Downtown Eats: Hapa Umi

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Everyone knows about Hapa Izakaya, but they are only open for dinner. If you are looking for the Hapa experience during the day, you should check out their sister restaurant, Hapa Umi. I went back during spot prawn season and they conjured up the above dish. Poached Prawns with Deep Fried Prawn Heads!

One of  the best items on the lunch menu is their Sashimi Salad. They serve amazingly fresh and perfectly sliced sashimi atop of organic mixed greens along with some baby root vegetables! Lots of sashimi adorn the salad, and every piece is delicious. The light dressing with highlights of citrus and soy elevate the delicate greens and sashimi.

Another of my favourites is their Kaisen Don. Again, a very pretty bowl of sushi rice, topped with lots of sashimi. Rounding out the dish are some fish cake and tomago too. When I went, there were ebi and ikura too! I really like the uniform size of the fish and I appreciated the shiso, which served to lighten things up.

If you like scallop, then a must try is their Scallop roll. A slice of nori is  wrapped around the scallop, cucumber and mayo, then a layer of rice surrounds that roll. The thing that differentiates this roll is the thin egg crepe skin wrapped around it all. I loved the chunks of scallop and the cucumber gives the roll additional texture.

Another roll to try is the Dynamite Roll. Many places put avocado in their rolls, but the green bean instead makes for a better flavour and crunch. The prawn in the roll is big, and they could easily add more rice to the roll to make it “big”, but they didn’t.

Also available for bigger appetites is the Bento Box. It showcases Umi specialties and are ever-changing based on fresh ingredients. When I went, we got a potato salad, with chunky potatoes in a mayo based dressing. Also featured is their Unagi, served with a bed of greens cucumbers. They also give you some sushi, in the form of a salmon maki, along with some gomae.  The last item of the bento box was their Halibut tempura, also available on its own as Halibut Fish & Chip. Beer-battered fish, where the inside is moist and flaky, but it’s the crunch on the batter that amazes you. As mentioned, all items are subject to change based on fresh ingredients too.

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Written By: Grace Cheung (@gracecheung604) www.gracecheung604.com

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Grace Cheung Grace has always had a fork in one hand, and a pen in the other as she eats her way through Vancouver’s restaurant scene with a discerning bite. She spends her day scouring the best eateries and racking up frequent dining points. In between meals, she works as a marketer for a non-profit and also has her own company, providing social media services to local businesses. Must haves: blackberry, iPad, and a nice barolo.
@gracecheung604

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