Hachibei serves up Japanese home-style cooking, with special attention paid to their many authentic fish dinners.
We've been here many times over the years. Recently they shut down for renovations. My, the place has been cleaned up A LOT. No more of that homey feel.
The good news is that everything is cleaned up. There are lot more people to service you and the people running seem to be still all Japanese.
The kitchen staff has changed for sure. The menu looks like your average Japanese place, but thankfully, it is just "under-described". Ask for the fish dinner again (make sure you ask them what is special for the day, when we were there, it turned out to be a big list of 5-6 choices!) and you get something very similar to what they had before, complete with some extra side dishes. Different, but arguably just as good and still decent sized.
The sushi/sashimi that came out looked pretty darn good too. We'll certainly be back to have another try.
It's definitely a different place, with different feel but the food style looks like it could still be what you might expect from Hachibei.
Too bad they place baseball on the small LCD on the wall instead of hockey (or sumo) now...
It's been about 8-9 yrs since I've last been here. My impression back then was that it's a little pricey at the time but was alright though didn't warrant a return visit--destination chosen by my date. Now, yrs later, I've been curious about how the place has held up as I've passed by a few times enroute to another dining establishment and have spotted a review popup on this site. Figured it was due time to return for the sake of nostalgia if not for the food itself.
Definitely not the place to go for sushi as tuna and maybe salmon is all that they have to offer. The udon with soup has quite a tasty broth but not worth the price tag... for udon @ $7. The "BBQ" fish is a definite avoid especially the mackeral variety as it's just endless bones from a skinny little pike makeral fish that seems to have been pre-frozen then deep-fried & lightly battered... it definitely was not a straight up "BBQ" and very much overpriced. So avoid the seafood. If you're okay with paying a little more than standard for a bowl of plain udon, try it here, it's tasty enough--the noodles are perfect as is the depth of flavours in the broth itself. Avoid the fish dishes, and go for the meat. The veggie gyoza can be skipped altogether unless you're hungry, it makes for a relatively inexpensive filler at ~$3.50. The fish combo dinners are far from being worth the value.
It is humourous to see "Authentic" this & that on the menu. If I walk into an ethnic cuisine establishment, of course, I'd expect that the chef/cook there is serving his/her own interpretation of what "authentic" is to them for that cuisine--but I suppose it could have been North American-ized. Anyway, I found that amusing if nothing else.
It has been awhile since I last visited Hachibei, and while meandering down 16th Ave, passing Toshi Sushi and the crowds, I headed over to Hachibei, a cozy hole-in-the-wall Japanese diner. The food is authentic Japanese, the owners are Japanese, the clientele are Japanese, prices are very reasonable, and there are many choices of types of dinner bento boxes to choose from. Although service was slow as there was only one waiter for the entire diner, there was always a steady flow of people either ordering the take-out or dining in. The place definitely needs a makeover, but other than that, this place is a diamond in the rough.
Been twice since it's been under new management and kitchen staff. I've noticed that it is not as busy as it used to be and that the menu has slowly reintroduced items from the "old" menu! Yes the delicious Hire-katsu is is back!!! Alas I do miss the Happy and Hachibei boxes.
The quality of the food is excellent. The price point is higher than other Japanese restaurant but this is indeed one of the "authentic" ones like Toshi, Zest and others that are staffed with Japanese chefs in the kitchen. (Don't get me wrong I also patronize other Japanese restaurants owned and runned by Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese et al when I want a cheaper Japanese meal and quality is just so-so.)
The interior has been renovated simply and attractively with the same layout. The TV monitor in one corner is not necessary and quite distracting. I suppose when there is a hockey game on it serves its purpose.
Service is very attentive by the young servers. The tall Japanese male is proficient in Japanese and English. His explanation of many dishes (that needed to be elaborated on) was greatly appreciated.
Was craving some sushi, drove down to Toshi to realize they were closed on Monday so didnt' know what to do! As we were heading up the street we found this place tucked away so decided to give it a shot. Place was completely empty at 7:30pm and remained so our entire meal. The servers and manager/cashier just stood at the counter facing us, way too over-attentive making me and my hubby very uncomfortable. We had a couple dishes, the sashimi was fresh enough, the rolls were too warm but soft and tasty! The specials I noticed on the piece of paper looked way overpriced so we didn't get any. Probably wouldn't come back unless I was in the area and Toshi was closed or too busy.
One of the few Japanese restaurants in the 'hood that is open on Mondays, and boy were we ever glad of it. Everything was to its usual high standard of Japanese home-style cooking. If you are looking for new twists on standard fare, you've come to the wrong place. If you want great home style cooking at a reasonable price and really good quality, come on down. We had gomai, salmon gyoza, real crab california roll, unagi roll, fatty tuna and green onion roll, salmon nigiri, and a cider & kirin, all freshly made with awesome service. Can't complain at all, and we'll be back for more in the not-too-distant future.
If i hadnt been invited to this restaurant, i would never have known about this place for its modest location in the residential area of Vancouver. It's a very small place so seats are placed very 'economically'. The first seat we got in this packed restaurant were so close to the tables on each side of us that it was basically like sitting in the middle of a 6 seat table. We spotted a table on the other side that just freed up and chose to move over.
Well, enough about the crammed space, let's talk about the food! Choice of different fish you can get on your sushi is quite limited -- there are salmon, tuna and hokkigai(clam). But what you should get here is not sushi or rolls but what they call 'teishoku', which just means a full course meal in Japanese. It comes with rice, a few delicious side dishes and miso soup. We got black cod and deep fried oysters. AMAZING FOOD! Servers are nice and the atmosphere is quiet and inviting. My new favourite restaurant.
