Thursday, January 16, 2014

Maybe I'm Just The Thing To Break My Own Fall

Its been awhile since I've posted a blog for Samba Days. They recently sent me a new product they've just launched, called Gift Card Offers - a discounted gift card program for various highly rated restaurants, spas and services.

So I decided to check out Hapa Izakaya, since I'd never been before. I brought along my sister and brother-in-law, and we were not disappointed in the slightest.
 
Spicy Baja Rolls

First off, I'd like to say that although me and chopsticks have never been friendly (ie - I'm too uncoordinated to be able to actually use them properly. I blame my left-handedness. Shh.), I decided not to wimp out and use a fork.

That's right. For the first time ever, I ate an entire meal with chopsticks. I am horribly un-cultured. And stubborn.

But I did it! Sorta.

Seesters with Sake Punch





As I practiced my chopstick-age (new verb!), we had some drinks - delicious Sake Punch for the girls, organic draught sake on tap for the boy - and ordered some items off of the "Hapa Hour" half price app menu. This was my first-ever izakaya experience, so my sister and brother-in-law made sure we had a little of everything so I could try new things.

Every bit of it was fantastic.

Tuna Avocado Salsa Dip

Karaage


After the Hapa Hour items, we ordered from the main menu. (Some items we tried that I didn't post photos of were the Gindara, Ika (squid), Beef Tataki, and  Black Sesame Tan Tan Noodle. All delicious.)

Little did we know that we also ordered items that came with mini blowtorches.

Here, the server is lighting up the aptly-named Firecracker Roll.


...and then another one set fire to the Aburi Saba (mackerel).

I might start lighting all of my food on fire, because it's just damn fun to watch.



Although too full to properly think straight, we split some desserts afterward. This is the Matcha Brulee, and the Ichigo Chocolate Fudge behind it.

Overall, my first izakaya experience was awesome. Amazing food, really friendly and fantastic staff, and I even managed to make peace with my evil chopstick nemesis. Nuthin' like progress!

If you'd like to try out Hapa Izakaya with a Samba Days card, visit www.sambadays.com/offer and check out the selection. Or, grab one in the gift card section at select Rexall, Pharma Plus, Loblaws and Sobeys.

Pretty sure I'm going to order another one soon and go back for more. Wanna come?

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