During a rainy evening while wandering in Midtown, NYC, we somehow stumbled upon a Japanese izakaya, Sake Bar Hagi. The menu looked promising, the price point looked alright, and the place was packed, and most importantly, we were starving. No hesitation there! We walked in and the busy Japanese bar was reminiscent of the buzzling izakayas in the ever lively Shinjuku district, a parallel comparison to Timesquare neon central. The menu consisted of Japanese tapas such as yakitori, deep fried dishes, noodles, as well extensive list of sake, cocktails and Japanese beer. Could this be the real deal? Let's find out!
First to caught my eye, a list of flavoured beer. I went for plum flavoured beer and it tasted quite exquisitely refreshing. Sweet and tangy, like an umeshu, or plum wine, with a bubbly note. I wish I could take this home with me!
And perhaps the plum flavoured beer was the most impressive item of the night...
The verdict: We miss GUUUUUU!!
I might be the only one out of the bunch to not have nice things to say about Sake Bar Hagi. But after comparing to izakayas in Japan and Vancouver, Hagi still has a long long way to go and I'm just telling it like it is. The flavoured beer was unique and a winning point for me, can't find that just anywhere. The price point of Hagi is definitely affordable for its location in NYC. The atmosphere is lively, however, there's always room for improvement in terms of quality of the food. It just didn't taste authentic as it looked.