I went there for dinner last night and ordered the Teishoku set from the menu. My choice was the tofu-hamburger steak (3 slider-sized pieces) with savoury/sweet sauce, a scoop of potato salad, green salad with dressing, a small side dish of pickled veggies (cucumber and daikon), miso soup with tofu and seaweed, and rice for $11. For an extra dollar, I opted to get the rice with some extra ingredients such as mushrooms, abura-age (tofu puff), and chestnuts. I was a bit skeptical at the beginning, but when the meal was served, everything looked very appetizing and fresh. The portions were good and it tasted authentic and delicious. Service was decent as the servers were helpful and polite. The restaurant looked clean, including the washroom, and the restaurant didn't really seem as small as it did from the outside. Overall, it was a great experience and I'm really looking forward to tasting the tuna/salmon sashimi Teishoku soon!
Food was decent, but they were a bit overpriced (for some things) in my opinion....
Everything we had was just "not bad".
They dynamite roll had some lettuce and the prawn tempura and thats it...I typically like mine with some cucumber and some tobiko as well...but maybe thats just my personal preference. Likewise, the spider roll was just OK...the hot sauce was a different than I'm used to so it was a bit different (it wasn't a spicy mayo..it was some red chili paste).
The salmon don was tasty..I always like salmon don...but again the value just wasnt there...other places I sometimes go to have the same size serving of wild salmon on top of a bed of rice for around $10-$11...so at $14, it was on the high side.
Also tried their version of a seaweed salad which was different from anything I've ever had...but it was a nice change...
Karubi Yaki (their beef short ribs) were tasty...wish I had ordered an extra bowl of rice to go with it...that would have been good!
If you want authentic Japanese cuisine, this is the place to go.
That being said, don't expect the standard sushi roll, teriyaki mystery meat, "eedamamee" (it's eh-da-mah-meh by the way) fare.
Best thing going on here, like some of the previous reviewers have mentioned, is their teishoku sets. Although they have daily/weekly special sets, I would have to say that their yakizakana (grilled fish) teishoku is their signature item. Reasonably priced and absolutely delicious.
My only problems with this place are...
1.) They seem to run out of supplies/ingredients early (yeah, we just opened for dinner, but we're already out of [fill in the blank]) and the fact that they don't actually grill their fish (they probably broil it). The problem with broiled fish is that the natural oils in the fish don't "drop" out as they normally would in grilling, leaving the fish very oily.
2.) The servers try too hard to speak in English. Yeah, I can understand that most or if not all of them are here on a work visa to learn English, but I've noticed that Japanese women sound very butch when they speak in English (when it's not their first language). Also, the etiquette standards that you would expect from any restaurant get lost in translation some how and the servers are a little too informal. Since it's a Japanese restaurant, I'd rather be greeted with the traditional/standard "Irashaimase!" than a "Hey, Guys!"
3.) The levels of service are not consistent. I've gone on some nights where I've had an absolutely wonderful dinner and I've gone on other nights wondering what the hell is going on. And it has nothing to do with whether or not they're busy. I've been in there all by myself and had lousy service and I've been in there when it's absolutely packed with a line out the door and had terrific service. I just don't understand the inconsistency. There's only so many seats in that place that being busy or not really shouldn't affect the quality of service and "not having enough staff" can't be used as an excuse.
We had been regulars at the old Hachi Bei, before it renovated and seemed to have changed hands. We have been a few times since the change, and do not feel it is as good before.
The food portions used to be huge for the money, and your order always came super-fast. Now, the portions have been reduced to match other "average" Japanese restaurants. The time to get your meal is also now a big problem at times. We once waited 45 minutes for our meals to come. Even worse, at the 20 minute mark, one of our orders (out of 3 people) came, and the other two took 25 more minutes. So, we all sat awkwardly, as one of us was waiting for the other 2 to be served. The wait staff (who stand at the counter very strangley staring at you) even asked us at one point "why aren't you eating?" We told them that we were waiting for all of our meals to arrive of course!
As for the food, the sushi and chicken karage are actually better than the old Hachibei, I must say. But the spinach is very strange - they put some black seed in it or something that is very unpleasant. Other dishes are now okay, merely the same as you would expect from any other mediocre place. Definitely not special anymore. Too bad.
I went to this restaurant without knowing anything about it. The food was very authentic. Also the restaurant was full of japanese speaking patrons. Everyone seemed to have the barbecued black cod on their table. My boyfriend and I shared the black cod, a california roll with real crab, ohitashi, and the spicy tuna sashimi. I would go back for the spicy tuna sashimi alone. Excellent fare. I highly recommend this place for quality, authentic Japanese food. I can't wait to eat my way through the menu.
I like this place, it's one of the few small Japanese places that stand out to me, mainly because it's tucked away in a residential neighborhood and it gives a nice little experience for diners. The majority of the menu items are somewhat normal/standard, although I did come for the Mackarel/saba menu items, which aren't as common elsewhere. It's a bit of a popular place, and it is small so you may want to come at odd times.
I love this restaurant, not only for its varied homestyle menu - Japanese winter food, beer on tap, reasonable prices and locality, but also for the intimate 'tucked away' atmosphere.
Not great sushi, but the plentiful menu of exotic dishes hand written and dotted around the walls more than make up for it. Great place to try something different.