Bits of last week.

1. I’ve been obsessed with my tiny new 9oz Swell bottle, which is the perfect size to tuck into most of my bags. Also, palm leaves! I’ve been filling it with carbonated water most days, just because I can. Less exciting are the two bite brownies that came out more like chocolate muffins than brownies. It’s a work in progress…

2. That light! Shorter days means I’m more likely to be home and awake when the good light strikes. With bonus adorably tiny Lubitel TLR keychain

3. This little cloth bag of Midori robot paperclips from my favourite paper shop

4. Watching the rain from inside my warm cozy fishbowl

Hapa Izakaya • Taste of Yaletown 2017

It’s the Taste of Yaletown time of the year again! Popped into Hapa Izakaya for their $25 three course menu with a friend and between the two of us we had all the non-vegetarian items on the menu because we’re all about the meat around here.

ichi // first course

For the first course, we had the Beef Tataki and the Ahi Tuna Yukke. The Ahi Tuna Yukke arrived first, along with a vaguely apologetic warning that the dishes would be coming out “randomly” tonight, which turned out to mean that while our dishes did come out in order of the courses, they came out one at a time, which I suppose facilitated sharing the food family style…? It certainly made it easier to focus on one dish at a time!

Ahi Tuna Yukke | Ahi tuna tartare, quail egg, pine nuts, shiso, crispy seaweed for wrapping

The yukke was almost startlingly tiny when it appeared, but I guess that’s what you get for a $25 three course meal? The yukke was excellent, size aside, the ahi tuna sashimi was fresh and delicious, and you can’t go wrong with quail’s egg, really. Definitely something to order again, although perhaps at a more regular serving size.

Beef Tataki | Lightly seared AAA beef, soy barbecue sauce

The beef tataki had cute little slices of lightly marbled beef which was soft and tender but weirdly light on taste. The soy barbecue sauce wasn’t much help, either, unfortunately, but the garlic chips were delicious! (Deja vu… I’ve posted the exact same thing about Hapa Izakaya’s beef tataki before, on Instagram 🤔) The portion size was much much better than the tuna yukke though, so. There’s that going for it.

ni // second course

Chicken Nanban | Fried chicken thigh, daikon tartar sauce

The third thing to arrive was the Chicken Nanban. This was definitely the most sloppily plated dish we got tonight… there were enormous, slightly wilted lettuce leaves tucked in next to the unevenly sized chicken chunks, and messy (probably accidental) sauce smears beside the chicken and in the bowl of tartar sauce, and the whole thing just generally looked unappetizing and out of character for Hapa Izakaya, which normally has reasonably Instagrammable™ dishes. Thankfully, the chicken tasted much better than it looked. The chicken was nicely fried, light and tender, not too oily at all, the tartar sauce was refreshing, and it all went together nicely. Win!

Crispy Panko-Fried Scallops | Fried scallops, jalapeno mango mayo, lotus root chips

Next up were the Crispy Panko-Fried Scallops. The panko crust was excellent, perfectly fried and crispy and a little buttery, but unfortunately the scallops themselves were a touch overcooked and just on the rubbery side of chewy. The lotus root chips were excellent though, especially with the jalapeno mango mayo. That mayo was so good I wouldn’t have minded having the chance to dip the fried chicken in it too, but the mayo didn’t show up til we’d finished all the chicken, boo.

san // third course

Hambagu Steak | Ground AAA Angus beef, minced daikon, ponzu, shiso, garlic chips

This was the least exciting dish we ordered, personally, because my brother makes weirdly good tofu beef hambagu steaks, and I’m all about trying things I can’t get at home at restaurants… and sadly, when it came, I was absolutely not blown away. This Hambagu Steak was a super dense meat patty, so abnormally dense that we had difficulty trying to break it into bite-sized chunks with our chopsticks, and it showed up under a mountain of minced daikon that was at least half the size of the Hambagu Steak itself.

Aburi Saba Sushi | Torched pressed mackerel sushi with sansho pepper

Thankfully, my Aburi Saba Sushi arrived shortly after, because you absolutely can’t go wrong with Aburi Saba here. The other must order at Hapa Izakaya 😍 I guess because this was part of the Taste of Yaletown menu, they didn’t torch it tableside like they normally would. The nice thing about the tableside torching (besides the sheer dramatic awesomeness of FIRE) is that you get to pick how seared you want the saba. I prefer mine barely seared, for maximum raw saba power, but for people who aren’t overly friendly with the intense oily fish flavour that saba serves up, a little more cooked might be a better option.

