Now open in Plano’s former Smashburger restaurant, Hanakin is inspired by izakaya, which translates from Japanese to English as “sake restaurant”. In Japan, an izakaya is a casual drinking establishment with a menu offering a wide variety of small dishes. Hanakin translates to “Thank goodness it’s Friday”.
“I visited Japan when I was young and went to a famous Izakaya,” said chef Sangjoon Lee, who has over a decade of experience in Japanese gastronomy. “The experience I had was phenomenal in terms of the service, the atmosphere and, most importantly, the people. Each person was kind. Originally from South Korea, Lee owns Hanakin with his wife, Kyo.
The menu includes sushi and sashimi, soba and udon noodles, rice bowls, katsu, and salads. The dishes are a bit bigger and more upscale than what would typically be served in an izakaya. The drink menu includes red and white wines, sake, Japanese draft beers, and sweet highballs from Suntory.
“Kyo and I specifically selected and tasted each wine on our menu to find the ones that pair best with each fish and dish,” adds Lee. “We will not serve anything that we will not serve our families.”
Hanakin opened on October 27 and is located at 6100 W. Park Blvd. in Plano.