Hana Hana, Haymarket

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I think a con­di­tion­al retrac­tion of all the state­ments I made about dis­lik­ing Asian desserts needs to be in order. Because I do like some Japanese desserts like the pea­nut and black ses­ame mochi D and I had in Kyoto, like the green tea soft serve jelly/​fruit con­coc­tion at Chanoma Cafe and like the sub­ject of this post: the mochi waffles at Hana Hana.

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Hana Hana con­sists of a cas­u­al Japanese res­taur­ant down­stairs and a Japanese cafe upstairs. I’d long known of the cafe because C had men­tioned them to me months ago, but it wasn’t until two Fridays ago that I vis­ited when D and I caught up with N and T, and DT and his girl­friend. The space is exquis­itely fit­ted out with wood and Japanese fab­rics. It is so gor­geous, I find myself in awe every time.

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This time, I had the mango mochi waffle. It was deli­ciously chewy, as I’d expec­ted. It was drizzled with Monin mango syr­up and dus­ted with icing sug­ar. I’m often weary of syr­ups (that you make drinks from) drizzled dir­ectly onto food, but this was the per­fect sweet­ness and strength. The mango ice cream had just the right amount of cream­i­ness (the taste of milk really puts me off foods). I could’ve done without the canned mango, though — it was mushy and tasted like it’d been pro­cessed, which was not pleasant.

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On an earli­er vis­it, I had the green tea mochi waffle, with matcha syr­up drizzled over a scoop of green tea ice cream, two dango, and a dol­lop each of adzuki bean paste and whipped cream. The mochi waffle was the part of the dessert that I enjoyed the most — it looked like a nor­mal waffle, but it had the chew­iness of mochi! Mochi dough can taste a bit bland, which is why I didn’t enjoy the dango, but the baked aspect of the waffle made it inter­est­ing. I thought the green tea ice cream was too milky (far more so than your stand­ard ice creams!), but D enjoyed it so it must be a mat­ter of per­son­al pref­er­ence. The adzuki bean paste was just the right tex­ture and sweet­ness, though — I would have enjoyed more of it.

I still prefer Western desserts to Asian (or fusion) desserts, but the desserts at Hana Hana weren’t bad at all.

Hana Hana is loc­ated at 5/​209 Thomas St, Sydney NSW 2000.