Hanako: Affordable Japanese Food in Maginhawa

If you've been a reader for a while now, you'd know that I'm a big sucker for Japanese food. If someone would ask me what cuisine I can eat for the rest of my life, I believe I can answer Japanese, with solid conviction. However, as many of us know, authentic Japanese food can get expensive. And realistically speaking, eating these type of food too often will inevitably put a big hole in anyone's pocket.

For days when I'm just craving for a quick Japanese meal, places that carry good-to-decent Japanese fare for less can easily satiate me. The affordable price tags also make me happy. And I'm sure glad I've recently found a new restaurant to add to my list of these spots!

Lunch at Hanako Maginhawa

I bet many Japanese food lovers from the south are already familiar with Hanako. Those who are near Holy Spirit in Quezon City would know about the restaurant too. As for me, it was only when they opened their newest branch in the new Anytime Fitness building in Maginhawa, that I found out about Hanako.

Located at the building's ground floor, Hanako looks bright and inviting with a nice logo and signage, and a well-lit space peeking through their tall windows. And while the place is actually small, it does feel spacious because of the nice lighting and efficient use of mirrors.

Hanako wall of food
Anatomy of a Maki at Hanako
Stairs to mezzanine of Hanako Maginhawa
Hanako Maginhawa mezzanine level
Hanako Maginhawa uses mirrors effectively

Hanako's interiors are fun, modern and quirky. If I didn't look at their menu prior to visiting, I actually wouldn't be able to guess that they offer really affordable Japanese food. Good thing they also placed a menu out their front door. It would definitely inform passers-by that despite the nice interiors, Hanako isn't expensive.


I visited the restaurant with the boyf in tow, and we chose to be seated at their mezzanine level. The ground level was almost full when we went in. And of course, I didn't want to distract the other diners with my camera and constant standing up to take photos, so I chose the less crowded area. Haha! I try to choose seats that would both have good lighting and won't be too distracting for others when I know I want to blog the experience. v(*’-^*)-☆

Placemat Crossword Sudoku and Word Search at Hanako

Apart from the wide variety of food on their menu, another thing that had me sold was their fun paper placemats! There's a crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search, and even a section for helpful basic Nihongo to learn. I had so much fun doing just the word search, that I was still at it even while we were eating already. Haha!

Meal Starters


Anyhow, enough with my random thoughts... Let's now move on to the food!

Miso Soup (P39)
Miso Soup (P39)

Instead of going for the more photogenic items, I thought I'd let the boyf order whatever he prefers, and he starts our meal off with the miso soup. Compared to other Japanese restaurants we've dined at, I'm so happy to find a place serving inexpensive miso soup. Serving size is pretty generous too. Perfect for the already peckish bf!

Gyoza (P129)
Gyoza (P129)

We then had some Japanese dumplings, or gyoza. Each serving comes with four pieces, and I can say it's very fairly-priced. Meat filling is okay. Though I wish the outer wrapper was fried more to a crisp, since I found the gyoza skin a little too limp and soft for my liking.

Salmon Sashimi (P149 5pcs P239 8pcs)
Salmon Sashimi (P149 5pcs; P239 8pcs)

If there's salmon sashimi on the menu, it's a sure thing that the bf will order it! And I'm glad even their sashimi is on the more affordable end of the spectrum.

Spicy Tuna Crunch (P169)
✓ Spicy Tuna Crunch (P169)

Since we already had salmon for sashimi, I thought it would be better to go for tuna for the maki. Although I'm more of a salmon maki kind of gal, I actually liked this spicy tuna roll. And if you love both tuna and spicy foods, then I'm sure you'll like this as well. The crispy tempura skin on top can be quite messy, but adds a nice crunch too. This is pretty good value for something so inexpensive.

Main Dishes


We already had a lot, but those are only meal starters. After whetting our palate, we then went on to the main dishes, since no meal for us is complete without viand and rice. Haha!

Tofu Steak Donburi (P139) +P60 Sukiyaki
✓ Tofu Steak Donburi (P139) with Beef Sukiyaki (+ P60)

For mains, I went ahead and got this donburi or rice bowl of fried breaded tofu. I also opted for the beef add-on, 'cause why not? And I can definitely say I made the right choice! Although the tofu steak was good, I don't think it's enough to finish the rice with. The beef wasn't only good as additional viand, but the sauce also added flavor to the rice. I think if I had to nitpick though, I found the sauce of the beef a little too cornstarchy.

Crispy Fish Teriyaki (P129)
✓ Crispy Fish Teriyaki (P129)

The boyf on the other hand, opted for the breaded fish ala katsu, doused with teriyaki sauce. Though I liked my order, I actually thought his order offers more value 'cause it's pretty big! It's really sulit for the price, as two people can share this comfortably. There's even some beansprouts with sesame oil on the side.

Chahan (P69)
Chahan (P69)

Since the bf's order didn't come with rice, he chose to go for the fried rice instead of the plain. I can't remember anymore how he liked his chahan, but he definitely complimented the very generous serving for a single order!

Hanako Maginhawa Quezon City

THE VERDICT

While it's nice to dine in the more upscale, authentic Japanese restaurants, the Japanese food-loving common Juan in everyone of us would probably find it hard to splurge every single time we get a Japanese food craving. This is why I always equip myself with a list of places offering more affordable yet still good-tasting versions of their more expensive brethren. And I'm happy to say that Hanako is now on this list! Although the food wouldn't make your eyes go big with every mouthful, you're still going to leave happy and satisfied. The food quality is good at best, and the portion sizes are filling. Not to mention, the place is clean, modern and very nicely decorated, and service is courteous and prompt. But you know what the best part is? Your wallet will be thanking you!

So if you're near this part of town and itching to grab a quick Japanese bite, then definitely try out Hanako! Even the boyf and I are sure to come back when we're in the area.

Taste 3/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Hanako, Maginhawa
G/F Anytime Fitness Bldg., 99 Maginhawa St.,
Teachers Village, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
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3 comments:

  1. I've been dreaming of eating Japanese food someday, this entry of your's really caught my attention and trigger my eagerness to try some Japanese foods. those pictures really looks delicious and i'm looking forward to try it someday :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Shiela! Give Japanese food a try. It's pretty accessible since there are a lot of good Japanese restaurants around available at different price points. :) And when you finally try it, hope you'll like it. Japanese cuisine is one of my faves! ;)

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  2. Ohhhh tempting! I love Japanese cuisine too :) I try to visit the other food joints there in Maginhawa. This one's definitely gonna be on my list next time.

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