Location: National Highway, Barangay Sampalocan, Pagsanjan, Laguna, Philippines
Konnichiwa (“Hello”) from Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant, or simply HANA, my family’s third place1! You have to try this restaurant when you go to, or pass by, the town of Pagsanjan!
I was told by Eileen Christina Nishino, the wife of the current owner, that “shin” means “first” and “hana” means “flower”.
Hana, the favorite Japanese restaurant in Pagsanjan of my family, was established in 2004 by Masami Nishino. It had an original total seating capacity of 35. When he passed away, his son, Masami Nishino, Jr., took over and, in 2014, had it renovated to its current state.
You cannot miss this restaurant which is located along the national highway in Pagsanjan. Coming from Sta. Cruz, Laguna and driving towards Pagsanjan’s famous arch, it is easy to spot Hana to the right of the Iglesia ni Cristo church.
It has parking good for only 5 vehicles so come early, or double park, but you may be requested to move your vehicle when needed.
It has a casual, but cozy, dining area, and business hours are daily from 11 am till 10 pm.
The sushi bar and pantry are open so you can see how orders are made. During busy hours, the owner himself prepares orders like maki2, sashimi3 and sushi4.
Hana offers different kinds of: maki2, sashimi3, sushi4, soups, salads, agemono5, onigiri6, donburi7, bento8, teppanyaki9, yakkimono10, nabemono11, ramen12, soba13, udon14,angus beef15 selections, desserts and drinks.
You are warmly greeted by a female waitstaff once you pass through the sliding entrance door. She escorts you to an available, and appropriate, table for your party/group. Menu cards are distributed and orders are taken.
Complimentary tazukuri16 is served while orders are prepared. Disposable wooden chopsticks are provided. You may request for their complimentary house rice tea, and fork/spoon, if you so desire.
a welcome treat: complimentary house rice tea, Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant
Dearest Seniors, do not hesitate to inquire about their bestsellers and what the Japanese terms are, if you are not familiar with certain Japanese dishes. The cheerful and efficient waitresses are very helpful and will patiently explain menu items to customers. I hope my footnotes in this post will somehow help you too.
Hana offers the following maki2: California Maki, Crab Maki, Futomaki, Kappa Maki, Oshinko Maki, Salmon Maki, Tamago Maki, Teka Maki, and Unagi Maki.
Marvelous Maki (l-r): CALIFORNIA MAKI, FUTO MAKI, KEPPA MAKI and TEKA MAKI (photos taken from the Facebook account: Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant)
There are seven kinds of sashimi3: crab, salmon, sashimimoriwase, shimesaba, squid, tamagoyaki, and tuna.
SASHIMI MORIAWASE (photos taken from the Facebook account: Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant)
Eight variations of sushi4 are available: crab, ebiko, salmon, shimesaba, squid, tamago, tuna, and unagi.
Sushi delights – KANI SUSHI and MAGURO SUSHI (limited period) (photos taken from the Facebook account: Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant)
Two soups (Miso Soup and Tamago Soup) and four salads (California Salad, Crab Salad, Grilled Chicken Salad, and Potato Salad) are offered as well.
Different kinds of agemono5 are available: Agedashi Tofu, Atsuage Tofu, Chicken Karaage, Chicken Katsu, Ebi Fry, Kisu Fry, Korokke, Crab/Fish/Shrimp/Vegetable/Mixed Tempura, and Tonkatsu.
Savoring shrimps at Hana – EBI TEMPURA and SHRIMP TEMPURA (photos taken from the Facebook account: Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant)
CHICKEN KARAAGE (photo taken from the Facebook account: Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant)
Hana also offers the following variations of onigiri6: Gohan, Hiya Yako, Kimchee, Ochazuke, Okaka, Oshinko, Plum, Salmon, Wakame Kyurisunomono, and Yaki Meshi.
There are nine kinds of donburi7: Chicken/Pork Katsudon, Chicken Teriyakidon, Gyudon, Kakiagedon, Kimchidon, Oyakodon, Tendon, Unadon, and Yakiniku Don.
