Hana: Authentic Takoyaki in the heart of Makati


It was a Friday night and we were all raring to leave the office to embark on what was promising to be an interesting evening. The mission? Binge on authentic takoyaki!

Takoyaki

Off we went to meet some friends in Hana, a small Japanese restaurant nestled in Makati’s Little Tokyo. Homey, comfortable and casual, stepping inside Hana is like being transported to an authentic izakaya, a place where you can eat and have a few drinks. Baseball pennants and photos adorn the walls while a live Japanese baseball game airs on the flatscreen TVs. We slipped our shoes off at the quiet little alcove where we were seated and ordered takoyaki.

Takoyaki

At Hana, the takoyaki is cooked on a per order basis. They have a stand set-up outside the store entrance, where a chef from Osaka whips up each order. It is said that the best takoyaki hail from Osaka so this, plus the fact that all the ingredients used were imported from Japan raised our expectations even more.

Takoyaki

Were those high expectations met? Yes plus more! Served fresh off the grill, the takoyaki were crisp on the outside and sprinkled with takoyaki sauce, some flavorings and what I assume is mayonnaise. The insides were soft and gooey, packed with bits of octopus, adding a chewy bite to the takoyaki—definitely my favorite part of the whole thing. It’s easy to say that Hana’s is the best takoyaki I have ever tried in Manila. Best of all, it’s affordable at 6 pieces for 100 PhP.

Uji Kintoki Kakigori

Another thing that caught our attention was the kakigori, a Japanese shaved ice dessert. I love green tea-based desserts so I had the Uji Kintoki (80 PhP). It had fine shaved ice with a green tea syrup topped with condensed milk and a generous dollop of adzuki bean paste. It was sooooo good. I imagine this would be the perfect dessert on a hot summer day: light, flavorful and refreshing.

Smoked Salmon Salad

Hana has a lot of other dishes to offer: they have Japanese-style pasta, the usual donburi, salads and a whole lot of other dishes but because I only had takoyaki on my brain that evening, I passed up on having something else. We did get to try the yummy Smoked Salmon salad though, thin slivers of smoked salmon served on fresh veggies and sprinkled with capers and lemon.

There’s really a lot of delightful dishes to try at Hana and it’s a relaxing enough place to unwind after work. But really, for me, give me some of their fantastic takoyaki and a bottle of cold, cold beer and I’ll be a happy little cow.

Hana is located in Little Tokyo, Makati. It’s in the inner courtyard; just enter through one of the Torii arches along Pasong Tamo or the one across the street from the Makati Cinema Square parking lot entrance.

Hana is open from 10am to 11pm, but the takoyaki starts selling at 5pm.

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31 Responses to Hana: Authentic Takoyaki in the heart of Makati

  1. bea says:

    I just ate here last night. Weeee! Sarap.

  2. Mrs. G says:

    I’m gonna try this resto with my husband. Little Tokyo is walking-distance from his office :)

  3. sarah says:

    Waaaaa! I must hunt down that store. Thanks for the info!

  4. More takoyaki, please!

  5. gita says:

    wow, i gotta have some of those balls! and the rest of what youve written! they all look so good!
    tamang tama, next time we go to makati cinema square to replenish our stash of deebeedees, we will surely pass by hana.

  6. enchie says:

    wow! I love takoyaki and I will definitely try this. thanks!

  7. punkednoodle mentioned about it a couple of days ago… I really want to visit little tokyo to try out ramen… hopefully soon:)

  8. jenny says:

    I was sooo addicted to takoyaki, I even bought my own takoyaki pan in Osaka. Now everytime I felt like takoyaki , I make some.

  9. Marge Mateo says:

    hi! i borrowed the Takoyaki pic for my craving blog. hihihi! also, i hope i can go to Little Tokyo. i regret not being able to sample all the stuff from the different places there coz we were too loyal to Shinjuku ramen house. but i think I went to that little grocery somewhere there….

  10. fangli says:

    Thanks for the Takoyaki recommendation! :) Would you know any place selling okonomiyaki? That’s one Japanese dish my sister and I would love to try. :)

  11. Garando says:

    Another place where you can get authentic takoyaki is at New Hatchin Grocery in Antonio Village. It’s available every weekend, but since it’s not a resto, it’s only for take-out. It’s cheap and oishii. :)

    I heard Kagura in Little Tokyo serves good okonomiyaki, but I haven’t tried it yet…

  12. dyanie says:

    i wanna taste authentic takoyakis too! meron dito sa alabang eh, P25 for 3pcs. i’m curious with the difference! :)

  13. kaoko says:

    @bea
    Diba? Nomnomnomnomnom! I’ve gone back there twice already since the posting of this post, hahaha!

