Fri November 16, 2012
Restaurant Review: Hana Cafe
I have been going to Hana Café since it was a little Rock Road hole in the wall. It was tiny then, and very simple and Japanese-looking, complete with a waving kitty and blue and white curtains. The menu was small but excellent, serving sushi, pork tonkatsu, miso soup, and other Japanese specialties. One might also order a few Korean dishes, all well prepared.
Hana Café eventually became so popular that the owners expanded to the then-new Old Town Square area, right by the theater. They continued to serve many of the same things from the old menu, but expanded the Japanese and Korean offerings and created more interesting varieties of sushi. I love sushi, and will even eat grocery store sushi with joy, but Hana’s is special. In traditional Japanese fashion, the rolls are small enough to fit into your mouth in one bite, a far cry from some of the gargantuan, ten-ingredient, deep-fried logs that many “inventive” sushi bars are into these days.
The tempura at Hana is some of the best I have had in Wichita-- fresh shrimp, seasonal vegetables, all coated in light-as-air crunchy batter and served with tangy dipping sauce. If you go with a friend, you might want to consider a double order, because you will not want to share. Hana serves wine, beer, cocktails and specialty sakes, as well as hot tea and soft drinks. The service can be a tiny bit slow, so if you are trying to catch a movie after dinner, plan accordingly.