Yummy Donburi: CHICKEN TERIYAKIDON, GYUDON and KATSUDON (photos taken from the Facebook account: Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant)
Different versions of bento8 are on the menu: Chicken Teriyaki, Hana, Korroke, Salmon Teriyaki, Tempura, Tonkatsu, Torikatsu, and Beef/Pork Yakiniku.
BEEF YAKINIKU BENTO, served with Miso Soup, Sashimi, Potato Salad Plain Rice and Dessert, at Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant, Pagsanjan, Laguna
CHICKEN TERIYAKI BENTO, served with Miso Soup, Sashimi, Potato Salad, Plain Rice and Dessert, at Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant, Pagsanjan, Laguna
HANA BENTO, served with Miso Soup, Sashimi, Shrimp Tempura, Beef Yakiniku, Potato Salad, Plain Rice and Dessert, at Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant, Pagsanjan, Laguna
Hana offers the following teppanyaki9 dishes: Chicken, Gyoza, Salmon/Tofu Steak, and Yasaiitame.
Tempting Tepanyaki: BEEF TEPANYAKI and SALMON STEAK (photos taken from the Facebook account: Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant)
There are eleven different kinds of yakkimono10: Beef/Chicken/Salmon Teriyaki, Saba/Salmon/SanmaSioyaki,Shougayaki, Unagi Kabayaki, Beef/Pork Yakiniku, Yakitori.
BEEF YAKINIKU (photo taken from the Facebook account: Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant)
CHICKEN TERIYAKI, served with Potato Salad, Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant, Pagsanjan, Laguna
Hana also serves: two nabemono11– Shabu-Shabu and Sukiyaki; four ramen12– hiyashi, miso, shoyu, and yakiniku; seven soba13– kitsune, niku, tanuki, tori, ten zaru, yaki, and zaru; and five udon14– kitsune, niku, tanuki, tori, and yaki.
CURRY UDON (limited period; photo taken from the Facebook account: Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant)
Angus beef15 selections are offered: Beef Teriyaki/Usuyaki/Yakiniku; Gyudon; Hana Bento; Kimchi Don; Niku/Soba/Udon; Shabu-shabu; Sukiyaki; Yakiniku Bento8/Don7/Ramen12
Hana also offes desserts and assorted drinks.
SHIRA TAMA, Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant
We recommend our favorites: Miso Soup, Salmon Sashimi3, Grilled Chicken Salad, Sukiyaki, Japanese Fried Rice, Shrimp Tempura, Chicken Teriyakidon and Tempura Ice Cream. I consider the price mid-range, although some people find it high.
THE MISO SOUP is served hot and I enjoy this as a low-calorie/fat appetizer. It is not salty and the portion is just right.
The GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD is perfect for the diet-conscious guest or the guest who wants to eat light. Try it!
SUKIYAKI (with egg) is served hot and good for sharing, dear Seniors! Just ask for smaller bowls. The broth is savory. The combination of all the ingredients results in the richness of this satisfying dish.
When I crave for fried food, I order SHRIMP TEMPURA. This delicious dish is served hot with a crispy coating of reasonably-sized shrimps. The dip is fine but I request for more grated horseradish.
I order the TEMPURA ICE CREAM beforehand, and request that it be served when I have finished my main dish since it takes time to prepare and I want to enjoy it just right after preparation. Delightfully cold vanilla ice cream is covered with a crispy tempura batter with the right amount of chocolate syrup, drizzled on top, prior to serving. It is the best way to finish a full meal at Hana! Seniors without diabetes, this is also for sharing.
Cash and credit card payments are accepted. Seniors, do not forget to present your Senior Citizen card for a discount.
The common rest room is decent, clean, and well-supplied. The sink for washing one’s hands is located immediately outside the rest room. Liquid soap, folded paper napkins are available and easily thrown in a garbage can.
This is not a sponsored post. I paid for all my visits in this restaurant.
