You might have notice that I just came back from a Taipei weekend trip, which I had plenty of awesome sashimi and jap stuff in 42 hours (Yes, Japanese in Taipei, you read that right). While good Japanese food is generally expensive in Singapore, Hanare does serve up an excellent chirashi don at affordable pricing.
Located along Tanjong Pagar Road a few steps away from its sister restaurant, Teppei, Hanare is a no-reservations cafe that has simply two sets on its menu; The Japanese Buffet at $19.90 nett which honestly ain't exactly a steal, and the Bara Set at $17.90 nett that most of the customers go for. Occupying an entire shophouse level, seating is limited with almost half the space dedicated to the buffet line and counter, so you might have to try your luck if your weekday lunchtime is tight. Make payment at the counter, find a table and you're good to go.
The Bara Set also comes with free flow of 3 to 4 types of appetizers and miso soup. Nothing particularly outstanding, but the salad and chicken stew made decent nibbles while waiting for the star.
Oh the beauty! Be prepared for a visual feast as your don is topped with an overwhelming amount of chunky, soy-sauce marinated raw fish. The checklist? Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, Scallop, Clams and Roes. Definitely a mouthful as you enjoy every single cube. While it does seem a tad salty on its own, I find it a perfect match with the homemade wasabi (hot stuff!) and plain rice.
I do have one gripe though; The ingredients are probably pre-marinated and jumbled in a huge pot and scooped out upon order, so the quantity of each item can be unbalanced. Several times we had no scallops in one bowl or a large proportion of tuna in another. I also heard that the portions are getting erratic; overflowing at times and with glaring gaps during others. Let's hope they pick up the consistency.
With Teppei fully booked for third quarter of the year and a slot for their Kaisen Don hard to come by, Hanare might be your best bet to have a satisfying bowl of Chirashi Don. Have already lost count the number of return trips made with more on the way.
Hanare Japanese Cafe
99B Tanjong Pagar Road
Tel: 6222 1976
Taken with Nikon D7100