Taking over the spot formerly occupied by Tonkatsu Agedoki is Katsudon Hanakatsu, a new space that specialises in Katsu Don run by the same folks behind the popular Tendon Kohaku situated next to it and is also part of Eat @ Seven at Suntec City.
From the outside, Katsudon Hanakatsu is pretty much almost identical to Tonkatsu Agedoki; Katsudon Hanakatsu uses the existing furnishings and decor that is left behind by Tonkatsu Agedoki; the only changes are limited to the signboards on the exterior. The menu at Katsudon Hanakatsu also follows closely to the one offered at Tendon Kohaku, with only one main offering available; the Ha-Na Katsudon is the only item on the menu with the exception of a miso soup, and it is available in both spicy and non-spicy variants. A small variety of drinks are also available; expect usual suspects such as soft drinks, green tea as well as a small selection of alcohol.
(Ha-Na Katsudon Spicy Flavour)
We went straight for the Ha-Na Katsudon Spicy Flavour, which is the spicy variant of the Ha-Na Katsudon. By default, all Ha-Na Katsudon, regardless the variant ordered, comes with both chicken and pork katsu pieces piled atop a bed of rice in the all-familiar bowl that is also used at Tendon Kohaku; patrons can choose to go for the Nanatsuboshi Hokkaido Rice or the 16 Multigrain Rice here. We opted for the Nanatsuboshi Hokkaido Rice for our order. Unlike most Katsudon that we are familiar in Singapore, the version served at Katsudon Hanakatsu comes without the simmered egg; it only comes with the Katsu and rice with a drizzle of sauce; the spicy variant also comes drizzled in a sauce with chilli powder sprinkled over the top. Just like at Tendon Kohaku, a small plate comes along with the bowl of Katsu Don over the top as it arrives at the table; patrons can place the Katsu pieces onto the side plate in order to dig into the rice. Digging into the Katsudon, we noticed that the Katsu pieces, both chicken and pork, were crisp with the meat being tender and the juices locked within; none of the pieces felt too dry, nor too greasy. The fried batter was incredibly umami, while it also came with a complimenting, light tinge of sweetness that was interesting to keep us going. The pieces of Katsu were also moderately spicy; pretty on par with the spiciness level of the Tendon Kohaku Spicy Flavour (read our review of the Kohaku Tendon Spicy Flavour via Burpple) though more from the chilli powder than the sauce drizzled atop the Katsu pieces here. The rice is also drizzled with a light and savoury; almost dashi stock-like sauce that helps to flavour up the rice just a little to make it slightly easy to finish. Overall, quite a filling bowl that is pretty satisfying especially for big eaters; small-eaters might find it more manageable if shared between two.
Overall, it feels like Katsudon Hanakatsu is modelled after the same formula that Tendon Kohaku had found success in; offering value-for-money and quality Japanese rice bowls with fried condiments. Sure, there is quite something about the Katsu Don here that feels like it lacks some appeal as compared to the Tendon at Tendon Kohaku somehow, but we felt it was just how Katsu is being viewed especially when compared with Tempura in general; the difference of the fare itself does create a small distance between the two. That being said, Katsudon Hanakatsu is probably a good option for diners to go for if the queue at Tendon Kohaku is long (which still, and often happen), for the quality of food and service is actually pretty good here. However, we do hope that Katsudon Hanakatsu would be consistent in delivering the same standards for their food over time; a recent revisit to Tendon Kohaku left us a little disappointed for the Tempura was a little soggy as compared to the days when it first opened. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to see if Katsudon Hanakatsu would be able to make a name for itself within the F&B scene in Singapore, just like how Tendon Kohaku had done just a year ago when it first opened its doors.
Suntec City Mal
Eat @ Seven
3 Temasek Boulevard
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KatsudonHanakatsu/