2012年3月26日 星期一

[Vancouver 溫哥華] Fusion Cuisine 美麗海邊的創意和食: Hapa Izakaya

I love Vancouver. Not just because my best best girl friend is there, but also because of its beautiful mountains, sunny beaches, spectacular starry-starry-nights, tidy streets and houses, and most of all: its FOOD!! 

我愛溫哥華。除了因為認識半輩子的手帕交在那裡之外,溫哥華是個美麗的都市;有壯闊的山,乾淨的海,驚人的星空,舒服寬敞的街道和住宅區,更重要的: 有美食!!

Almost one out of three months, I get to come to Vancouver. Lucky for me, this time I got my girl friend as my food guide, and we went to check out this yummy Japanese food place: Hapa Izakaya

幾乎每兩三個月就會飛一次溫哥華。這趟難得手帕交有空,帶我去吃了一家很好吃的創意日本料理: Hapa Izakaya(好奇寶寶字典: Hapa: 夏威夷語, 意思是與南太平洋融合的。 Izakaya: 居酒屋, 顧名思義是和洋創意料理~)

Hapa (fusion) Izakaya: the look of the menu

She made reservation at 19:00, bit late for dinner you might say, but not for a Friday night. We were there before the crowd, fortunately, and so we didn't have to shout out our orders on the top of our lungs. For no sooner than the arrival of our first dish, people began to fill in the place, and this trendy restaurant quickly proved itself to be a hip spot to chill out on a Friday night. 

餐廳裝潢滿時尚。我朋友訂了晚上19:00的位子,雖然以晚餐時間而言算晚了,但到的時候店裡還算冷清。等我們點完菜人潮就陸續湧入,很快整家餐廳就變熱鬧的Lounge Bar了!

Looking across our table (that was before the crowd filled in), a peek of the interior.

Hapa Izakaya was obviously a renowned Japanese Tapas in Vancouver. It has four different locations, and the one we went to was Hapa Izakaya Kitsllano (tastes differ within locations, and this one has the best, so my friends say,) located on Yew Street, just across the beach park. My girl friend Rosa and her boyfriend are frequenters. So I counted on them on the orders (yes I am a very lazy foody :p) We (they) ordered 7 dishes, including one cold tapas, one sashimi, one hot tapas, one salad, one rice, and two seasonal dishes from its fresh sheet. Was more than enough for 2 gals and 1 guy. ALL OF THEM WERE DELICIOUS!!!

近幾年這裡興起日本小酒館 (Japanese Tapas) 風潮,而 Hapa Izakaya 似乎是溫哥華的老字號名店,一共有四家分店,據我朋友說每家味道會不太一樣,而我們去的這家Kitsllano最好吃,而且旁邊就是海邊公園:) 朋友情侶檔是常客 (我朋友甚至和其中一位服務生結為好友),所以點菜部份我就全權交由他們負責(其實是懶XD)。我們一共點了七道;一道冷盤,一道熟盤,一道握壽司,一道沙拉,一道飯食,還有兩道當季菜單上的新品。雖然是精緻路線,但份量對我們兩女一男來說綽綽有餘!而且每道都超. 好. 吃. 的。(請想像美食節目主持人的表情)

A variety of tapas, salad, sashimi, rice and noodles are offered

The seasonal fresh sheet :D

Ordered Japanese tea before food :)

The first one to come was the Cold Tapas: "Tuna Avocado Salsa Dip" ($8.49)
第一道上的是冷盤:  "鮪魚酪梨沾沙沙醬"

Chopped Ahi tuna, avocado, tomato, plantain chips 黑鮪魚, 酪梨, 番茄, 炸大蕉片

This one is my instant fav. It's rich and fresh, the tuna belly is so juicy, and everything goes perfectly and harmoniously on the crispy plantain chip, adding a slightly salty flavor as well as a texture to the taste.


Deep fried plantain chips.
Takes skill to slice the banana into such thin pieces, not to say to fry them. 
avocado, tuna belly, tomato, and some spring onion... together on the crispy plantain chip.

