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Hanami – Sushi at Movietowne

Lilandra and I learned to love sushi (separately) while out of T&T. We have yet to convince our family members to try it, but we will endeavour. Sushi restaurants are fairly recent and rare in Trinidad, so I never tried it until about 3 years ago. I love fish, and apparently can eat it raw! I hear there is another place in Trinidad, but haven’t been. I have been to Hanami in the Movietowne complex, however, 3 times. I think. At least 3. And always with Lilandra and/or friend TB.

Hanami - Sushi Boat with Wasabi Hanami - Spicy Tuna Rolls
Hanami - Shrimp Tempura Roll Hanami - Dido Rolls

I like Hanami. The service has always been great, and friendly and I love the decor. If I find a decent pic of the restaurant itself, I will post. Lilandra has recently expressed the view that it isn’t the greatest sushi, it doesn’t excite her, but it is pretty good. Let’s put it this way, I went to a sushi place in Jamaica where I had a Spicy Eel Roll that was baaaaaad. And something else that I didn’t bother to finish eating. But I have never gone to Hanami and had something that simply didn’t taste good. I may have had better Tuna rolls, but the ones they serve are still enjoyable.

I have tried:

California rolls (anything with avocado is great); Spicy Tuna Rolls (not bad); Dido Rolls (rice in hot sauce rolled in salmon – very good, but the salmon should be thinner); Shrimp Tempura Rolls (great-fried shrimp in a sushi roll? what could be bad? also has cucumber and Japanese mayo); Spicy Shrimp Rolls (good); Kyoto Rolls (cream cheese? see avocado comment!); Veggie Sukiyaki (really delicious and light – like salad on top a broth); Tofu Fingers (blah – they put the tofu in a batter before frying so the tofu itself was bland – I think they used tofu that wasn’t firm enough also); Ice Cream Tempura (ice cream in a crunchy batter deep fried and covered in chocolate sauce – glad I tried it, but a bit too much for me to have often) – think that’s about it for now.

Once complaint though – Hanami needs to change their brand of disposable chop sticks – they are too round and don’t taper much to the end, making them less functional. According to Lilandra -aren’t Japanese chopsticks supposed to be tapered to points?

These pictures are from an earlier visit to Hanami, where in addition to all that sushi, we tried Japanese tea, veggie sukiyaki (one split into 3) and ice cream tempura! The last time we went, we only managed the sushi rolls above.

Hanami sushi veggie sukiyaki

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40 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. Mmm, love sushi. From what I could remember, I’ve had the spicy Tuna rolls, the shrimp tempura rolls and the eel sushi whose name I can’t remember, but is my favourite. I think I’ve had others that I’ve sampled off the plates of friends. The only one I don’t like is the one made from roe….nasty. I can’t get used to the idea of eggs bursting in my mouth.

    1. Mani on November 24th, 2006 at 7:38 pm
  2. Haven’t tried the roe yet, but intend to. And I have even made a couple sushi rolls in my time. Just can’t find the tools in Trinidad yet.

    2. chennette on November 24th, 2006 at 8:51 pm
  3. See, I remember some spicy tuna rolls being hot and awesome and to die for!

    These are passable. Maybe that’s why they don’t got it on the menu…

    3. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on November 25th, 2006 at 12:43 pm
  4. Malabar Farm in Bournes Road in St. James had quite a few things….we went searching when hubby (who was suffering from Sushi withdrawal in Tnt – days befor Hanami etc) bought a Japanese cookbook on that ship that sells books (?)…and HAD TO HAVE ALL the stuff he could find IMMEDIATELY. Chennette, did he never cook Japanese food for you….see how you’re loved, mean mean friend??????
    The boat at Hanami is really cool!!

    4. Hmmmm on November 25th, 2006 at 1:34 pm
  5. Hey, sorry about the spelling errors…I am typing in the dark (and I can’t spell)…smile

    5. Hmmmm on November 25th, 2006 at 1:35 pm
  6. No – no japanese food. Although I recall being offered sushi rice when you were clearing out. Well, Lilandra is really the one who wants to make it, she bought herself a book as well, one on Sushi and then later one on Japanese cooking generally since she couldn’t find the sushi tools.
    And, what spelling errors? 😉
    Oh yes, why am I mean? A friend yes, but mean???

    6. chennette on November 25th, 2006 at 3:36 pm
  7. Who didn’t cook for you? How do I get to Malabar Farms??

