Hana

  • Restaurants
  • Korean
Battersea

The twin poles of Korean restaurants in the UK are New Malden in Surrey (near Samsung’s HQ in Chertsey) and the West End, but there’s little between the two. Hana is a small, family-run restaurant that bridges that gap and seems aimed firmly at non-Koreans – the menu is written in English, with no Hangul (Korean script). It’s a good-looking, split-level room in the ‘modern Oriental’ mould with dark wood and pretty hanging lamps. The service is notably smiling and on-the-ball.

Our meal started well with some generously portioned mandu (steamed dumplings) served, like dim sum, as a threesome; the pork and vegetable filling was moist but with a pleasingly crunchy bite. Also good was the kimchee of pickled, spicy cucumber sticks.

Bossam is a dish best-known to New Yorkers in a fancy variation served at Momofuku’s Ssäm bar, where it’s accompanied by oysters (at $200 for a large, sharing dish). Hana’s version is much simpler: £16.50 buys you a platter of cold, sliced pork belly served with fat wedges of blanched chinese leaves that were too clumsily thick to wrap around the pork; shrimp sauce and radish kimchee added interest to an otherwise insipid dish. Better was the dolsot bibimbap, a piping-hot stone bowl filled with sizzling rice, vegetables, egg, chilli paste and raw slivers of beef that cooked as the contents of the bowl were stirred together.

The drinks list is better than you might find at many Korean restaurants, covering the expected Hite beer and soju (vodka-like Korean firewater), but also decent wines by the glass and Korean novelties such as bokbunja ju, a Korean fruit wine that some think improves ‘male stamina’. The rowdy table of Battersea lads sitting next to us were clearly not on the bokbunja ju as they arrived, drank and ate quickly – leaving faster than you could learn to dance ‘Gangnam Style’.

Venue name: Hana
Contact:
Address: 60 Battersea Rise
London
SW11 1EG
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.30pm Mon-Thur. Dinner served 5.30-10.30pm Mon-Thur; 5.30-11.30pm Fri. Meals served noon-11.30pm Sat; noon-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Clapham Junction rail
Price: Main courses £7.90-£15.50. Set lunch (Mon-Thur) £5.95-£8.95. Meal for two with drinks and service: around £55

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Charly L
moderatorStaff Writer

I had never eaten Korean food before, until some colleagues took me along to HANA on our way to drinks at Rise 42.  And I wasn't disappointed.  I basically became hooked on bibimbap!  The HANA prawn bibimbap is something you have to try - there's something rather fun about cooking the meal yourself at the table.  The rice and ingredients are served with the cracked egg over a heater, and you then have to stir the egg in and allow it to cook yourself, which is really quite fun.  The prawn dumplings mentioned in the Time Out review are also not to be missed.  The service is great - the staff are friendly and polite.  When I lived in Battersea, this became a regular post-gym dinner option for me, and the staff would always acknowledge me as a regular and chat to me.  I've seen lots of dates at HANA, but it's worth bearing in mind that all the tables are set up for 4 people, so if you do go on a date, particularly on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, you're likely to share the table with another couple.  My only reason for 4, and not 5 stars, is that it's rather pricey for what you get.  You're unlikely to leave without paying at least £25 for dinner, which is steep for dumplings and rice.