Friday, 10 August 2012

Foodie Trip #1: Hapa Izayaka on Robson

Finally got to try Hapa Izayaka yesterday after seeing so many friends post pictures of the food on Facebook! I bought a Groupon in July ($15 for $30 worth of food, good for 2 to 4 people). So I ended up going with bf and his mom :)

We made a reservation for 6:30 p.m.. and the restaurant was quite full already!
Exterior of Hapa Izakaya
Ebi Mayo
Deep fried shrimp, tossed in a spicy mayonnaise sauce

Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps
Crispy pork belly, apple jam, pickled onion, butter lettuce
Ebi Mayo - This was my absolute favourite! The ebi mayo was the first dish that arrived, so it sort of set a standard for the dishes that were coming along. It was sort of like shrimp tempura but covered with a sauce that resembles the sweet and sour sauce. The batter was on the thick side, but the sweetness of the shrimp was still shown through.

Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps - I thought this was just alright. This reminded me of the Peking duck lettuce wraps. The down side was it did not come with enough lettuce for each pork belly. There were two pieces remaining that was just eaten on its own. But pork itself was seasoned nicely!
Yaki Udon
Thick udon noodles, stir-fried chicken, vegetables
(vegetarian version available upon request)
Ishi-Yaki (already mixed)
Rice, minced pork, flower chives, egg, tomato, lettuce, spicy miso, served in a hot stone bowl
Yaki Udon - Second favourite! :) The portion was quite small. It was enough for around 4-5 bowls. The only down side to the udon was I thought it was sort of wet for fried noodles.

Ishi-Yaki - Before heading to Hapa Izakaya, I read on various blogs that this was one of their best dish. So, we decided to give it a try! It was very similar to the Korean stone bowl rice. When it arrived at our table, it wasn't thoroughly mixed. All the ingredients were laid on top of the rice (just like the Korean style ones). The waitress helped us mix it...for some reason she had to flatten out the rice after all the mixing (not sure why :P)
Renkon Gyoza Tempura
Minced pork layered with lotus root, tempura
Crab Croquette
Dungeness crab, corn, Japanese BBQ sauce
Renkon Gyoza Tempura - We ordered this and the crab croquette after we finished the rice! This was definitely an interesting dish...that being said, it was something you can probably make at home if you are willing to invest in the time. There was lotus root between the gyoza wrapper and the batter. It added an extra "crunch" in addition to the fried batter.

Crab Croquette - This was probably the most disappointing dish we ordered. My first reaction was: "what?! only 3 pieces?!". But after finishing one piece, I was SO full. Inside has a thick creamy filling. I couldn't really taste the crab though. 

Rating: 3.5/5
We thought the portions were on the small side but we were kind of expecting it to be a light dinner! Though I have not tried other Japanese Tapas, Hapa Izakaya has definitely got me interested in the whole Japanese Tapas experience! But if it wasn't for the Groupon, I probably wouldn't have tried out the restaurant due to its price.

Location: 1479 Robson Street      Vancouver, BC V6G 1C1

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