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The best restaurant of the week: Asian tapas served at the classic Haiku

Seventeen years later and the Haiku restaurant is still going strong with an updated summer menu to tantalise the tastebuds

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By Yashna Balwanth | January 4, 2023 | Travel Leisure

It’s the beginning of a new year for us all and that means a fresh start, including updated menus at our favourite restaurants in and around South Africa. Haiku, the beloved Asian tapas eatery established 17 years ago, serves up small plates of delectable delights including tasty dim sum, more-ish sushi and flavourful wok dishes all year round.

A Salmon tartare tapas dish, Image supplied

The popular spot, replete with a designer interior that takes Asian influences to heart, is part of the famed Bukhara group. Haiku is located in the heart of the CBD, adjacent Bukhara’s new flagship restaurant Awara, on the corner of Church and Burg Street, making it a convenient venue for urbanites and inner city workers.

Tuna tacos offer a great deal of flavour in every small bite, Image supplied

While you can still order all your favourites directly off the a la carte menu, groups of eight guests or more have the choice of a set menu running from starters through to desserts. The concept is shared feasting with the exchange of dishes across the table, creating a family style dinner of kindness and warmth that is very common across Asian restaurants. “Everyone has a feast and they share all the different flavours that come to the table.” says Shahied Savahl, general manager of Haiku. “We’ve never had a situation where there hasn’t been enough food. We once had the Springbok rugby team come through many moons ago and even they couldn’t even finish it all - and our quantities haven’t changed since!” says second general manager Johan Venter.

Lamb Shui Jiao has a great spicy kick, Image supplied

From tuna tacos to prawn toast, egg fried rice and mushroom potstickers, the variety is rather vast when it comes to satisfying the many different palettes. The one consistent, is the amount of flavour in every bite no matter which dish you choose. Plates are placed on the table to enable communal dining, and the experience is far more interactive than “each to his own” single portions. “We see our guests spending less time on their cell phones and more time talking as they are experiencing the various flavours and tastes and all the drama with the various skillets and plating.” says Johan.

Be a little adventurous and try the Pani Puri Gin cocktail, Image supplied

Haiku is open 7 days a week and located on 58 Burg Street, Cape Town. Call them now as bookings are essential for your next lunch or dinner date with friends and family.

The crispy lamb and egg fried rice is delicately prepared and packed with a flavour explosion, Image supplied