Uninterrupted.

This was a LOT more fantastic than I was initially expecting based on the premise of a half hour long documentary about salmon runs, but the Uninterrupted experience had elements of an abstract art installation and made really excellent use of the bridge architecture. The False Creek lights as a backdrop certainly didn’t hurt!

The last performance is on September 24th, so if you’re in Vancouver definitely go check it out! I recommend the top of the playground as a prime viewing spot. The bottom of the slides are pretty nice too!

P.S. Gave myself permission to post crappy unedited media because I’m exhausted and mildly unwell, and I want to post daily more badly than I want to post well, so. That’s a thing.

Field Notes Cherry Graph.

My Midori Traveller’s Notebook never leaves my side, and iterating on my journal is my therapy, and my latest treasure is the Field Notes Cherry Graph 3-pack!

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I’ve been using one as my Captain’s Log insert in my bullet journal, and the cherry wood veneer covers work gorgeously in the overflow at the top and bottom of my tiny little passport sized TN. Shockingly, this is actually the first Field Notes I’ve ever gotten and used. Various online reviews have indicated that the paper doesn’t always play nicely with fountain pens, and I did notice a bit of shadowing with Sailor ink, but not enough to be really obnoxious. I do like the texture of the paper with my EF nib though… it’s smooth with just enough tooth to feel like I have full control of my pen.

Hit The JACKPOT – LOTTERY idle GAME.

Platforms:
iOS / Android

Price:
Free

What is this even?

According to the app title, this is a lottery idle game, and according to the iTunes App Store description, the goal of the game is to escape the soil spoon and become a  gold spoon!!! (Exclamation marks theirs.) Between the pixel art and the spoons, I was absolutely sold enough to download the app. (And also embark down a rabbit hole built of spoons, which is a whole different load of fascinating, actually.) It’s a standard idle tapper game, with a few cute quirks that make it worth a download, although it probably won’t stay on my phone for very long.

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Peek.

Website:
http://www.peekcalendar.com/

Platforms:
iOS

Price:
Free

What is this even?

Peek is a super basic and extremely minimalistic calendar app that’s designed to allow you to have a quick glance at the upcoming events on your calendar. While you can add new events from the app, there’s intentionally no edit functionality, because the app is designed to be as minimal as possible.

The app’s clean and brightly minimalistic design is a pleasure to use, and as a designer I have to say I’m very much taken with the interesting UI elements sprinkled throughout the app. The discovery process is a bit of an adventure though, with the bulk of the functionality tucked away behind a complicated UI that’s trying just a bit too hard to be clever.

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Prisma.

Website:
http://prisma-ai.com/

Platforms:
iOS

Price:
Free

What is this even?

Everyone’s new favourite photo editing app! This app’s been spamming my Facebook feed for ages already. I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to photo editing though, so you’ll never see this on my Instagram (but follow me anyway!) but I’m a sucker for AI art, so I eventually caved and downloaded the app too.

According to their website:

Prisma transforms your photos into artworks using the styles of famous artists: Van Gogh, Picasso, Levitan, as well as world famous ornaments and patterns. A unique combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence helps you turn memorable moments into timeless art.

Art generating time!

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Mimpi Dreams.

Website:
http://www.mimpi-dreams.com/

Platforms:
iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux

Price:
$0.99 (iOS)
+ Free app of the week on the App Store

 

IMG_7969

 

Summary:

Super cute super bouncy game. Each level is one of Mimpi’s dreams… the amount of leg work involved in each dream explains so much about doggie leg twitches! It feels a little like an interactive story with puzzle-style mini games, since killing Mimpi only bumps you to the last checkpoint, with nothing lost. The puzzles do get more complicated, but all the new mechanics are unveiled one at a time, making it very easy to pick up. The dream stories are all quite cute, and it doesn’t need wifi, which makes this an excellent airplane game. Not sure that I’d play it more than once, though.

Warning: spoilers ahead!

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