Hana Cafe

Special thanks to Hana Cafe for extending this food review invitation.

Hana Cafe (하나카페) has changed a lot since my last visit. The premise has now been converted to a guest house with 7 rooms in total. The front porch has also been extended so accommodate a larger indoor dining area.
The indoor section doubles as a café and as common area for guests. Cozy chairs and air-conditioning present relaxing ambience for diners and guests alike.
Outdoor seating is available for those who prefer natural air outside. Al fresco is more viable in the late evening after the sun has set.
In the spirit of year-end holiday season, Hana Cafe's teddy bear mascot has donned a Christmas hat.
In partnership with an ethnic Korean chef, Hana Cafe has recently introduced Korean Fried Chicken (양념치킨) to its menu. South Korea, colloquially known as the most Americanized country in Asia, has seen a surge of popularity with this dish, all thanks to the hit drama "My Love From The Star" (별에서온그대). Korean fried chicken is now a popular finger food in the country. Since this is a must-have snack at parties, there are thousands of shops that deliver this delicacy to homes and offices.
Hana Cafe has two version of the Korean Fried Chicken. The Original Fried recipe uses non-spicy breading with light crisp. Although it appears similar to KFC's fried chicken, ethnic Koreans are able to distinguish the difference because Hana Cafe uses flour that is specially imported from Korea.
The other version is Korean Chili Sauce, which is coated with gochujang (고추장) and is similar in appearance and taste to honey barbecue fried chicken. The key difference is the presence of Korean-style spiciness in addition to sweet-savory flavors. Between the two, this is my preferred version as it presents more exciting flavors to my palate.
Hana Cafe's Korean Fried Chicken is priced at RM28.00 for 6 pieces (half chicken), and RM50.00 for 12 pieces (full chicken). A full chicken feeds 4 to 6 people.
A meaty dish should be balanced with a bowl of Salad (샐러드, RM10.00). Made from red leaf and romaine lettuce, the salad is meant to be eaten on its own. I incorrectly thought that lettuce is used to wrap fried chicken, similar to barbecued meat like gogi (고기) and galbi (갈비).
In response to popular demand, Hana Cafe also serves several types of Korean noodles. As strange as it sounds, many Koreans are willing to pay for noodles prepared from instant noodles, such as Shin Ramyun (신라면, RM10.00) from Nongshim (농심). I think the reason is because Hana Cafe uses the exact products that are sold in Korea, not the modified versions for export.
Shin Ramyun is meant to be spicy, but it should be manageable by Malaysian standards. Korean instant noodles are known for large serving size and ingredients like dried vegetables. Only egg and seaweed are added to the cooked dish.
A small serving of kimchi (김치) is also provided on the side.
Bingsu (빙수) is a type of Korean dessert made from shaved ice. Interestingly, Hana Cafe uses a true snow flake machine to produce ice, as opposed to mechanical ice shavers as preferred by local Caffé Bene outlets.
As a result, Hana Cafe is able to produce ice crystals that are significantly finer. This results in a unique texture that can be loosely described as "mushy" rather than "slushy". According to the proprietor of Hana Cafe, this is how bingsu is supposed to be prepared - at least in Korea itself.
In terms of toppings for Bingsu, there are four types to choose from: Classic (RM9.00), Kiwi (RM12.00), Oreo (RM12.00) and Honey Nuts (RM12.00). The latter contains generous amount of cashew nuts, walnuts, peanuts and almonds. Honey serves to provide some sweetness to this dessert.
The presence of unique dishes at Hana Cafe and the restaurant's serene setting make it a great place to enjoy a meal at Tanjung Bungah. I highly recommend the Korean Fried Chicken above all. Try it out and decide for yourselves whether you like this Korean delicacy.
Name: Hana Cafe (하나카페)
Address: 11, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-890-8810
Business hours: 1:00pm-11:00pm, closed on Sundays
Website: https://www.facebook.com/HanaCafePenang
Coordinates: 5.46582 N, 100.28963 E
Directions: Traveling westbound on Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Hana Cafe is located on the left, just opposite of Dalat International School. There are some parking spaces in front of the shop and more at the back. The latter can be reached from the next traffic light junction.

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