Despite living in the West End with access to a plethora of restaurants and ethnic eats, John and I usually stay home to eat. It’s a nice treat to head out for food, drinks, and good times with friends. We just so happened to have one of those nights last week as Keira joined us at Hapa Izakaya on Robson Street.
An “Izakaya” has been described to me as a place that serves Japanese tapas, share-plates that are accompanied with an extensive and creative drink menu. As such, the three of us each ordered drinks; John with the giant bottle of Sapporo, Keira with the pink Hello Kitty cocktail, and I tried out the Hapa Caesar with wasabi. The following are the dishes we all shared (including the beef tataki that we had twice since it was so good).
Edamame (which Keira noted due to their smokey flavour, were probably the best she’s had)
Beef tataki x2 (seared beef carpaccio with a sesame-chilli sauce)
Ebi mayo (tempura prawns in a spicy mayo sauce)
Gyoza (minced pork with slices of lotus roots, tempura style)
Maguro sushi (bigeye tuna marinated in ginger soy sauce)
Tiramisu & cheesecake
Our bill (for three people in total) came to $110 for all of the above including 3 drinks and the 2 big bottles of Sapporo.
When you enter the restaurant you are greeted by the entire staff in unison, making you feel welcome. While the setting is dimly-lit, it adds to the atmosphere that, while teeming with conversations and chatter fueled by good eats, is mellow and easy-going. This makes Hapa a great neighbourhood hangout as well as a happening spot for a date or night on the town.
Hapa Izakaya has three locations in Vancouver that are now open for lunch (starting at 12:00pm). Hapa Izakaya Yaletown (1193 Hamilton Street), Hapa Izakaya Robson (1479 Robson Street), Hapa Izakaya Kitsilano (1516 Yew Street). You can also follow them on Twitter for deals, menu announcements and updates @HapaIzakaya.
Disclosure cmp.ly/2 I was not paid to write this post however our meal was covered by Hapa Izakaya
Update Hapa Izakaya has offered up a $50 gift certificate (good at Yaletown for lunch or all locations for dinner) to one of my readers. Please leave a comment on this post (as others already have) stating why you like Hapa or why you would like to give it a try. I’ll draw the winner Tuesday June 29th.
Update The winner of the gift certificate is Amanda R – congratulations and have a great time at Hapa!