Hapa Izakaya

Date Visited: January 2 2015
Address: 1193 Hamilton Street  Vancouver, BC V6B5P6
Website: http://www.hapaizakaya.com/
Type of Restaurant: Japanese, Tapas, Fusion
Price Range: $$
Recommended: Negitoro
Overall: 6/10
(1-4: will never come back, 5: pass (I’m okay with a tinier morsel), 6: acceptable, 7: okay, 8: good, 9: Wow! Please enlarge my morsel. 10: Perfection. I could eat a morsel of this every day!)
Will come back? No
What I ate:
Hello Kitty – Absolut vodka, strawberry puree, Calpis, soda
  • 6/10
  • The strawberry puree was really strong
  • But the alcohol flavour was very watered down
Harajuku Girl – Absolut vodka, butter ripple, sour puss, raspberry, Calpis, soda
  • 6/10
  • Tasted similar to the Hello Kitty except instead of a strong strawberry flavour it tasted a tad more sour
Beef Tataki – lightly seared AAA beef, sesame chilli sauce
  • 4.5/10
  • The beef tataki was horrible
  • It made me want to stop eating it after the first bite
  • We didn’t even finish it in the end
  • The sesame chilli sauce tasted like watered down Sriracha
  • Very disappointed with this dish
  • The beef was also very chewy and not cut thin enough
Ebi Mayo – tempura prawn, spicy mayo sauce
  • 5.5/10
  • Not crunchy enough, it was soggy from the spicy mayo sauce
  • The prawns themselves were overcooked
  • It was so rich that it made me want to stop eating it
  • There was too much mayo in the sauce
Negitori – chopped albacore tuna belly, spring onions, toasted garlic bread
  • 8/10
  • This was great – the albacore tuna belly was not too chopped up
  • It was flavoured perfectly – not too salty or sweet
  • The spring onions gave it some freshness
  • The toasted garlic bread was just the perfect crispiness
Gyoza – minced pork layered with lotus root, tempura
  • 6/10
  • This did not remind me of gyoza at all
  • I did not enjoy the lotus root component at all
  • When I think of gyoza, I think of chewy skin wrapping minced filling
  • But this lacked the floury component that I would prefer
  • Also the tempura part of it was not crispy, the oil they fried it in was not hot enough causing it to soak up the oil
Tropical Roll – yam tempura, banana, asparagus, mango miso
  • 6/10
  • Tasted strongly of banana
  • The mango miso did not add anything flavour or texture wise
  • The yam tempura was not crunchy at all
  • When you first bite into, the immediate flavour you taste if banana then sweet potato
  • Sweet Banana sushi is how I would summarize it
Ishiyaki – rice, minced pork, garlic chives, egg, tomato, lettuce served in a hot stone pot
  • 6/10
  • The rice bowl luckily was hot enough to make it crunchy
  • The minced pork was spicy and flavourful
  • But they didn’t mix it well enough so it wasn’t equally distributed
Things to Improve on: Overall execution of the dishes (balance of sweet and sour), the cooking of the dishes
Summary: For happy hour, the prices are great but the food is not good. I will not be going back any time soon.
Hapa Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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