Japan 2016: Hakuri Tabai Hanbey Izakaya

Japan 2016: Hakuri Tabai Hanbey Izakaya

One of the more fun places we ate at in Kyoto was at Hakuri Tabai Hanbey Izakaya – the locals call it “Hanbey” for short.  An izakaya chain in Japan, this location was located on the main retail strip in downtown Kyoto.  When you walk in, you’re taken back in time to the Showa period with figurines of Astro Boy, other retro toys and old Japanese movie posters lining the walls. The drink selection here is good and cheap with cocktails priced at 290 yen (or approx. $3.30 CAD – yes, you’re reading this right!).  And this is the first time we experience the current trend of serving raw cut cabbage with an oyster dipping sauce as a bar snack – it was actually a great combination…..and now something I do at home.  Izakayas, Japanese drinking bars, serve a wide selection of small plates.  Items like karaage (fried marinated chicken) and kushi age (deep fried items served on skewers).  But something we didn’t expect to see on the menu was something called Boobs Ice, lol.  Of course seeing that on the menu we had to each order one.  It was vanilla ice cream stuffed into tiny balloon so that when you cut the tip off its like……well, you get the picture (especially if you’re a mom who’s breast fed your children).  We had a blast here!

Hanbey

The entrance to Hanbey Izakaya.

Hanbey - bar

Inside the colourfully decorated bar area.

Hanbey - hall

Some of the many retro toys lining the hallway.

Hanbey - round 1

First round of drinks – fresh grapefruit chu-hi, cassis soda, cassis orange and shochu.

Hanbey - gyoza

Deep fried gyoza and soy sauce.

Hanbey - eggplant

Breaded eggplant kushi and kaarage (fried marinated chicken).

Hanbey - calpis

Round 2 – Calpis chu-hi and shochu.

Hanbey - fried fish

Breaded fish and karaage.

Hanbey - yakitori

Yakitori and grilled mushroom kushi.

Hanbey - cabbage

Pieces of raw cabbage and tonkatsu sauce for dipping.

Hanbey - cassis oolong

Round 3 – Cassis oolong cocktails and shochu.

Hanbey - takoyaki

Takoyaki – octopus fritters topped with mayo, bonito flakes and aonori.

Hanbey - boobs ice

Boobs ice – yes, that is the actual translation for this hilarious dessert.

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