From a farmers' market stand to a commissary-based take-out spot, the Hawaiian fare of Hanai Family Table has been a big draw for Vancouverites for a few years now. But a fresh opportunity finds Hanai's Tess Bevernage and Thomas Robillard - partners in business and life - teamed up with some restaurant vets in Vancouver to create a new refined neighbourhood spot where they can take their food to the next level.
Now simply called Hanai, the restaurant has moved into the old Ugly Dumpling spot at 1590 Commercial Drive, and after a speedy renovation, doors open to the public for dinner Thursday, March 3.
Bevernage and Robillard are now working with Miki Ellis and Stephen Whiteside (of Dachi, Elephant) to create a warm, welcoming sit-down iteration of their concept fuelled by the flavours of Hawaii.
While Hanai Family Table was about casual comfort fare like Spam musubi, ube pie, and fried Okinawa sweet potato mochi, Hanai takes things up a notch with plated dishes ideal for sharing, like adobo potatoes, charred purple cabbage, crab fried noodles, and squid luau, kahlua pork, and chicken lau lau (wrapped in lotus leaf). For dessert there is butter mochi and miso tahini ginger cookies. From the bar you can order up sake, wine, or cocktails.
Hanai is open for dinner service Thursday through Monday from 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations can be made online via Tock.