Hapa Izakaya (Robson) – DOVF 2015

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Beef Tataki

For my last Dine Out, I went to Hapa Izakaya on Robson Street. I had a pretty bad experience at the Yaletown location, but the Robson location had an $18 menu and the choices seemed pretty good. The restaurant wasn’t fully booked like most of the other dine out restaurants, so it made getting a table last minute very easy. We decided to share all our dishes and started off with the Beef Tataki. The lightly seared AAA beef was fresh and cut to the right thickness. It was topped with a sesame-chili sauce and came with some garlic chips.

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Bintoro

The second appetizer was the Bintoro, which is lightly seared Albacore tuna sashimi. The tuna was seared just so the edges were cooked, and the sashimi itself was tender and fresh. It came with a ponzu sauce and was paired with a salad.

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Raw Oyster

The third appetizer we chose were the Raw Oysters, which features the Chef’s selection oysters with daikon ponzu sauce. The oysters were rather large, but were still very fresh. I found it interesting that they gave you pickled ginger and wasabi, but none of us gave that a try. A pretty good deal since you get three oysters for the order.

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Taster Plate (2pc ea. Ebi Mayo, Karaage, Gyoza)

For our second course, we chose the Taster Plate, which included 3 types of snacks. There were two pieces of each snack. First were the tempura prawns, which came with a spicy mayo sauce. I wasn’t a fan of these since the prawns were very small, and the batter wasn’t crunch. These were sort of soggy. In the middle were the Karage – deep-fried boneless chicken. This came with a soy ginger sauce, which was also just average. Lastly were the Gyozas, which did not really look like gyoza. It was essentially minced pork layered with lotus root and tempura battered. Overall, the taster plate was just average. Nothing too special.

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Gindara

Another second course we ordered was the Gindara, which was baked sablefish with a sake-miso marinade.It came with some grilled vegetables. The sablefish was very moist and tasted great with the sake-miso sauce.

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Kakuni

The third second course we got was the Kakuni. This was an interesting dish, featuring soy-braised pork belly with steamed buns. It also came with some Japanese hot mustard and salted cucumber. The bun was soft and the pork belly was tender with a good amount of fat. One of our favourite dishes.

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Spicy Pork Ishiyaki

For our third course, we chose the Spicy Pork Ishiyaki. The rice was mixed minced pork, garlic sprouts, egg, tomato, lettuce, spicy miso, and served in a hot stone bowl. Sort of like the Korean bibimbap. It was slightly spicy, but not overpowering. Very flavourful!

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Tartar Sushi Donburi

We also got the Tartar Sushi Donburi, which was probably my favourite. Essentially a chirashi don, with assorted chopped sashimi, shiso, and ginger-soy mayo. It featured salmon and two types of tuna. Perfect for those who love sashimi.

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Mentaiko Udon

Lastly, we got the Mentaiko Udon. The udon noodles were mixed with a spicy cod roe sauce, but I found this to be just average. I prefer Guu’s yakiudon.

Overall, I wouldn’t say any of the food was too memorable, but everything was decent. I still prefer Guu if I want izakaya food. Hapa is more bar like and somewhat more formal. It’s still a great place for happy hour or to grab drinks.

Pros:
– Reasonable prices
– Ambiance is pretty nice

Cons:
– Service was just average
– Food isn’t too memorable

Price Range: $20-30

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3
Service: 3
Ambiance: 4
Parking: 3
Overall: 3

Hapa Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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