Saturday, 18 January 2014

and the honour of being the first restaurant reviewed by us goes to... Hapa Izakaya!

Hello everyone!
Made that first post back in November of last year, and here we are now in January with our first post.
Happy belated New Years!

As most of you probably already know, Dine Out Vancouver 2014 is on right now.
It started tonight, so we made a reservation a few days ago for Hapa Izakaya Westend.

After a little bit of shopping we headed down Robson to get to Hapa Izakaya.
It's quite a few blocks down, and it's also hard to miss because of the subtle sign and exterior.
Once inside, the atmosphere was good. There was dim lighting, candles on the tables, and upbeat music.

The Dine Out 2014 menu featured four courses, each with a few options to choose from.
In total, the two of us had eight dishes.

The First Dish: Gomae

The gomae was quite different from the ones we've had before from regular sushi places.
Being used to the typical overly sweet and nutty sauces, this gomae was much more mild and had more soy flavour. The spinach was a bit tough to chew, but it wasn't too bad. Overall, it wasn't anything too special. Out score: 4.2/5

Second Dish: Beef Tataki

The beef tataki was pretty good. The beef was perfectly cooked and the texture was great as well. The sauce was also well done.  The sauce tasted mainly of ferment red chili paste. Thinly sliced onions were served on top of the beef and the two together proved to be a good combo. The only thing that we weren't so sure of was the fried toppings. They didn't seem to compliment the dish very well.
Over all score: 4.4/5

Third Dish: Agedashi Tofu

Too sum this dish up, it wasn't anything too special. The only huge difference that set this dish apart from the all of the other agedashi tofus we've had was the addition of shaved daikon to the sauce (which we personally liked). Another thing that we appreciated was the crispiness of the tofu even after sitting in the soup for a while.
Overall score: 4.3/5

Fourth Dish: Negitoro

The negitoro was quite a surprise. The tuna came with garlic bread, and the two were really good together. The tuna was garnished with green onions (of course). The sauce was some sort of mixture of sesame oil and spices. This was one of the best dishes of the night.
Overall score: 4.5/5

Fifth Dish: Kobocha Croquette

The kobocha croquette was really, reallly good. The croquettes were garnished with a sort-of-thousand-island-dressing and veggies. The croquettes were crispy on the oustide, smooth on the inside, and were surpisingly sweet. We think they could have been better if the kobocha had been less sweet, but it was still really good. Along with the negitoro, this was one of our favourite dishes of the night.
Overall score: 4.5/5

Sixth Dish: Ebi Mayo

By this point, we were pretty full and the food was getting to be kind of greasy. The ebi mayo was delicious, but it also added to the greasiness of the night which the salad on the side did help balance that out. If we had the ebi mayo earlier on, it would have definitely tasted better.
Overall score: 4.4/5

Seventh Dish: Veggie Yaki Udon

The veggie yaki udon was good but nothing too special. The sauce was well absorbed in the noodles which was nice, and the tofu was a nice touch. But as said earlier on, the food was getting greasy and the yaki udon added to that. 
Overall score: 4.2/5

The Last Dish: Oyster Risotto

This dish was our last dish, and was a disappointing end to our first Dine Out experience. The idea of this dish was great, but the actual dish wasn't. It smelled like butter, tasted like butter, and looked like butter. It was really, really, really buttery and it was also salty. We were really impressed with all the dishes until this one. We added water to it hoping that the saltiness would go away to no success.
Overall score: 3/5

To sum up our first Dine Out experience, it was pretty good. Even though the oyster risotto was disappointing, we were still impressed at the end. Almost everything was good, and there was a LOT of food. We were so full by the time we got out. We will most likely be checking out Hapa Izakaya again, and we recommend it to everyone who was thinking about going.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Start of Something New

Hey All!

We are very excited to be starting this blog, and we welcome you all!
As written in our description, we are two best friends located in Vancouver.
We are major foodies!!!! Our hobbies include baking, cooking, and of course, dining in restaurants.

Through this blog we hope to post our reviews of various restaurants around our city,
as well as recipes and step by step how-tos. We'll probably include little snapshots of our lives too :)

We hope this blog will be a source of info and happiness to many of you!

Noelle Brie and Winter Woods