Kama Hapa Yakiniku Izakaya Bar
Kama Hapa Yakiniku Izakaya Bar: A chic Yakiniku restaurant and lounge bar
Written and translated by Diva
Photos by Andy Lin
213, AnHe Rd, Sec 2, 1F
Kama Hapa Yakiniku Izakaya was opened about 10 months ago. The name Hapa originates from a Hawaiian word for a person that has mixed Asian and Western heritage. The restaurant's name also explains what Kama Hapa Yakiniku Izakaya serves--a combination of yakiniku, Japanese cuisine and lounge bar selections.
Located in the heart of a Taipei nightlife hub, Kama Hapa looks like a nightclub on the outside. Once you walk in, however, you'll discover a bright area full of space-enhancing mirrors and large windows, from which you can watch the traffic roll by. It is not as noisy as most yakiniku restaurants and is a stop for families, business people and groups of friends alike. It's also worth noting that, even though its location is within a prime area, the pricing on the menu is mid-range.
After eating at Kama Hapa you won't have to worry about smelling like BBQ at the end of the night or burning your dinner due to poor skills. All the grilling is done in the kitchen once you place an order. Meat choices include pork, lamb, duck, chicken, and premium wagyu beef from Australia. What's so special about wagyu beef anyway? Some say that it tastes like beef foie gras, smooth and sweet. Keep in mind that wagyu beef is not available everywhere. In terms of seafood selection, the must-try item here is the extra-large, sushi-grade scallops from Hokkaido (NT$200). Whether you like it seared and salted or cooked in rice wine, the texture is always tender.
Recently, Kama Hapa recruited senior chefs to revamp the menu and provide more choices in addition to yakiniku. All new dishes are served in medium portions, so there's enough to be shared with friends. Sashimi is always a good starter and Assorted Sashimi with Three Types of Fish (NT$260) is a refreshing appetizer. Emerald Seafood Rolls (NT$180) come with crab meat, cucumber and Japanese yam. If you like hand rolls, try one of the chef's creations, like Mango (NT$60) or Kiwi (NT$60). Japanese Seared Beef Carpaccio (NT$280), served with a homemade sauce, is one of the most popular new dishes.
In Taiwan, there is no yakiniku house as hip and chic as Kama Hapa. From even the decor of the ladies' room, one can tell the management must be very detail-oriented. The sushi bar in the center of the restaurant is like a splendid open kitchen. Since all the adjacent tables are connected to the bar, patrons can watch the activities behind the knife as well as everything that goes on in the restaurant. To see and to be seen is quite fun at Kama Hapa.