Hana Teppanyaki House Japanese Restaurant in Carolina Forest
Mickie Wang, owner * 4036-9 River Oaks Dr, Myrtle Beach SC 29579 * 843-903-5151
I’m not good at trying new restaurants unless someone else is buying. I’m usually the type of guy that goes to the same two or three places and orders the same thing every time. I was at the River Oaks end of Carolina Forest the other day around lunch time, and thought I’d take a chance and see what was there.
That well-hidden area of Myrtle Beach has exploded with stores and eateries. I was sure I could find something palatable, and I did. I drove around the shopping centers until I saw what my stomach craved but my mind didn’t know about until I saw it. I pulled into the Hana Teppanyaki House Japanese restaurant.
I’ve been missing a decent Japanese lunch spot since I gave up on the ones at the south end of the beach. One of those closed down and the other has degraded into unsanitary nastiness. It may be a few miles further from my office, but I think I’ll make this my new lunch spot in the Carolina Forest area.
Most Japanese places that serve food quickly resemble fast food restaurants: self-serve drinks, cheap tables and chairs, and plastic silverware. Not so with Hana. Their food was fast, but that was the only resemblance to the Oriental McD’s that most places pretend to be. Everything was elegant. The silver and glassware were trendy with an Oriental touch. The tables had real tablecloths. I had a waiter. It was all the convenience of a fast lunch with all the accoutrements of Japanese supper dining.
Although there were some great items on the menu and great specials mentioned, I ordered a basic Teriyaki chicken bowl just so I could have a clear comparison to past meals at other places. It was marvelous! I honestly don’t know what the chef did differently, but it was possibly the best teriyaki chicken I ever tasted. The spice and sauce was sharp and the chicken firm and juicy.
As an aside I was slightly buttered up when Ms Mickie Wang seated me. One of the first things she asked me was if I was the man who wrote a column in the women’s magazine. She was guaranteed a good review right there. I’m just kidding, but it does inflate my ego to be recognized in public.
As I sat there glowing I noticed a great number of office and working stiffs picking up to-go orders for the office. Ms Wang seemed to know most by name. Repeat business speaks highly for a place’s reputation and quality.
The only thing I would change would be to beef up the coffee service. Being the coffee fanatic that I am, I always ask “what type of coffee do you serve?” The answer I never want or expect to hear is “I don’t know just regular coffee.” Well, that was what the waiter told me.
A fresh-roasted specific coffee paired to a restaurant’s food offerings is a great way to increase dessert profits. By specific I mean coffee from a particular roaster or at least a particular region. Coffee is not as ubiquitous in Japan as it is in America and is often taken darker and stronger than we drink it. In that respect a nice Hawaiian Kona with its medium body, fragrant aroma, and spicy flavors would work well. Because of Hawaii’s mid-Pacific location, the island culture possesses many Asiatic influences, which would establish a cultural link between the coffee and the food.
I highly recommend you drop in the Hana Teppanyaki House for lunch or dinner. It’s worth the drive away from the chain places, food courts, and fast food dives found in Myrtle Beach proper. I plan on going back for dinner to sample the bigger portions and try out the scallops.