Japanese owned and operated, Izakaya Hachibeh Japanese Tapas restaurant welcomes diners into a casual and relaxed venue on Bourke Street.
The 8 page menu with small items including sushi, sashimi, yakitori skewers, perfect for sampling a variety of tastes; larger noodle and rich based dishes for those with a larger appetite; and traditional desserts of sweetened red beans, and black sesame or green tea flavoured ice-cream.
For drinks, you will find a long list of dry and sweet sake, Japanese craft beers and spirits, and non-alcoholic juice, sodas, and ice tea. The wine list is minimal, but the restaurant allows you to BYO.
To begin, we enjoyed sake and craft beer while sharing a few tapas. Nasudengaku, a delicate grilled half eggplant with a sweet miso glaze, that will convert anyone to love eggplant. Another must order from the specials board, burdock root fries - these are addictive but you can ease the guilt knowing they are a powerhouse of antioxidants. The chef recommended Teba deep fried chicken wings with garlic soy sauce are also a good choice.
The mains of Una don and Yasai itame were not what we expected: a large bowl of rice with small overcooked grilled eel marinated with kabayaki sauce, and a plate of stir-fried cabbage with garlic soy sauce, respectively. Best to order small tapas dishes to share.
We were able to sit and enjoy our meal at leisure without being disturbed, and the waitress happily took a group photo for us when asked.
The friendly service, warm atmosphere, and ample food choices for all diets, makes this a top choice for family and friends.