch-of-the-day ($20.99/$18.99)

These two were their seasonal catch, painstakingly introduced at each table for every diner by their service staff holding a tray of their specials going around. Sparking off a photo-taking frenzy when served, the presentation of it won us over already, impressed by the amount of effort they put into display given the price tag of it. Extremely fresh with its meat coming off the bones easily, it was very fine and tender, without any of the fishy taste that I'm always afraid of for fish dishes. Cooked just nice so that it didn't get too tough, it was served without any sauces and covered only in salt, it gave the natural taste of the fish, with its freshness shining through. Cy is usually picky about his fish, but this managed to satisfy his picky palates!

Verdict: 9.0/10

Chawanmushi ($4.99)

Smooth silken steamed egg, this is one that's pretty hard to go wrong, yet difficult to impress as well. Instead of the usual minced meat for that added texture, this was served with crab meat, topped with yuzu slices. I was expecting the surimi kinda crabmeat stick to go as that's typically what's served with chawanmushi but this gave quality fresh crab shreds, adding a dash of seafood sweetness and the bounce in each mouthful. The citrus twist was also refreshing, adding a subtle fragrance to the dish with a tad of bitter aftertaste. Satisfying cup of warmth indeed!    

 Verdict: 9.0/10

Okonomiyaki ($7.99)

A classic Japanese dish, a first bite into it got us all nodding with satisfaction. Japanese pancake with mainly cabbage, eggs, Japanese mayonnaise, topped with bonito flakes. The vegetables were cooked soft enough for my liking so that you don't taste the raw juices of it flowing as you bite into it, yet retaining a slight crunch to it.  

We loved the generous serving of bonito flakes for that added savouriness and it had just enough mayonnaise to make it sweet and creamy, yet not jelat. A classic dish done well!

Verdict: 9.0/10

Tonkotsu Hotpot ($16.99)

Craving for some hot soup to go with our meal, we decided to go with the Tonkotsu base, another of their all-time favourite hotpot selection. First mouthful got us cringing at the taste of it and exclamations of 'whoa this is super salty!' came along. For ramen lovers, this would taste pretty similar to the tonkotsu ramen soup base. Though good to go with ramen or some rice, it was too salty for it to be taken on its own. The base was rich and flavourful, and blended very well as we dipped rice into little bowls of soup (somewhat like porridge). We expected the flesh of the pork ribs to come off the bones easily, however they were a tad too stiff.

Verdict: 7.0/10

Steamed Clams in Sake ($6.99)

This caught our eye immediately when we were told of the sake in it. First tasting the clams on its own, it was fresh and juicy, without the fishy seafood taste. It wasn't washed very thoroughly though, tasting crunchy sand bits with every mouthful. The broth, however, more than made up for it! Served warm, it was lightly sweet with a tinge of sake taste to it, warming your stomach with comfort soup, yet not overpowering the taste of the fresh clams. Would have been perfect if the clams weren't that sandy! 

Verdict: 7.5/10

Assorted Skewer ($12.99)

Fickle and spoilt for choice, we decided to go with the mixed platter with beef, chicken, wings and minced meat skewers. Well marinated, it was grilled to a tender soft perfection and I especially loved the grilled wings with just slightly charred skin for that added fragrance! The accompanying sauce was just right, savoury enough for our liking! 

Verdict: 8.5/10

Shishamo ($6.99)

Grilled instead of the usual fried version, it helped retain more juices within and a taste of how fresh it was. I liked the contrast of the softer insides with a slight crisp skin, grilled to perfection. Cy is a big fan of shishamos and he preferred a much crispier skin. For a slightly healthier version, this definitely did not lose out to its fried counterparts!

Verdict: 8.0/10 

Comfortable seating with excellent service, this was quite a bonus on top of its quality dishes. We loved the quiet and private ambience for a relaxing evening while savouring our table full of delectable dishes. Affordable and all managing to meet our expectations, we thought this is quite a hidden gem and would definitely return for some comfort Japanese food again! 

Overall Verdict: 8.5/10
#02-106 Marina Square 
6 Raffles Boulevard
Visit them on Facebook!

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  1. Thanks for this! I nearly gave up at the start of the post thinking that it'll be too pricey. But they all look pretty reasonable. And nice shots of the food! (:

    1. Yup indeed that was our first thought entering the restaurant as well! Thankfully it didn't burn a hole in our pocket (; Thanks for the compliments and for dropping by! Do have a try and let us know your review too!