Restaurant review

Hana Sushi and Teppanyaki roll down College Hill – The Lafayette

Sushi lovers, rejoice! Last July, Hana Sushi and Teppanyaki opened on College Hill. Even though we like to play salmonella roulette every time we grab sushi from Lower, we editorial staff decided to explore Hana’s extensive menu.

Hana offers take-out and eat-in options. We opted to eat there to get the full experience. The restaurant is accessible, with a ramp and stairs leading to the door. The interior is bright, clean and pleasantly decorated.

We started the meal with two types of gyoza: prawns and vegetables. The group unanimously preferred the shrimp option, which we had fried rather than steamed, due to its crunch and strong flavor.

Then came the sushi, and lots of it. Our rolls were brought out on a wooden boat with edible flowers, vegetable fillings and even a color changing ice cube. It gave the impression of an upscale restaurant without the extortionate price tag.

We wanted to sample Hana-specific signature rolls as well as classic favorites. The California roll and the spicy tuna roll were both solid, although some in our group would have preferred more spice on the latter. The Philadelphia roll featured the perfect ratio of salmon to cream cheese for a refreshing combination. All the tempura rolls were amazingly crispy including the spider roll. Each dish came with wasabi, ginger and an arrangement of grated carrots.

Our signature rolls were definitely the main event. Our friendly and attentive server recommended that we try the kamikaze roll and transformer roll. The prior was deliciously stuffed with crispy shrimp tempura, crab sticks, avocado and cucumber, all drizzled with spicy mayonnaise. The transformer roll, which was a favorite of several in our group, included spicy scallops and crab sticks inside the roll, and salmon, eel and tobiko on top.

We also ended up trying the pink lady roll, which included spicy tuna and shrimp tempura. Delightfully, this roll was wrapped in light pink soy paper and arranged in the shape of a heart.

Another favorite was the spicy tuna bomb from the appetizer menu. Imagine a hollow ball of tempura filled with avocado and spicy tuna, quartered and drizzled with spicy mayonnaise and eel sauce. It was a visual conundrum, but a culinary feat.

Hana also offers a variety of teppanyaki and poke bowl options, including buildable bowls and exclusive menu items. For College Hill’s vegetarian population, Hana offers a number of meatless options across all areas of the menu. There’s a range of options for everyone, from the sushi newbie to the more adventurous of eaters.

Besides the delicious food, one of Hana’s best features is its affordability. A classic roll costs around $5, and the most lavish signature rolls cost just over $10. This low price is important for college students looking to indulge in their favorite foods on a budget. Hana is also conveniently located at 218 Cattell Street, directly across from Wawa.

Hana offers online ordering and is open seven days a week. If you’re looking for a variety of delicious and economical sushi and other Japanese dishes, make the trip to Hana Sushi and Teppanyaki.