Hapa Izakaya has been enjoying brisk business on College Street since last September (though that location has been temporarily shut down due to Toronto’s recent storm troubles).">

First Look: Hapa Izakaya at The Ritz-Carlton


Published:

Hapa at The Ritz (Images: Ben Johnson)

As part of the Japanese restaurant takeover that’s been hitting Toronto, Hapa Izakaya has been enjoying brisk business on College Street since last September (though that location has been temporarily shut down due to Toronto’s recent storm troubles).

Now the team behind Hapa Izakaya — Justin and Lea Ault, Toby Tseung and Maaji Isobe — has expanded Toronto operations by opening an offshoot of the business at the bar of Toronto’s Ritz-Carlton.

For anyone who may have found Hapa’s upscale vibe too sharp a departure from the tavern-like atmosphere of traditional Japanese izakayas, the new location won’t live up to your raucous expectations (this is The Ritz, after all). Instead, what you’ll find is the same Japanese fare that has made Hapa a hit.

Chef Koichi Fujioka is serving up Ocean Wise-certified sushi and sashimi, in addition to upscale snacks such as edamame ($6) or thin-sliced ahi tuna carpaccio ($14) served with yuzu dressing, green onion and soy sauce. Also on the menu is a torched barbecue roll ($15) with seared beef, crispy fried onion, asparagus, cucumber and a slice of raw jalapeno as a garnish.

Sadly, the extensive sake selection that’s available at the College Street location hasn’t migrated to The Ritz-Carlton, but The Ritz does have a few sakes on hand, including Tokubetsu Honjozo from the Murai Family ($89). That doesn’t mean you can’t pair the sushi with one of Ritz’s cocktails, like the old fashioned ($18), made with Jim Beam Devil’s Cut and mescal.

For those looking to eat a full dinner, there are some robust options available. The eponymous Hapa Roll ($15), featuring torched salmon sashimi with avocado, cucumber, carrot, asparagus, spicy mayonnaise and salmon roe, would certainly sate more ambitious appetites, as would the unique-to-this-location Ritz Bar Roll ($15), made with torched yellowtail tuna, miso mayonnaise, asparagus, onion and yuzu rind.

Hapa Izakaya at The Ritz has enjoyed a good reception since it quietly opened just before TIFF, but as word gets out, you can expect an increase in demand — especially once patrons of DEQ, The Ritz-Carlton’s outdoor cocktail space, migrate inside for the winter.

Hapa Izakaya at The Ritz-Carlton, 181 Wellington St. W., 416-585-2500

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

 Poke: The Hawaiian dish with punch

Poke: The Hawaiian dish with punch

Shoushin’s Jackie Lin on where to find the best poke in Toronto.
Posted 1 day ago
First Look: Forno Cultura adds grab-and-go location at First Canadian Place

First Look: Forno Cultura adds grab-and-go location at First Canadian Place

Forno Cultura, an authentic Italian bakery, has opened in First Canadian Place. Andrea Mastrandrea established the brand in April 2013 with a large production-and-retail space on King West near Portland.
Posted 2 days ago
Yonge & Eg’s Dutch snack bar is the place to sip on gin

Yonge & Eg’s Dutch snack bar is the place to sip on gin

Posted 3 days ago
Five things you need to know about Shake Shack setting up show in downtown Toronto today

Five things you need to know about Shake Shack setting up show in downtown Toronto today

Shake Shack is having a one-day pop-up event in Toronto at Momofuku.
Posted 4 days ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module