The second comes the Sashimi: "Negitoro" ($8.49)
吃著吃著第二道握壽司來了: "春蔥鮪魚肚佐大蒜麵包"

Chopped Albacore tuna belly, spring onions, toasted garlic bread
I'm ashamed of my limited vocabulary when it comes to describing food. All I can say is I loved the garlic bread, crispy on the edges and fluffy on the inside. As for the chopped tuna? I don't know what they used for sauce, probably just simple sweet soy sauce, but they sure went great together! Was pretty amazed.


Green onions. Alfalfa sprout. Pine seeds. Three of my favorite ingredients. 
I OMG-ed after this bite. So delicious!

While we were still aspiring, along comes:
the Hot Tapas: "Ebi Mayo" ($8.99) , and the seasonal dish: "King Crab Roll" ($11.99)
正當我們還在詠嘆的同時,熟盤及當季新品來了: "辣美乃滋裹炸蝦" 以及 "帝王蟹壽司捲"

Tempura wild shrimp, spicy mayo sauce

The King Crab Roll, dipped in again the spicy mayo sauce. Yum-yum.

The fourth to come was the other seasonal menu: "BBQ Short Ribs" ($12.99)
接著上桌的是另一道當季新菜色: "燒烤牛小排"

Sweet soy marinated AAA beef short ribs; grilled

Beef lovers, just looking as the scene it's breathtaking, isn't it? This red meat came right in time to balance out all the seafood we just had. This weighty looking dish was in fact quite moderate. Two pieces each person, just the right proportion to satisfy our tastebuds without ruin its interest with grease. The onions were delicious. Ribs were perfectly grilled in sweet soy sauce. Very tasty.


Perfectly grilled and perfectly colored ribs.

After all the meat, it's time for some vegies!

Prawns, avocado, organic greens, citrus dressing

I'm a SALAD lover, no meal can do without the greens! and this was quite a lovely salad, but then again, how can seafood and avocado ever go wrong? ;)


Very fresh. The Avocado pieces again increased the richness.

Last but not the least, carbs are here, to finsh up all the space that's left in our tummies :p
ISHI-YAKI ($9.99)

Rice, minced pork, flower chives, egg, tomato, lettuce, spicy miso, served in a hot stone bowl

Very interesting. Innovated. Satisfying.
Peanut butter (or powder?) was a nice little twist to the korean style Bibimbap.

You might have noticed how I cut back on the pictures, because the food was so good I eventually started to draw my mind away from photographing. I couldn't help it! I just gotta haste to the tasting part. I loved every dish that we ordered, and was more than content both mentally and physically. Heaven on Earth is as simple as having great food with your loved ones. Thank Rosa for introducing this lovely tapas to me :D 

看官們或許有發現我到後期拍照和敘述都趨於敷衍(笑)因為食物太誘人所以只想專心品嚐。這次點的每道菜都很好吃!品嚐到美食,生理心裡都好滿足。幸福也不過就是和好友吃好吃的如此而已阿~~ 感謝手帕交帶路(心)。

By the way, if you order sake, it will come in this very exotic bamboo tube. We didn't have any sake. But I wanted to drink from the bamboo, just for fun, so Rosa asked an attendant friend she knew (please do try not to copy my irritating request) to put water in it. The water smelled of bamboo fragrance, and tasted a bit of sake, which was quite amusing :P 
順道一提,這裡的清酒是用竹筒盛裝的,非常特別。我們沒有喝酒,可是因為我實在太想拍那個竹筒了,所以我朋友就很奧客的請店家幫我們在裡面裝水,讓我們拍照,哈哈。竹筒倒出來的水,聞起來有竹子香,喝起來有清酒味,好有趣!但是請大家若光臨這家店還是點清酒啦,不要學我提出無理要求 :P

Bamboo tubes made sake (or water) taste better~

Fun. LOL

Cheers to love and a 12-year friendship :)

Dining in Hapa Izakaya was overall a delighting experience. The food, as far as we've tasted, was great. The interior design was open-spaced, trendy, appropriate for small gathering parties, or simply for some good tapas and a beer with a couple friends after work. As for the price, I'm sure you can find Japanese Tapas that are less pricey in Vancouver. But I guess it goes to the chic dining environment and the good and cheerful service, unique among its competitors :)  


1516 Yew St, Vancouver B.C.
Tel: 604.738.4272

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All Photo and Text by Jillybean. All rights reserved. 

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