Hapa Izakaya Coal Harbour – Happy Hour Under $5

Hapa Izakaya version 4.0. By now Vancouverites should be very familiar with Japanese tapas. Hapa Izakaya Coal Harbour formerly known as Hapa Umi, is popular amongst the after work crowd just happy to relax with cheap food and drinks.

hapa umi

Hapa Izakaya Coal Harbour used to be a upscale hapa but, I guess Vancouverites got so used to Hapa’s original menu and prices that it just did not fly. Now they have a menu very similar to all the other Hapa’s

Happy Hour Details:

3- 6 PM

Monday to Friday

Everything on the Happy Hour menu including the house wine and beer is under $5. I know UNDER $5!!!

Now the food…

Starting with my favourite dish the Ika, grilled squid, sake soy garlic marinade. The smoky flavour really came through. It was cooked perfectly, the texture was still crunchy.
Ike

Ebi Mayo, was overcooked and the batter was too thick.
shrimp Tempura

Chicken Karaage, it was juicy and tender on the inside but the outside was not as crispy as I would have liked

Chicken karage

Beef tataki, lacked flavor, I’m not a big fan of any dish squirted with a thick blob of chilli sauce.
Beef tataki

Rennkon Gyoza, minced pork layered with lotus root and tempura. This was surprisingly nice, the lotus root added a crunchy texture.
Deep fried gyoza

Overall, it stood a little above pub food but, the atmosphere and service was so fun. The servers were hot. We sat in a booth so I was eye level with the server’s busty boobs. I couldn’t help staring at them, they were everywhere.  It may be raunchy but, take it as it is, Hapa Izakaya doesn’t claim to be a Michelin star restaurant, it’s more along the lines of Cactus Club. If you are complaining about girls and guys flaunting their bodies (I might add, it wasn’t distasteful) go somewhere else.

Hapa Umi on Urbanspoon

Refinery – Japan vs Granville Island

Refinery Cocktail Kitchen Series

Food Persuasion Level : [rating=4]
Value: [rating=4]
Service : [rating=4]
Ambiance: [rating=5]
Price: $$
Cuisine: Japanese
Location: Granville, Vancouver

www.therefineryvancouver.com

Refinery Cocktail Kitchen Series, a bartending competition inspired by different cultures paired with scrumptious food. This month competition focuses on Japan vs Granville Island. We were thrilled Chef Ben’s food menu was “sushi-free“, we all been to those Japanese themed dinner parties where the selection was limited to two, california and spicy tuna rolls.

The sake and soju was supplied by Masa Shiroki the owner of a local artisan sake shop on Granville Island, Artisan Sake Maker.  Mixologist for the night was Dani Taratin, bar manager from The Keefer.

1st course…

Sunomono saladcompressed cucumber noodles, prawn, pickled Ginger, and citrus, sweetened with lychee and mirin and preserved lemon. It was refreshing and light, good for cleansing the palate and preparing your taste buds for the heavier 2nd course.

Sunomono salad

Paired with…

Sake, gin dream concoction within a carved lime with apple and lime bitters.  Thankfully, we had master sake maker, Masa Shiroki sitting at our table to explain the layers of flavor within the sake drink. This creative sipper was made with Jew Mai Sake, which is premium sake. The drink had a cucumber undertone which paired well with the cucumber noodles.  It was clean, refreshing and simple, as a standalone drink this was by far our favorite of the night.

Lime jew mai sake

2nd course…

Okonomiyake cabbage pancake with bonito Japanese BBQ sauce- bonetta flakes (dried fish).  I’ve been to many Japanese restaurants and I have yet to find one that tastes so good. The combination of Japanese mayo and BBQ sauce, the dashi soup made it so flavorful. Usually this dish tends to be very doughy and dense and chewy, this on the other hand was light.

Okonomiyake cabbage pancake

Paired with…

Blood orange Soju with and passion fruit grapefruit house made bitters and a dash of cinnamon for some for some earthiness and spice.

Blood orange Soju

3rd course…

Kazu  and miso marinated sable fish with mushroom and vegetables. This was dish had quite a bit of bite and,  this is coming from a person who slathers on wasabi like butter. The sweetness of the marinated sable fish was nice and sweet.

 

Kazu  and miso marinated sable fish

Paired with…

Kasu sake, with yin gi mushroom, black tea and a squeeze of lime for its tartness, rimmed with salt and sugar other Japanese earthy herbs. Man! This drink was complex, the sipper alone is a bit confusing. You know when you are expecting chocolate to taste sweet instead it tastes like salty shitake mushrooms mixed with black tea, your taste buds are screaming, “what the hell?” Well if you sipped on this before a bite of the dish yea.  Now, paired with the dish it was amazing! The black tea and the yin gi mushrooms accentuated all the different layers of flavors in the dish and makes it linger a little while longer

The Refinery: Market.Style.Eatery on Urbanspoon

Japa-rean Waffles – Miura Waffle and Milk Bar

Japa –rean (Japa-Korean) Inspired Waffles Sandwiches

Miura Waffle Menu

Just off the party streets of Granville nestles a quaint waffle café. Owned and operated by a couple, who provided exceptional service from right when we entered. Chef hard at work creating our orders Bulgogi Waffle Sando, a Korean marinated beef mixed with eggs and mayonnaise finished with kimchi in between two fluffy slices of waffle -$6 and the Fruits & Cream Waffle Sando, apples with pastry crème -$4.

Miura Busy At Work

As a self-proclaimed food explorer even I had my reservations about my Bulgogi Waffle. I was expecting a Korean fusion breakfast flop, comparable to the inedible crap Tim Horton’s call a sausage and egg biscuit. With my first timid bite into the waffle, I was pleasantly persuaded. The flavor combination of the subtle kimchi, mayo and seasoned beef hit the spot. For those who cannot take spice the kimchi was very subtle, it was more of sourness of the pickling that came through not the spiciness.

Bulgogi Waffle Sando
Fruits & Cream Waffle Sando really depends on the fruit of the season. During the summer it was berry and for the fall, apples. Pas cream was neither too heavy nor sweet. Although I have a sweet tooth the star of my palate was the Bulgogi, it is definitely one of their more creative dish, other than their Wasabi Salmon Waffle, a Salmon Wasabi Ranch combination.

Fruits & Cream Waffle Sando

When you have a craving for waffles I also recommend Patisserie Lebeau in Kitsilano, a Belgium style waffle café. Absolutely divine and knocks out Chambar, a Belgium restaurant famous for their signature dessert waffle.

829 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC
604-687-2909

Food Persuasion Level : [rating=4]
Value: [rating=4]
Service : [rating=5]
Ambiance: [rating=3]
Price: $
Cuisine: Waffle Cafe
Location: Downtown Vancouver
Miura Waffle Restaurant Menu

Miura Waffle Milk Bar on Urbanspoon