    7. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on November 25th, 2006 at 8:42 pm
  8. She gave the address! What’s the matter, can’t you drive there 😉

    8. chennette on November 25th, 2006 at 9:06 pm
  9. hee the other place is Laughing Buddha on Frederick St. I was very impressed when I ate their but that was 2 yaers ago :) am yet to go to Hanami :)
    Malabar Farms is easy to find people 😀

    9. The TriniGourmet on November 26th, 2006 at 2:02 am
  10. SUSHI!! YUMM!! My adoration started with Kulu Kulu in London. Grew with Resturant Japan (JAMAICA) and Hanami (TT). One dish I really enjoy at Hanami is the one with the plaintain. I think it was Magic or Dido, don’t recall.. but um um good!! I’ve had Laughing Buddha which was not bad but the service there was painfully slow condsidering the place was empty. I hear they have sushi on Wednesday night at the Lure in Chagaramas.. but I dunno about the whole sushi sometimes idea. :)
    PS. i love cream cheese in my rolls too! YUMM!!

    10. Island Spice on November 26th, 2006 at 2:59 pm
  11. Sorry meant that the hubby was a mean mean friend not you….yup and he apparently bought two books his Sushi book and one on Classic Japanese cooking…

    11. Hmmmm on November 26th, 2006 at 6:15 pm
  12. @TheTriniGourmet – thanks for the info and for dropping by my blog! My sister is most likely going to wait for me to drop into Trinidad for us to go to Malabar Farms, hence her feigning ignorance as to how to find it…younger sisters…
    @Island Spice – Yay – sushi! I first had sushi when fellow students decided they wanted to make, then at Yo Sushi! in Edinburgh. After that I kept wanting to try more, and I did – the raw fish, rice and seaweed…mmm.
    @Hmmmm – well, then, yes MEAN MEAN friend he is!

    12. chennette on November 26th, 2006 at 6:15 pm
  13. NO IDIOT SISTER!!!! I can’t drive there. Also directions != address.

    I have heard of this Laughing Budda. *sob*

    Wait…YOU ARE TAKING ME! Didn’t you know???

    I first had Sushi when I met an internet friend for the first time.
    Either that or with my roommate but I’m betting internet friend.
    I don’t know Hmmmm.

    13. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on November 26th, 2006 at 7:07 pm
  14. Hmmmm lives on the North Sea now. Apply deductive reasoning. You know my friends.

    14. chennette on November 26th, 2006 at 7:15 pm
  15. I missed the part about the North Sea.

    And…I wonder if maybe our ISP doesn’t like routers and are making it so the router doesn’t work. I hope you remember to bring my old one…or something…I’m also considering making one of my computers a “router”

    15. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on November 27th, 2006 at 2:22 am
  16. Sigh. I ADDED the North Sea bit as an aide, so you could include it with all the other info and draw a conclusion. Shouldn’t the ISP TELL US if they configure it to not like routers? So we’d KNOW. And we’ve tried internet directly and still experienced problems before…

    16. chennette on November 27th, 2006 at 11:18 am
  17. Hi Lilandra,

    As a clue my hubby likes to torment you with thoughts of me scrubbing the floor in the middle of the night – cos you think he’s a bad bad husband…smile

    17. Hmmmm on November 27th, 2006 at 12:53 pm
  18. Yo Sushi in Edinburgh! I was there! I was there!

    hee hee

    Hawaii had some good sushi, too.

    18. ewe_are_here on November 27th, 2006 at 5:07 pm
  19. :-) Oh the fun days – so many things to remember about that time, including that night at Yo Below! Although, what was more fun – having sushi, or observing fellow students? Hmm… 😉

    19. chennette on November 27th, 2006 at 5:14 pm
  20. chennette: yes I think they should. But I’m tired of not having internet so I disabled the wireless and the imac is connected and i’m connected via super long crossover cable!

    Hmmmm: I figured so without noticing north sea but wasn’t sure…head hurts…internet people bad…but wasn’t sure…and you don’t sign my blog

    ewe_are_here: she never took me for sushi in edinburgh…she just kept trying to get rid of me :-(

    20. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on November 27th, 2006 at 6:33 pm
  21. Lilandra…will sign your blog later today, just remember when you can’t get rid of me that you asked…smile

    21. Hmmmm on November 28th, 2006 at 7:29 am
  22. For the boys, I think it was having a beer tap built into the table. snort

    I think Yo Below actually closed down, believe it or not! (Probably to keep lilandra from getting to experience it. heh heh)

    22. ewe_are_here on November 28th, 2006 at 9:33 am
  23. Methinks I should post something new for all this conversation to continue 😉 Too bad about Yo Below, but I don’t feel too sorry for Lilandra, she had Antonio’s pizza (and YES I know I went there, but you didn’t really want a beer tap on your table did you?)

