Hanabi Sushi is a relatively newly opened informal restaurant on Smith St. It opened around the same time as Hinoki Pantry and soon after Shop Ramen (which is next door). Loosely speaking (considering I am no expert and have not been to Japan) Hanabi falls under the ‘authentic’ style of Japanese restaurant, like Hinoki, compared to influenced / fusion / westernised places like Shop Ramen and Teriyaki Anarchy Sake.
I ordered chicken katsu don and it was astonishing – the crumb was so light, so perfectly cooked, so crunchy and not overly oily that I can easily say it’s the best katsu I’ve ever had, and for $8.40 it was also a great value lunch. Hanabi is set up primarily for takeaway but also has a few small tables inside if you want to eat in. I’m going to return soon to try the maki. Hanabi has also been reviewed positively by Asian restaurants in Melbourne.