|HR ladies to eat, away we go!|
KM was leaving and we had decided to pop over to Hako down the road for a farewell lunch. Busting My Chops had recommended the place as she recalled it as being worthwhile and reasonable for the price…
When we got there, we were greeted warmly and showed our seating. The place was already beginning to bustle with the lunch time crowd. We were clever and pre-ordered before hand via their online booking and by researching their menu.
Despite all of the above, the service was still a tad slow. The food came out at a trickle pace. But as we were such a large group, that went unnoticed.
We ordered a few entree’s to begin, starting with Edamame (boiled soya bean with light sea salt $ 6). This wasn’t anything too special and the quantity was dismally tiny…
Next was the Tofu Salad (tofu & seaweed salad with a light citrus and soy dressing $9.5), which wasn’t too bad. The flavours were delicately balanced. I quite enjoyed this dish.
We also had the Gyoza (fried pastry stuffed with minced meat, cabbage with hint of garlic $10.8). The pastry skin was delightfully light and not thick and gluggy. I couldn’t detect the hint of garlic tho.
Next up was the Isobe Age (Japanese fish cake stuffed w cheese and deep fried $8.5). I don’t think I had the chance to try this, as there were only 4 pieces.
Same goes for the Ebi Tempura (large prawns wrapped w crispy thin cut pastry served w a warm ginger soy dashi dipping sauce $14.5). For $14.50, I was expecting a few more prawns. There were only 2!!!
For the mains, each of us ordered a Bento. Each Bento box was $15.80. It wasn’t superb, nor extremely terrible. It was mediocre.
For the vegetarians, there is an option for the Vege Bento (a box with vegetable dishes and vegetable tempura)
For meat eaters, there is the Hako Bento (a box with chicken teriyaki, prawn and vegetable tempura)
I decided to go with the Salmon Bento (a box with grilled salmon ginger teriyaki and light salad). For all of us chose the Salmon Bento, we were a little sad and disappointed with it, as all of our fish were overcooked.
Now I can understand, maybe one or two, but all 5 (Salmon) were overcooked and flaky.
Halfway through the meal (indeed it was close to the end of it), the miso soup arrived for our consumption. I was a bit taken aback with this. It was as if they had forgotten to give us our soup and then as an afterthought, say, “Oops, here you go!”
Towards the end of our meal, Chris and Julia (from Masterchef Season 1) popped in for a quick meal in a quiet corner… I did not attack them with requests of photo opportunities or autographs.
All the entree sizes were tiny. Definitely not meant for sharing between large groups. There was a slight miscommunication with our orders as well. We had accidentally put in the reverse amount of the chicken and salmon bento orders. Entirely our fault, however, the manager (or so I think) decided to put on a terrible expression and had a sour look upon her face the entire service.
And it wasn’t as if we kicked up a fuss. We apologised, and said that it was fine. We were happy to have the order served as per our mistaken booking.
In terms of coming back, I highly doubt I would. There are much better Japanese dining options out there, especially for the price they charge.
Hako is definitely a place which is overrated in my humble opinion.
*Disclaimer: All food ratings are purely based on my own experiences and how I feel about the service, food and quality
Food/ Cuisine: Japanese
Dining Style: Restaurant
Overall Food Rating (Based on the Dining style): 5/10
Restaurant ambiance: 7/10
Service/ Attitude: 5/10
Value for money: 6/10
310 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel:(03) 9620 1881
Hako is open
Monday – Wednesday from 12pm-3pm and 6pm-9pm and
Thursday – Friday from 12pm-3pm and 6pm-9:30pm and
Saturday from 6pm-9:30pm
How to get there: