Hapa Izakaya (Kitsilano)

September 03, 2011
After a night of dancing, Kish and I tagged along with our new friends for a late night snack at Hapa Izakaya. As soon as we were seated, our waitress came over with a tray of hot towels for us to wipe our hands with. That was not expected but much appreciated. We ordered a number of tapas to share. The first to arrive was the tuna avo salsa dip ($7.95) which came with crispy plantain chips. The tuna was really fresh and blended perfectly with the creamy avocado and the tasty chips.

The ebi mayo ($8.95) was creamy and spicy, but it sure was pricey with only 6 prawns for almost $9. They were supposed to be wild prawns though, so I guess that makes a difference. The tempura batter was very thin and soggy from the sauce, so the prawns tasted more cooked than fried.

The king crab roll ($11.95) was no different than the ones found in any other Japanese restaurant. There were no surprises here, and I definitely wouldn't order this again considering the price.

I decided to be somewhat adventurous and ordered the horse tartar ($7.95). It was raw horse meat in a piquant marinade that was very salty and intense in flavour. The sauce was so strong that it completely covered the taste of the meat, so even now I have no idea what horse meat actually tastes like. We all agreed that it was worth a try, but it was not something we would order again.

The duck potato ($7.95) was nothing out of the ordinary. It was mostly potato and very little duck. I actually thought it was a potato dish when it came, and was wondering why anyone would order plain pan fried potatoes. It wasn't until after the meal that I found out there were small bits of duck meat underneath.

The fish and chips roll ($7.95) was innovative since I don't think I've seen it anywhere else. In reality though, it was just like fish and chips served with sushi rice. While the concept was interesting, the taste didn't really wow me.

Although the food was quite expensive, the ambiance was nice and the service was excellent. The sushi was a bit weak, but the other tapas were above average. The food would probably go well with a drink or two, but we didn't order any drinks this time. We noticed that almost every other table had ordered cold sake served in bamboo bottles. We found it very interesting and the waitress told us that the bamboo keeps the drink cold. That's definitely on my to-try list for next time.

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  1. Ah, Happa Izakaya....my friends and I used to drop $400-500 every weekend at the Robson location....we put Justin's kinds through school, haha! The food has always been good at Happa, albiet a little pricier than other places, but we just couldn't afford to go there that often anymore.

    The sake in the bamboo is a fun novelty and if I remember correctly, it might be just chilled Gekkeikan. Definitely an interesting way to serve it!

  2. Wow $400-$500 every week?? But I'm not surprised considering how expensive the dishes are, and the portions don't reflect the price. Looking forward to trying the bamboo sake! :P


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