DETROIT – If you frequent Downtown Detroit, you may have seen a sign across the bridge on Congress and Shelby Street touting an Asian-fusion restaurant is coming soon.
That time has come, and a new steakhouse has landed in the Financial District named Hanah.
The restaurant officially opened under-the-radar on Saturday, November 26th, but it’s already making a splash on TikTok for its extravagant food and splashy décor.
Taking over the space that once housed the former Downtown location of Brome Modern Eatery, Hanah transformed the vacant space into a feast for the eyes. Within the restaurant, guests will find a sleek nightclub-like atmosphere combining modern design with Asian touches, complete with a cherry blossom tree that fills the ceiling with petals.
Leading the development are brothers Peter and Christopher Han, the restauranteurs who saw something missing in Downtown Detroit. The Han brothers, who also run Osaka Japanese Steakhouse in Clawson and Shelby Township, found that the city needed a high-end Asian steakhouse.
“Per capita, Downtown Detroit does not have enough restaurants,” said Peter Han. “People travel from the suburbs to Downtown. It’s a 30-minute drive and a majority of them don’t want to do it. But it’s a destination area.”
So they started building a concept that would bring people out of the suburbs and into Downtown.
“We strived to create a menu that people can’t get at their normal suburb restaurants,” Peter said. “We wanted to make our restaurant a destination point.”
It’s something guests will notice first upon entering. Sharing the same front door as Coffee Down Under, diners are immediately greeted by Hanah’s dramatic interior.
“We wanted to bring other parts of the country to Detroit,” said Chris Han. “A little bit of Miami, a little bit of Vegas. You won’t have to travel far to get that experience here at home.”
Looking through the menu, diners will find a diverse array of Asian-inspired dishes: from Chinese, to Korean, Japanese and Thai. There are Shanghainese soup dumplings, a selection of sushi and nigiri, ramen, curry and even a Korean beef chow fun. Chow fun is a traditional Cantonese dish, but Hanah puts an international twist on it by utilizing the unique properties of Korean ingredients like kimchi and pickled chilis.
“The noodles are soaking up the fat and bringing in the flavor,” said executive chef Tyler Haloostock. “You bring in the kimchi and the fermentation from that, you bring in that aspect of the acid. Then you have the fat that cuts into that and it’s just really focused on bringing back homestyle fullness and a whole bunch of flavor.”
Family-style eating is encouraged at Hanah, allowing guests to try as many different flavors during their meal.
“Each item is created in a way that stands out on its own with all the flavor profiles and ingredients incorporated in it,” said Andrew Phommala, Hanah’s general maanger. “The menu was curated so that everyone is always sharing.”
Many of their dishes hover around the $20 to $40 mark. The most expensive item on their menu: a $295 wagyu bone-in tomahawk steak. It’s a giant 38-ounce cut of highly marbled beef meant to be shared with the whole table.
“When you come into Hanah, we create this atmosphere of being with family and friends,” said Peter. “You want to bring people in and enjoy this wagyu. It’s exciting, fun, juicy and flavorful. So we try to create that family aspect of picking out of that plate onto your dish.”
Part of the fusion element of the menu was incorporating Detroit into some of the items. In developing the Japanese chicken and waffles, Chef Tyler talked about bringing an Asian twist to soul food.
“There’s the crispiness and saltiness from the chicken melding with the sweetness of the taro waffle with hot honey for a little spice,” said Chef Tyler. “We’re bringing all those flavors together, the identity of soul food with the fusion and that really shows what we’re about.”
Bar manager Paul Hyde worked closely with the team to create beverages that complemented the dining experience.
“The food is very serious,” said Hyde. “I approached the cocktails almost like comic relief. You see that with some of the garnishes where they’re very playful, hopefully thoughtful and evocative.”
The syrups and mixers are created in-house. Many of the cocktails utilize Asian ingredients like matcha, Chinese baijiu, and plum wine.
Even though the restaurant has only been quietly open for two weeks, the feedback has been promising.
“It seems like we’re doing something right,” Peter said. “We want to make it worthwhile.”
Hanah is open Tuesdays through Sundays for dinner only and is located on 607 Shelby Street Suite 100, Detroit, MI 48226. For more information, menu and reservations, visit HanahDetroit.com.