Best Meal of the Year- Hapa Izakaya

I know what you are thinking, it’s only mid January, so “best meal of the year” thus far doesn’t mean that much. But, honestly this meal was the best meal I’ve had in MONTHS, exceptional, food fit for Gods, the entire dining experience was beyond heavenly. In fact, there are no words to properly describe just how freaking good the food really was, only GO THERE, TRY THIS, AND THIS, AND THAT (I’ll elaborate on the specific dishes don’t you worry). Three days later I’m still daydreaming of the bold flavours, the decadence, the silky, smooth, creamy with a little crunch here and BING*** of flavour there. Explosions in  the mouth, fireworks of the tastebuds.


On Sunday night my girlfriend treated me to dinner at Hapa Izakaya, which is truly one of the best restaurants in Vancouver.

It all started out with a couple of fish tacos and a “Harajuku Girl”

For $7.99 -the appetizer “Halibat Taco” only comes with one taco, but we knew this before we ordered it. We had one the last time we dined at Hapa and fell madly in love with it, so this time, we knew going in that it’s much too delicious to share without a fight. YOUR BITE WAS BIGGER THAN MINE! Seriously, it’s worth every penny just to get two.

My memory cannot even obtain its greatness.

Biting into juicy flakes of white tempura Halibat with bacon and tiny strips of fried potato, leafy greens, and home-made roast jalepeno tartar sauce is like losing yourself, and finding yourself in a palace made of spice. It’s that nice! It’s light, and moist, and crisp. It’s like swimming naked in the ocean under the moonlight or dancing with your lover on a rooftop at sunset: so delightful, so magical, soo… something everyone should try at least once!

The ‘Harijuku Girl’ is one of their many fabulous cocktails. The combination of Absolute vodka, butter ripple, Sourpuss, raspberry, Calpis and soda makes for a sweet, light pink, bubbly delight, the grown up version of cream soda = pure genius!

Next, we tried the ‘Ebi Mayo’ for $8.99: Crisp Tempura Prawn tossed in a rich and spicy mayo-based sauce sprinkled with green onion and/or possibly chives. These were by far the juiciest, tastiest prawns I’ve ever had, the sauce: the fountain at the palace of spice, just right for quenching desire. And it comes with 6 prawns, perfect for sharing… 🙂

Our main course: Chipotle Beef Curry Ishi-Yuki $9.99 Rice, slow-braised AAA beef, chipotle curry, and egg served in a hot stone bowl. This one really blew my mind. The description enticed my curiosity, but I had no idea what to expect with such diverse ingredients. The result: truly magnificent, layers upon layers of flavour and spice, not too hot, not nose-dripping spice, just tongue tingling, moan-inducing, full-bodied flavour. Rich, well-seasoned, and scrumptious, every bite…

We didn’t really have room for desert per say but the wonderfully sweet and sincere waitress sold us on the chocolate parfait, describing all it’s chocolately components: chocolate mousse with squares of chocolate cake, and a scoop of decedent chocolate ice-cream with a sliver of chocolate torte topped with whipped cream and a Maraschino cherry, sprinkled with cornflakes~~~ AHH! omg I just died, and woke up in heaven, and I’m not even religious!

If I didn’t eat anything before this, it still would have been the best meal of the year, and I would have ordered another one. If you are a chocoholic, you have to try this. If you like chocolate even just a little bit, occasionally, YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS. And, if you don’t like chocolate at all but know someone that does you should take them to Hapa Izakaya just so that they can try THIS and they will love you forever. And while they are eating it, you should try just one bite (if they let you) and you will no longer be able to say that you aren’t a desert person or you don’t like chocolate because after this desert you’ll feel differently, you’ll be a changed person.

For just $5.99 you can have the best desert of your life, it is, indeed, the epitome of the phrase ‘sex in my mouth’.

Hell, this meal I had three days ago, was the best meal I have had in years, maybe even in my life (and that is saying A LOT, because my favourite food is actually italian and Hapa Izakaya is ‘modern Japanese cuisine’ but the combination of everything, the appys and drinks and spice, the desert and the service was like ‘shit son’) THEY NAILED IT!

It will take A LOT to top this meal, but since DINE OUT VANCOUVER is happening in less than a week. Bring it on!

I am ready with my stretchy pants!! 😉

With love from a fellow foodie,

Heidi J. Loos


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