This just in!
So glad I found a total gem in Damansara 😀
Being a Japanese food freak with perennial love for all things sushi, yakimono, soba, maki, teppanyaki, unagi and the like, I was overjoyed when all I wanted and loved could be found in Hokano.
Before I entered. This is the storefront! 🙂
Menu placed outside so you can ogle over their epicurean Japanese dishes even before you enter
I sure did
Are we ready?
Tucked along the row of shophouses, this cosy restaurant might be small in size but packed with people.
It's time to put these Japanese bites to test
It's Hokano crunchtime!
I brought along my posse of foodies too. First things first, we were all served with warm ocha (Japanese for Green Tea) just before Restaurant Co-Owner Mrs. Ho came to our table to give her recommendations of their house specialties!
The place was patronized by young and old alike
We gathered at 7.30pm but I spotted lotsa people still streaming in by the waves even way past dinnertime.
Although it was almost full-house, our meals came pretty damn quickly. Thumbs up for efficiency!
First dish of the night served. Our appetizers!
Japanese potato salad
The plus point here is that this dish is home-made!
Once upon a time during a cookout back in my younger days (not that I'm old now) I was taught to make Japanese potato salad.
Obviously not as good as the one I just tasted here! 🙂
The 2nd appetizer which was served was the Spicy Ika
It's a stir-fried spicy squid chopped into thick and soft-chewy rings. Delicious Oh and for your kind information, this succulent baby isn't available on the menu (yet?) but it's certainly a must-order!
And you heard it first right here from me 😀
Next up, another appetizer we had was Smoked Salmon Salad
This fish lover approves! 🙂 Their salmon was fresh and tender with each bite complemented with chilled lettuce, avocados, onions and cherry tomatoes. A healthy option, that's for sure!
And that's not the best part of it yet….
For the special sauce that comes with it is also a homemade house specialty
I don't know what its made of (I suppose it's a best-kept trade secret hehe!) it had this sweet yet tangy citrus taste to it. We drizzled it all over our salad and into our mouths it disappeared! 😛
Another fabulous appetizer I do recommend is the Kaki Fry!
I did not know what it was initially by the looks of it. Figuring it was some kind of breadcrumbed potato, I took a bite and no.. I was so so wrong! 😀 It was warm and bursting with flavour from the inside.
Lo and behold, for it was actually huge, juicy oysters!
Do you guys want me to go past the appetizers and dive straight into the Mains already? 😀
Hold your horses! Here's the final appetizer – Soft Shell Crab Schimi Age!
Soft Shell Crab is granny's fave btw – and also mine!
She'll never fail to order that at any Japanese food joints thefockers and I go to. This one is one that I will certainly bring her to on her next visit downtown.
Alright alright. Appetizers are officially done with.
On to the Main Dishes!
Served with a bowl of rice and Miso soup, this is the Chicken Teriyaki set!
As I'm very fond of teriyaki, this one I just tasted right here does not disappoint at all 🙂
It sure lived up to its standards!
Another chicken dish worthy of highlight was Chicken Katsu, also served with rice and Miso soup
I don't usually order set meals when I patronize restaurants (always prefer the a-la-carte for some inexplicable reason) but this one, might just be an exception I loved this bowl of delightful goodness!
Whoops I didn't realize there was rice sticking at the sides.
Must be from passing the bowl around to everyone to try! 😛
Chicken Katsu? I'll definitely come back for you. It's awesome, you bet
Tempura Soba came next in line
Eat it with the tempura, it goes really well together!
Oooh looks like another fish dish arrived on our table. Jump for joy!
Aiyah, I don't need to repeat as most of you will know by now that I'm a fish adherent anytime anywhere!
My fellow foodies Ken and Tocky enjoyed the Salmon Teriyaki just as much as I did too 🙂
It was warm and tasty.. not to mention also healthy in some ways!
The next 2 dishes that plopped on our table were somewhat similar but it's the sauce, condiments and style of cooking that makes it a world of a difference 🙂 It's called the Rib Eye Steak and Moromiso Steak respectively.
Take a look –
Can't say which one tastes better because all 6 of us debated and it was an equal vote.
MeiYee, Lionel and Ken were pro-Rib Eye Steak while Tocky, Sidney and I were pro-Moromiso Steak! 🙂
Looks like its up to you to decide when you taste it for yourself!
Rib Eye Steak 3 – 3 Moromiso Steak
Both are tender and lean slices of beef interlaced with asparagus, all stacked up neatly in a pile
The Rib Eye above is made with Teriyaki sauce while the Moromiso below boasts a strong miso taste 🙂
Fabulous, I must say.
Next up – or should I say my favorite part? – is Sushi time! 😀
Oh yesss. Temaki, Sushi, Makizushi, Nori and Wasabi galore! We were served many different kinds of sushi but here are the ones that won my recommendation, hands down!
Here's the Alaska Roll!
Loved it. Crabstick, cucumbers and avocado topped off with roe, salmon sashimi and even more avocado.
Quite a common dish in most Sushi joints but you know you can never go wrong with this. It's yum!
Alaska Roll goodness in your face again
And in mine! Slurps.
Here's the Kano Roll all cute and pretty in red!
Can't help that I like it even before eating it already, it's while black and red! My kind of sushi color 😛
Cucumber, Tamago (Japanese for egg omelette), Unagi (Japanese for eel) and Avocado
Spider Roll! Very crunchy till the last bite
This one has a slight spicy aftertaste because apart from Soft Shell Crab and cucumber, lies Spicy Salmon!
Finally, the creme de la creme of the crop is here. Yes, I saved the best for last.
Let me introduce to you my favorite dish of all time in this restaurant, the Hokano Roll!
It's the signature of Hokano Japanese Restaurant itself, chef's specialty
and my recommendation all in 1 fine hand rolled sushi
Mouth-watering without a doubt 🙂 Try beating that.
Word of advice? Don't ever leave this restaurant without ordering this dish
It's just everything delicious all packed into one satisfying bite. A stellar combination indeed, if I do say so myself!
All in all, this place definitely gets good ratings from me.
My verdict? A hidden gem offering awesome food (pretty affordable too!) along Uptown Damansara facing the LDP highway.
With Mrs. Ho, the co-owner of Hokano. Husband and son (both chefs) were still busy inside the kitchen
Oh and yes if you're wondering, it's a family-owned business for 6 years to date
Such a waste how I never noticed this Japanese food treasure trove before, as its not the typical commercial (and overrated) Sushi chains you would usually see in malls.
For the lack of a better expression, Hokano beats Sushi King and Sakae Sushi anytime in my books.
Till then, I'll be back