    @Mrs.G
    Don’t limit yourself to Hana. Explore the whole area! Kikufuji and Seryna are good too. <3 And Kagura has fantastic okonomiyaki <3 But make sure you try Hana's Takoyaki too. So yum!

    @sarah
    Good luck! It's worth the trip, really.

    @dementedchris
    Nao? With Kakigori plox.

    @gita
    Bring your girls, they'll find it awesome, especially since the takoyaki are bigger than their heads! πŸ˜›

    @enchie
    I hope you do, it's really better than average.

    @pinoy cravings
    Drag punkednoodle to go with you so she can guide you to all the nyummy things on the menu πŸ˜€ She knows the best ramen places there too.

    @jenny
    You have one? So envious! I've been wanting to buy online but shipping is hell because of the weight. :(

    @Marge Mateo
    As long as you attribute and trackback (and it's not for commercial use), it's fine πŸ˜€

    @fangli
    Kick-ass okonomiyaki at Kagura, right beside Hana. Hehe, why not make it a takoyaki + okonomiyaki trip? I've been meaning to feature it too but I keep forgetting to take photos. I'm usually too busy eating, hehehe.

    @Garando
    I've bought takoyaki at Hatchin but it's usually pre-cooked ones stored in their fridge. I usually buy some for freezing so I can quickly nuke them for an instant takoyaki fix, but I have to admit, repeated visits to Hana's starting to spoil me πŸ˜› And yeah! Kagura serves awesome okonomiyaki. So many variants too, it'll make your head spin.

    @dyanie
    I've tried cheap takoyaki too (saan yung sa alabang? paturo kung saan :P) and I have to say, the price difference is definitely worth it.

    @Rowena
    I hope you get to try it soon. It's really quite yummy <3 I've been back twice already in just a week or so. Addictive sobra. Plus, I'm sure your kids will like the kakigori.

  14. caryn says:

    wow, real osaka-style takoyaki in manila. coolness! πŸ˜‰

    • kaoko says:

      Very! Extremely! Not just cool but darned addictive too. Plus, while the kakigori’s good, I kinda like having my takoyaki with a cold bottle of SanMig Lite. Simple pleasures πŸ˜€

  15. Ezra says:

    Wow… Lapit sa Office… I saw Hana na before and even before I’m tempted to try Takoyaki. I love takoyakis like the one in Kozui. They have their version also, looks almost the same but I don’t know the taste… I should try Hana soon… hehehe

    • kaoko says:

      I haven’t tried Kozui yet but a friend who has eaten both there and at Hana has given Hana her thumbs up. While she likes Kozui too, she says that Hana’s is the best she’s eaten. I think it’ll be great if you can try both, that way, you can judge yourself. πŸ˜€ I’m still crossing my fingers that Kozui will open a branch in the South, or Makati at least because I want to try eating there as well.

  16. impaktara says:

    Where’s Little Tokyo in Makati? Sorry I’m visiting from out of town πŸ˜›

    • kaoko says:

      Hi Impaktara! Little Tokyo is right beside Makati Cinema Square in Makati. It has two entrances, one along Pasong Tamo and the other along that street infront of Plaza Fair (sorry, it slips my mind right now). Just look for the giant Torii arches and go through there. The restaurants outside are still part of Little Tokyo but if it’s Hana you’re going for, you have to go through the arches to get to the courtyard where Hana is.

  17. Shar says:

    Kaoko, thanks so much for this post. My friends and I wouldn’t have ventured into Little Tokyo had I not read this! We didn’t think there were other restaurants inside. So happy to finally get a taste of takoyaki with real octopus bits! XD And we want to try the okonomiyaki next time!

    • kaoko says:

      Glad you enjoyed your meal! The okonomiyaki from Kagura next door is awesome too. Plus, I remember enjoying the food from Niko-niko tei but that was so long ago so I don’t remember what I ate anymore. ^_^

  18. for now, it is the best n manila, but still far in terms of quality from the ones in GINDACO

    • kaoko says:

      Well, not everyone can travel to Japan on a moment’s notice so in the meantime, I shall be content with what I can get locally. I’ll take note and remember that though, when I finally get to vacation there. *crosses fingers*

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