I rekindled my love for Japanese food when I went for dinner at Hattori Hanzo with friends on Tuesday night. Our group of seven had no reservation, yet the waiters fit us in at the bar and then moved us to a table just in time for our first round of dumplings.
Located a few steps from Gran Vía, Hattori Hanzo is a Japanese izakaya, meaning a casual bar that acts as a gathering place for coworkers and friends. It’s similar to a Spanish tapas bar; food is served to accompany drinks, not the other way around. That’s why the ambience here is rather laid back.
Hattori Hanzo specializes in a variety of traditional Japanese dishes such as okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and grilled meat and fish skewers, offering a number of combination platters and sizes. Plus it’s vegetarian-friendly, affordable, and has a big space with a great seating arrangement.
In the front room, you can dine at the bar (note: no sushi!) or at a six-person table under a red canopy, where we sat. The red canopy sheds a fiery red hue over everything, so we apologize for the red-tinted food pics you’re about to see.
You can also sit in the back room at tables sunken into the floor. I can’t quite explain it so please have a look at the photos below.
The second part includes larger plates meant for sharing between two or three people, such as the Omu-yakisoba (Japenese yakisoba noodles in a thin and flavorful tortilla) and Dorayaki Shuriken (Japanese pancakes).
Lastly, the third column offers tapas-sized skewers of Japanese delights such as chicken ginger meatballs and marinated eggplant and salmon. You can order these skewers individually (ranging in price from 2-5€). Or you can order them in platters: the 7 Samurai platter includes Hattori’s seven most popular skewers for €16.20 (which I ordered with James) and the 3 Imperial Treasures platter (which I’ll try next time) includes three Japanese delicacies such as Unayi Kabanaki (grilled eel) and Taro (tuna) for €18.90.
For dessert, we got Kuro Goma Matcha Ice Cream (black sesame and matcha ice cream) and Matcha Ichigo Roll Cake (rolled pastry with matcha, strawberry and anko, meaning red bean paste).
So you’re probably wondering about the price. Each of us had a few drinks, split a starter and shared a main dish and dessert. The bill came out to 18€ per person. For the quality and the ambience, I’d say it was absolutely worth it.
Address: c/ Mesoneros Romanos 15
Metro: Callao or Gran Vía
More Asian restaurants featured on Naked Madrid:
- Ramen Kagura, Madrid’s (almost) perfect ramen bar
- Kintaro – Oy Vey
- Sumo – This Japanese restaurant’s name says it all
- Tuk Tuk – Asian-inspired street food
- Chuka Ramen Bar – Madrid’s hottest ramen restaurant
- Nippon 2 – top quality yet affordable sushi, finally!
- Soy Kitchen – a fusion of Asian flavors
- Karachai – A cozy and elegant Thai restaurant in Alonso Martínez