    23. chennette on November 28th, 2006 at 9:36 am
  24. Antonio’s Pizza


    allyuh just big meanies

    24. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on November 28th, 2006 at 11:33 pm
  25. Gosh! You’re making me hungry you darned chennette lady!

    25. Angryforeignertrini on December 10th, 2006 at 6:29 pm
  26. welcome :-) and sorry about the hunger!

    26. chennette on December 10th, 2006 at 7:48 pm
  27. Cheneette
    Fantastic blog I enjoyed too much seeing pictures of Japanese dishes in TT.

    27. TOMOKO on July 25th, 2007 at 4:29 pm
  28. hey. i was googling sushi bars in trinidad and i found this link. is hanami in mt still open? i’ve actually never heard of it. Where in MT is it?

    Thanks in advance!

    28. jamie on June 12th, 2008 at 9:47 pm
  29. Hi and welcome Jamie. I haven’t been in a couple months, but it was at the back of the promenade (?) on your left just before you approach the box office – where the clothing boutiques etc are and next to the outdoor bar in that area. It’s still on their website http://movietowne.com/retail_stores.htm but then, can we trust that information?
    Someone who is in Trinidad now can advise us perhaps?

    29. Chennette on June 12th, 2008 at 10:04 pm
  30. As far as i know, the Three main Sushi Locations in T&T are Benihana, Laughing Bhudda and Hanami…
    Dude, personally i cant stand Hanami…thier sushi to me pales in comparison to that @ Benihana. Hell, their rice tastes like its parboiled! Im assuming u havent been to beni, seeing as it wasnt mentioned, i STRONGLY suggest u try it out.
    Now i’ve heard from many friends that Laughing Bhudda is better, with a larger variety and so on, but i have yet to find out myself…will do so soon however.
    Will let u know how eet is 😛

    30. Shen on August 4th, 2008 at 4:39 pm
  31. Well, like I said, it’s not necessarily the greatest, but it’s not awful (in my view of course) but I haven’t been to the other 2 yet. Soon maybe soon. Waiting to hear about Laughing Budda when you go!

    31. Chennette on August 4th, 2008 at 5:41 pm
  32. haha! awful
    seriously chennette, we had Benihana at the Taste and it was AWESOME…well AWESOME compared to Hanami
    Maybe when they were advertising for ppl to join their chef training programme I should’ve….*sigh*

    32. Lilandra on August 4th, 2008 at 11:40 pm
  33. I have not been to Hanami but I’ve been told that their sushi is ok in comparison to Benihana’s (where I have been several times). I’ve heard dismal reports on Laughing Buddha though.

    If you do go to Benihana’s, I suggest you try the Peru Roll. A waitress suggested it becuase it was not listed on the menu at the time. It turned out to be a table favourite and a second round was ordered even though we were all stuffed.

    33. Splitsun on August 31st, 2008 at 12:38 pm
  34. hi Splitsun, thanks for visiting. And for the recommendations on Benihana.

    34. Chennette on August 31st, 2008 at 1:25 pm
  35. this is the best sushi that i have ever tasted,wow,especially the majic roll,damn.word de empress delicia

    35. delicia gittens on March 20th, 2010 at 11:38 pm
  36. Hi Delicia – thanks for visiting!

    36. Chennette on March 21st, 2010 at 1:08 am
  37. Hi does anyone know if Hanami moved to another location? they are not at Movie Town anymore and i really loved the ambience there.

    37. Naomi on April 22nd, 2010 at 11:33 am
  38. Hi Naomi – I last visited Hanami in February, so any move would have been very recent. Will check on relocation news and get back to you.

    38. Chennette on April 22nd, 2010 at 1:23 pm
  39. Thank you Chenette, looking forward to any news you might come across.

    39. Naomi on May 11th, 2010 at 3:49 pm
  40. Naomi Hanami has moved for sure. The last time I visited was in May and I believe they were in the process of relocating (I hope they’re not closed down **shudders at the thought**. I really enjoyed their sushi. Chenette I’d love to know Hanami’s new location also! I’ve tasted hanami’s, Benihana’s and Laughing Buddha’s and I have to say that Hanami was the best…hands down! Benihana’s sushi tastes ok but there’s not much variety to the rolls. They are all more or less the same give or take 1 ingredient. Hanami has waayyyyy more options. However, they both taste better than Laughing Buddha’s. I also agree with the comment above regarding the service at Laughing Buddha…too slow, and we were the only occupants at the time.

    40. Sparkle on October 29th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

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