Hapa Izakaya is a reasonably priced, funky Japanese tapas restaurant on Robson Street.
This is the favourite restaurant of my boyfriend and I, we have been here for anniversary dinners, birthday dinners and dinners with out-of-town friends. We love it and we keep coming back because the food is so savory and delicious and the service is excellent! If you are considering on trying this restaurant, you should and you will not regret it!
With all the reviews & WOW I've read, Hapa is not a place where I would go. Its too loud, rowdy & food the same as usual. Food wasnt' anything special to me, same as any other japanese restaurant without the sushi. It took awhile to get the servers attention b/c they were busy yapping away with each other. I wont be returning for a long while, there are many new izakayas to try out.
I went there with my friend two weeks ago.. and I am very suprised at how popular this restaurant's rating is.. The food is not exciting for its price. Very ordinary, which I can find at basically all izakaya in Richmond. This restaurant was very disapointing overall.. I wonder why people would go there.. because of the atmosphere? but the servers were not bad!
i went and tried a bunch of items from the menu,
from what we had, it was very yummy.
a must try, ebi-mayo, i cudnt believe how yummy it was.
the drink selection is more than enuff to pls the avid drinker.
so good. the waitress were very friendly and the price wasnt all the bad.
go try it out, u wud leave in a veri hapa mood.
The night started out pretty good. We had a reservation for 6 o'clock and a table of 11. It took 45 minutes to take any food orders and almost all the food arrived 15 minutes later but noodles that two of our guests ordered, took way too long for noodles - 40 minutes! At 8 o'clock the waiter announced that we couldn't order any more food and we had to hurry because there was an 8 o'clock reservation waiting and we shouldn't keep them waiting. I'm talking announced - so the ENTIRE restaurant could hear. Totally tactless. He should have whispered in someone's ear to hurry up. Then at 8:15 while we're trying to decipher the bill (which by the way cannot be separated and is in Japanese) he announced loudly again that we have to leave because the next table is standing right next to our table waiting. I had not removed my shoes because I was not told to (I guess everyone else was) and he said to me "oh, and I see you didn't remove your shoes, nice of you to ignore me" and I responded that no one had asked me to remove my shoes. One of my friends said to him that we're late because our order was taken 45 minutes after we sat down and the noodles took forever to come. He announced to everyone that he was getting very frustrated and it's time for us to leave. On the way out I apologized to the people waiting telling them that we're 20 minutes late because of the terrible service and how he embarrassed all 11 of us in front of every restaurant patron there. Sorry, but you can't have a table of 11 in and out in 2 hours - poor booking on their part and there was no reason for him to use a loud voice to express that we were tying the other party up and that we have to leave. It was inappropriate and just plain embarrassing. If I could give it zero stars for overall rating, I would.
If you are looking for a great place for your friends to kick back and enjoy great food and drinks in a wicked atmosphere, this is definitelt a place you need to check out. The manager is wonderful and so is the wait staff. The ambience is perfect for a sexy dinner out with the significant other or to hold a party for the friends. Great place!
I went there on a Friday night, and the owner came and asked how many seats. A table for 2 for me and my boyfriend. He thought we could get in, but once again it was busy. So we made a reservation for Saturday. Got there the next day at around 9 pm-ishh, and one of the waitresses guided us to the waiting area, where you could order drinks until there was a table free. Originally they were going to seat us at the kitchen area place, but we wanted a table.
So we waited, got a table near the back, close to the bar. Ordered a Strawberry kiss and a Melon soda, which was pretty good. Drinks didnt come for about 10 minutes, not a big deal. Then we ordered. The first dish came really quickly, like about 5 minutes after we oprdered. I was so amazed. After my Ebi Mayo arrived, the food just started rolling in. Ordered hapa tofu, chicken kaarage(sp?) with a spicy dipping sauce, udon yakisoba, and a spicy tomato rice dish.
Bill came up to $61 considering we ordered 3 melon sodas which alone came up to $15.
The waitresses are really nice and helpful. Food came fast. The place was so hip and chic.
I would deftinetly go there again. =)
Great atmosphere, so many delicious dishes, attentive and discreet service, and icy saki in bambu carafes. You can't go wrong. Like the Guus, the menu has both excellent standbys such as Tuna Tataki and a fantastic torched Mackerel, and more adventurous dishes for those in the mood for something novel.
A quick trip to Vancouver and thanks to the reviews here, a look at Hapa. What a really interesting and exciting experience. I'm sure that at 50+ we were the oldest people in the place but the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly. The food was quick to arrive and beautifully presented AND delicious even when we ordered something that we just guessed at. Lots of noise, lots of smiles and lots of great food...the best kaarage chicken we've had anywhere. Definitely on our must return list for our next trip to the big city.
Quite simply, this place is the best. It's a treat to come to this place. I swear you could throw a dart at the menu, order it, and it would be fantastic... it doesn't matter what you order, it's all good... They have this mackeral where they torch it up and cook it in front of you... just awesome. The sashimi is amazing, the decor is incredible. Even their sake comes in real bamboo shoots and you get to even drink out of little bamboo cups.
I'm in withdrawal when I don't get my Hapa Time. Love this place!
Still one of my favourite restaurants in the city. I thought with doubling its size it would half its appeal.......think again its still a great place to go. If its your 1st time there these treats should NOT be missed. The prawns with spicy mayo, the boneless chicken legs, the spinach salad, the rice dish in the hot bowl (ishi yaki?) and the sable fish which has responsibly replaced the sea bass that was previously served. Justin the owner runs a "tight ship", choosing attentive staff and offers great value for money.