Contact details: Cell phone Number – 09178752165; Facebook – Shin Hana Japanese Restaurant; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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For those not familiar with Japanese or certain terms used in this post, I hope these footnotes will be helpful:
1A third place is a social venue for socializing. It could be a neighborhood restaurant, café, bar/pub, church, clubhouse, park, etc., as long as it accessible, welcoming/comfortable, free/inexpensive, involves regular/habitual congregation, and facilitates/fosters interaction among people. NOTE: The first place is one’s home; the second place is one’s workplace (for those working) or school (for those studying). Information is according to Wikipedia page “Third place”.17
2Maki, short for makizushi, is rolled sushi4 formed into a cylindrical piece using a bamboo mat called a makisu. It is generally wrapped in nori (dried seaweed) then cut into 6 or 8 pieces, for a single roll order. Information is according to Wikipedia page “Sushi”.18
3Sashimi is a Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced, fresh, raw fish or meat, often served as the first course in a formal Japanese meal but may also be served as the main course. It is garnished with long thin strands of daikon (white radish) or single leaves of the shiso herb (perilla). It is served with soy sauce as a dipping sauce, along with condiments – wasabi paste (the hot Japanese green paste made from the wasabi rhizome), grated fresh ginger, and ponzu (Japanese dipping sauce made from fish flake broth — simmered from a mixture of fish flakes, mirin, rice vinegar and kombu, then cooled and strained — plus lime juice and soy sauce). Information is according to Wikipedia page “Sashimi”.19
4Sushi is a Japanese dish made of specially prepared vinegared medium grain white rice or brown rice combined with a variety of ingredients (e.g., raw/cooked seafood, vegetables, tropical fruits). Sushi can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish. Fillings, toppings, condiments (shoyu or soy sauce, wasabi, Japanese-style mayonnaise) and preparation vary widely. Information is according to Wikipedia page “Sushi”.18
5Agemono is the Japanese term for deep-fried dishes.
6Onigiri are Japanese rice balls made from white rice formed into balls, squares, cylinders, triangles or any novelty shape, filled and/or topped with desired ingredients. Onigiri are often wrapped in nori.
7Donburi is a Japanese rice bowl dish consisting of fish, meat, vegetables, and other ingredients simmered together and served over rice. It is sometimes shortened to “don”. Information is according to Wikipedia page “Donburi”.20
8Bento is a single portion Japanese meal, usually served in a square compartmentalized lacquerware, called a bento box, in Japanese restaurants. It generally consists of rice, fish/shrimp or meat, and pickled or cooked vegetables. It can be a home-packed meal or a take-out meal. Information is according to Wikipedia page “Bento”.21 In Hana, bento orders also come with miso soup and dessert.
9Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food.
10Yakkimono is a Japanese dish, often served as an appetizer, made of pieces of marinated, skewered and grilled meat.
11Nabemono refers to Japanese hot pot dishes.
12Ramen is the Japanese term for a noodle soup consisting of Chinese-style wheat noodles, a meat/fish-based broth (often flavored with soy sauce or miso) with various toppings (e.g., chashu or sliced pork, menma or lactate-fermented bamboo shoots, negi or green onions, and nori or dried seaweed). Information is according to Wikipedia page “Ramen”.22
13Soba is the Japanese term for buckwheat. It usually refers to thin noodles made from buckwheat flour, or a combination of buckwheat and wheat flours. They contrast to thick wheat noodles, called udon14. Information is according to Wikipedia page “Soba”.23
14Udon is a type of Japanese thick wheat flour noodles, often served hot as a noodle soup, according to Wikipedia page “Udon”.24
15Angus beef is meat that comes from the Aberdeen Angus, originally a Scottish breed of small beef cattle, according to Wikipedia page “Angus cattle”.25 The meat is well marbled, more tender and flavorful than regular beef.
16Tazukuri refers to the crispy, candied anchovies or baby sardines, combined with sesame seeds and coated in a sweet honey soy sauce-sake glaze, usually served as a complimentary appetizer in Japanese restaurants, while waiting for one’s orders.
17“Third place”, accessed July 5, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_place.
18“Sushi”, accessed July 5, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushi.
19“Sashimi”, accessed July 5, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sashimi.
20“Donburi”, accessed July 5, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donburi.
21“Bento”, accessed July 5, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bento.
22“Ramen”, accessed July 5, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramen.
23“Soba”, accessed July 5, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soba.
24“Udon”, accessed July 5, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udon.
25“Angus cattle”, accessed July 5, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angus_cattle.