HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
Do you create unique foods?
TELL US

Hanami- Wont be back Ever!

m
michelep Dec 19, 2009 04:20 AM

Well it was time for the owners to reinvent the wheel on this restaurant that they have owned for a few years .now. Unforttunately for them I will not be back!
The first nght of this new name, new menu and 3 new chefs were last night, a Friday no less. Who opens a new or in this case a "reinvented" restaurant on a Friday. I did ask the owner that and she said she had thought she had it all together! Apparently not as she apologized that it took way to long for our food to come to the table.
Amd now for the food part of the review! The 3 chefs come from NYC establishments such as Nobu, Megu and Mr. Chow. There is a different chef for the Sushi, Japanese, and Chinese part of the menus.
We sit down and 2 of us ordered the won ton soup, different but good. Then we look at the menu and we each pick a dish to share, and almost always we have leftovers anywhere that we go, Tonight was a much different story. We ordered a Grilled Chicken dish with Teryaki and Vegetables, a Grilled Shrimp dish and a noodle dish-mei fun w/ veggies. I must the presentation was very pretty. The food however was finished in 3 bites! The grilled shrimp dish for 22 dollars consisted of 4 shrimp. Yes I said "4" The chicken dish had roughly 3 ounces of chicken along with some veggies, and the noodle dish was a little bigger but not very big. We also received 2 bowls of rice, I mean small bowls which was actually ok.
Gone is the hot tea (maybe you need to ask). There is however a fancy tea menu-cold tea drinks. Gone are noodles and duck sauce, and also gone are the fortune cookies. We were however offered a mint on the way out.
I am not sure how a restaurant like this can survive? My friends wont believe me that I left a little hungry. I am the one that usually has a "doggie" bag . Desserts were not offered to us, but I later looked at the menu given to us on the way out to take home, and there were 3 choices that were about 10 bucks each. I could only imagine that I could take 2 bites and this too would be gone.
So dinner for 3 w/o tip is 60 dollars-2 soups, 3 main entrees, 1 iced tea drink- Wont be back

  1. f
    freshmanjs Jan 9, 2011 10:23 AM

    you were exactly right. the restaurant could not and did not survive, despite their attempts to reintroduce some of the old sunny garden menu items. what a sad outcome for what was once a very good and reliable chinese food option.

    1. p
      Paul N Dec 28, 2009 12:41 PM

      I got take out there last week - similar story: a long wait, then a $10 gift certificate, and when I got home I was surprised by how small the portions were.

      But I probably will be back, because everything was tasty and it's that or P.F. Chang's.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Paul N
        w
        wizard2 Dec 28, 2009 03:13 PM

        Have you tried Peking Pavilion?
        http://pekingpavilion.com/

      2. Bob Martinez Dec 19, 2009 12:49 PM

        "The 3 chefs come from NYC establishments such as Nobu, Megu and Mr. Chow."

        I think the Mr. Chow chef won out.

        1. h
          Heatherb Dec 19, 2009 09:01 AM

          Yargh. Sunny Garden was one of my old reliables. How depressing that it's undergone such a change. Sounds like I'll be better off sticking close to home and going to Kenji (now K Fusion???)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Heatherb
            r
            restaurantlovers Jan 12, 2010 08:04 AM

            But Chef Kenji had left Kenji all together....

          2. RC51Mike Dec 19, 2009 05:15 AM

            You made the effort to question the owner's wisdom of reopening on a Friday so, I assume you passed along all of the above criticisms to her as well. What response did you get?

            3 Replies
            1. re: RC51Mike
              m
              michelep Dec 19, 2009 07:10 AM

              The owner was very nice about the unusually long wait time. She acknowledged it before we said anything, and even gave us 2-ten dollar gift certificates to come back. I should of said something about the size of the meals, I didn't though, I am somewhat quiet when it comes to complaining,

              1. re: michelep
                f
                fourunder Dec 19, 2009 07:25 AM

                Not all restaurants are like the all you can eat buffet. They have expenses and price their menu accordingly to meet their obligations. Not all restaurants are a good fit with customers.....and the final tally of your bill doesn't sound much different from many other restaurants I go to....especially Italian restaurants.

                Just last night I went to a local pub to meet my son for dinner. One appetizer of wings, one salad, two sliced steaks with fries and four beers .......60 bucks before tip. Where's the injustice?

                The owner apologized to you for the miscues and gave you $20 in certificates for another visit....frankly, while I agree it's your decision to return or not, I cannot understand why you made this post here for someone who claims to be somewhat quiet when it comes to complaining. It clear you made your thoughts of displeasure known at least twice. Most people avoid new restaurants on opening night......but for those who do go, usualy they are more understanding.

                1. re: fourunder
                  m
                  MarlboroMan Dec 19, 2009 08:09 AM

                  P.S. If you don't want the gift certificates, I'd gladly take them. :)

            2. a
              arpad Dec 19, 2009 04:47 AM

              Does this place have a name ?

              1 Reply
              1. re: arpad
                m
                michelep Dec 19, 2009 06:31 AM

                Sorry- I could have sworn I wrote " Hanami" formerly Sunny Garden off Rt 1 in West Windsor

              Show Hidden Posts