The Place It is not easy to imagine that Two Hana is by the Seoul Garden Group, the brand which I am sure most people are familiar with at some point in their lives. Located at the newly renovated Century Square in Tampines in the east of Singapore, Two Hana is an edgy looking Korean and Western cafe at the ground level of the mall. Hana means ‘one’ in Korean, hence the concept of Two Hana feels like a two cuisine in one space, though it also aspire to be a space other than your home. 1+1=3, profound much?
Two Hana aside, the group also runs Seoul In A Sandwich, a Korean and Western inspired takeaway kiosk at the basement of Century Square. Some of the offerings to expect include the Bulgogi Cheesesteak (S$8.50), Kimchi Prawn Cocktail (S$7.50), Army Stew-wich (S$8.50) and Seoul Street Toast (S$6.50). My pick is the creative Army Stew-wich flavour which has chicken luncheon meat within, Topokki slices and Army Stew sauce.
The Food For start, the prices are Two Hana are very wallet friendly with most dishes under S$20. I started with one of the signature dishes here, the Kimchi Mac and Cheese (S$9/5pcs). Served in bite size portions, I find that it is a creative twist to the usual Mac and Cheese, where you get kimchi chunks coated in crispy breadcrumbs here. There is a nice cheesy stretch upon cutting it apart, where the cheese component is not too overpowering.
Korean wings are a staple in cafes these days. The Two Hana Drumlets ($9/4 pcs – 2 of each flavour) here is a best of both worlds. The two flavours includes the Honey Butter Drumlets coated in honey butter sauce and served with popcorn and almond; and the Spicy Yangnyeom Drumlets coated in spicy Yangnyeom sauce and topped with sesame seeds. I’m a fan of the honey butter, though the popcorn is superfluous for me.
Another sinful side dish to have is the Bulgogi Sidewinders (S$9). The crispy sidewinders is topped with beef bulgogi, creamy bulgogi sauce, kimchi bits, onions and parmesan cheese.
Looking for a post gym meal? I recommend the Striploin Bap (S$13), which is a generous portion of rice topped with seared striploin slices, kimchi, namul, caramelised onions and 63-degree-egg.
For mains, the Braised Gochujang Lamb Shank (S$24) is one of the most value for money option on the menu. The lamb shank is huge in portions while the taste is not gamy at all. Braised in gochujang, tomato, carrots and kimchi, it is also served with kimchi mashed potatoes beneath the lamb and soft rolls as a side. It is a very carb heavy dish, enough to serve 2.
Alternatively, the Crisp Battered Pacific Cod and Doenjang Mash (S$14) is the restaurant’s take on fish and chips. Instead of chips, the crispy cod is served on Doenjang mashed potatoes, which is not a bad choice since the cod is already fried. While the cod fish is relatively bland on its own, the best way to enjoy the dish is to pour the sauces of kimchi veloute and honey soy mayonnaise for a better flavour.
For something more comforting, go for the Korean Seafood Ciopinno (S$13). This bowl of goodness packs ingredients like mussels, clams and prawns stewed in tomatoes cream base, served with your choice of tofu or Two Hana soft rolls. I had the tofu, which has a silky and soft texture that absorbs the essence of the broth. Scoop beneath the first layer and the are also diced mushrooms and carrots hidden within. This is a very well-balanced dish which I will go for again.
For desserts, the options cater to the younger palates with the likes of Hojicha Pudding (S$5), Apple Caramel Waffles with Doenjang Caramel Ice Cream (S$9) and Strawberry Waffles with Honey Citron Ice Cream (S$9). My pick is the latter as I am fond of the honey citron ice cream which is just the refreshing bit I needed at the end of the meal.
And for me, a cafe is never complete without good coffee. Fortunately, the Latte (S$5) at Two Hana does not disappoint with its strong body made with Carmelo blend from Allpress.
Rants It is located at the side entrance of the shopping mall, do expect crowds.
Will I Return Again? A very enjoyable take on Korean food, and its affordable pricing is another draw. A cafe concept I will return to, for some light bites and that satisfying coffee.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
2 Tampines Central 5 #01-21
Tel: +65 6260 4321
Daily: 8am to 10pm
Ranted by The Ranter