I went to hapa izakaya today at its Robson location with my partner. I've never been to any of the hapa locations before so dine out is a great opportunity to try out the restaurant. Very sad to say, we were both very disappointed with the quality and execution of the food. The hostess at the door was not too friendly. Not a smile from her and practically just pointed us to our table. Our waitresses were nice. We are seated next to the door and for some reasons, it has a strong smell of cleaning chemicals, which was such a turn off. We ordered food from the dine out menu. Had sashimi salad, which was so-so, the dressing was somewhat salty; negitoro's flavour was heavily masked by the sauce, while garlic toast was soggy. Crispy pork lettuce wrap: pork looked like it's been pre-fried and it was luke warm and stale. Fish taco, tortilla was chewy like shoe leather. Sushimori was again mediocre, the wasabi that was on the plate was old, and looked like it's been sitting on a the plate for a long time as it started to dry up. Spicy pork ishiyaki was very mushy, somewhat like baby food. It didn't even get the crispy crust in the stone bowl. Dessert were sorbet and chocolate tart. Again, both looked like they were pre-plated and store bought. In all, the meal was disappointing. Got a feeling that the restaurant is cutting corner to save on expenses of food. I had high expectation of the restaurant since it has won some awards but our experience today has definitely proved it wrong. Unfortunately to say, we will not return to hapa izakaya.
Came here with a large group of people and we were seated in this nice enclosed table. The food selection was pretty good however pricey. Regular shrimp tempura that can be found at any japanese restaurant was triple the price here. The sake is served in a giant bamboo flask which is a nice touch. Would like it if there were more drink specials.
The highlight of the meal was the sashimi. My friend and I ordered the sashimi platter, spicy scallop sashimi, grilled whole squid, eel tempura roll and a rice dish. Personally I thought that the eel tempura should have been warm; it was cold eel tempura that tasted like it had been sitting out. My friend ordered a rice dish that he seemed to like, but, I wasn't a fan of( I didn't like the meat).
The waitress was really pretty, nice and totally helpful. She was constantly clearing our table and totally on top of our drinks.
Honestly it was the same price as Kingyo, but the dishes were no where near as good. So, I feel that you weren't getting the quality that you pay for.
We sat at the bar and it was good. The only complaints that I have is the noisiness and the fact that we were surrounded by a bunch of delinquents who wore diamonds on there jeans. The architecture was decent, nothing to talk about...
I like Hapa Izakaya in general - I think it has a nice atmosphere and the food is decent. It's a great place for groups. However, I was there one time with a smaller group of 4. Being the first one to arrive, I was not treated very nicely by the hostess. I was waiting for a table for 15 minutes or so and was told I had to wait in the restaurant and could not come back. I did not want to go to the bar alone so I opted to wait in the front. A larger group of people arrived without a reservation shortly after. I saw a table (for 4-6) free up and the hostess whispering to another waitress. Before long, she sat the group that came after I did. I confronted her about this and said that they were here first and were waiting right outside the door. I knew this was a blatant lie. The hostess needs to learn how to be more sincere, smart, and do her job right.
This place is overpriced and banks on return customers with the decent food, hot waitresses, and unique design. It is trying to be more then it is and misses on a lot of occasions. I would definitely choose Guu over this anyday. Hapa is pretentious, over priced, and is trying to gain a reputation of being exclusive. I do not feel the need to go there again and am sorry that I went in the first place.
Japanese tapas & Korean restaurants are all the rage ons Robson St. now.
Hapa was one of the early japanese tapas and argueably has the best ambience on Robson. But I have to detract from people's 4 & 5 star food rating of this restaurant.
I'm sorry to say this restaurant is a little more style than substance. People who go here are trendy ("the beautiful people"), maybe a little pretenious young asians and the white guy tourist from out of town where only Japanese food they ate was california rolls...etc.
So....food indeed is good, I like this place, has a variety of different dishes and most of all beautifully presented, but ultimately a little over priced for what you get. Confused by the nice ambience & presentation of food, customers can forget how small portions are and actual calibre of cooking....good, not great. Still a great place go for a late night snack or a date.
Still not much cheaper, I say walk a few blocks down Robson, check out Gyu(s), Gyoza King, Zakkushi and you'll know what I mean. These restaurants are less showy (people & presentation) and but food is definetely more of a focus, offers more value as opposed to just beautiful surroundings.
A friend of mine took me here. I was pretty impressed with everything. There were quite a few choice dishes to choose from so it was hard but we ended up with the tuna sashimi on some ranch sauce (really nice), rice in stone pot, and grilled salmon. Love them all. I love the shared tables environment and you can totally see how hippie the crowd was. A Japanese Resto for a White Chief...even more impressive! Servers were great and nice but definitely a busy place so give a bit of patience on the side. Better go early so you wouldn't have to wait the lines.
I still thoroughly enjoy snacking at Hapa with a big bottle of cold Japanese brew. However, like good smack, I've never been able to achieve the intial high achieved after my first visit.
I might be one of the lucky ones, because I have only had good experiences with the food and service here. In fact, a recent evening with a larger group afforded the opportunity to share a few dished I hadn't tried before. All were received with great pleasure.
For a place that is the Cactus Club of Japanese/Hawaiian, they rise above expectations. I think a lot of people that are not happy with Hapa are confused about what it is all about. I think they do what the do well and offer good value compared to other casual dining options. That might be why it is so busy in a city with so many Japanese restaurants.
Hapa could improve the way they convey their value proposition to customers. Hapa could be more clear about the experience they are trying to project so diners can adjust their expectations accordingly.
I like the half and half concept; and, think it would be fun to see a few more Hawaiian inspired items such as real Poke, or Chicken with two-scoops rice - among others.
A no ka' Oi!