Haiku review

It’s nice to be able to do a positive review for a change. I went to Haiku the other night for the first time. I know most people are thinking how unusual that is a I normally try out places soon after they open. Well, I did this on purpose becaue I had heard so many bad reports about the bad attitude there. I know that bad attitude can definitely spoil an evening for me so I decided to wait until they were ready to appreciate my custom.

I think I waited long enough as I found all the staff to be helpful and friendly. I had no complaints about the service. Do bear in mind it was a monday night and the restaurant was only half full. I was impressed with the decor, it was very well done and you can see they spent some money on it. It’s all in dark wood, which makes the kitchen stand out as a feature. The kitchen is on the one side of the restaurant and is open so you can see the chefs at work. Around the kitchen is a low counter where people can sit and eat in addition to the tables. The only thing is that between the counter and the tables is the passage so you would have harried waiters running past you the whole time.

The menu is very large. There is a selection of Asian food: Chinese, Japanse, etc. For evening meals it is compulsory to order 4 stars (each meal has a star rating, each star costs R33) which means a minimum food bill of R132 per person. So don’t expect a cheap meal. The two of us had one drink each plus a bottle of wine between us. Total bill was R200 each. The food was fantastic. We ordered Spicy Prawn Dim Sum (3 pieces), Beef Robata (2 pieces), Seared chilli tuna (4 pieces). That was our startes, we loved them all. The beef is not exactly novel, but it was good quality meat, prepared well. The tuna was absolutely magnificent and the prawn dim sum was pretty good too. For mains we had the Black pepper Ostrich (comes with rice) and the Peking Duck (comes with pancakes), both really good. We were so full by the end we could not even contemplate dessert.

All in all a fantastic dining experience, if it was cheaper I would do it often, but at that price it’s relegated to special occasions.

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7 Responses

  1. Dax says:

    I ate at Haiku again on Sunday night, my experience was similar to last time. Some of the staff were not very friendly, but our waitress was fine.

    We tried a few other dishes, which were very good. The sticky pan dim sum was fantastic, but very oily. We also tried the Beef and Shitake Mushroom Robata, very good. We had the Peking Duck again and it was excellent again, the only thing that could be improved is if they left the lid of the pancake basket at the table so they don’t get cold. We tried the Sizzling Beef, cooked with onions and greenpepper. It was nice, but nothing to shout from the rooftops about. We shared a Chocolate Cigars for dessert, a nice little sweet end to the meal.

    Someone recently told me that the Wasabi Kingklip is worth trying. If you have been and have any menu suggestions, please post a comment here because the menu is enormous so it’s nice to have some recommendations.

  2. Leanne says:

    A group of 10 of us ate at Haiku one Sunday evening in March, it was a ‘leaving do’. The waiter was not rude or anything but he was really lazy, we hardly ever saw him. We had to get our own menus, he insisted we have a set-menu as it was easier (when he FINALLY came to take our order) and when we refused – as we all wanted different things – he rolled his eyes at us.. Food came out in good time and was AMAZING. the starter plates were there for an hour before we asked him to please clear them, then the main course came, was also delicious.. plates were there for another hour – the whole meal took like 4 and a half hours. WE waited for an hour to order our dessert… we had to ask for the bill. We asked about 10 time for water (we’d already had 5 bottles of water and now some people wanted tap water) We decided not to give him a 10% tip as he was the worst waiter anyone had ever had… THEN he brought the money back and said the tip was not enough… so we added a bit more (still not 10%) and left. I wanted to say – THAT’S THE POINT! when he said we’d not left enuff of a tip.. but didn’t… wouldn’t go there again, even though the food was great, the service was absolutely awful.

  3. Ann says:

    Couldn’t agree more.
    The food is divine, the prices outrageous but worth it for a special occasion. When we took a party of eight some months back the service was excellent and we left a 12% tip (well over R250). The waitress ran after us and asked us if there was something wrong with the meal as the tip was so small!!

  4. Dax says:

    I ate at Haiku again last night. The hostess gave us a hard time about being late for our booking, but apart from that the service was fine.

    The prices have gone up since I was last there. Each star is now R42 so minimum food order is R168 per person.

    We tried some new things: The Spinach Har Gau was excellent, the dim sum is really one of the best in Cape Town. The mixed veg tempura was very nice and the Thai chicken salad was fantastic.

    The Peking duck was as good as always and so was the wok ostrich. This time we tried the black bean calamari which was ok, the calamari was tender but on the whole the dish was not as good as the others. I was very impressed with the garlic Kingklip – delicious!

  5. Runu says:

    Damn Damn Damn (channeling my inner Gordon)! Its a pity the service sucks so much because the food is really good! Waitress was extremely rude the entire night.She was in such a hurry when pouring our wine that she kept on spilling on the table (on one occassion she spilled wine on someone when pouring).At any one point in time we had a max of 3 menus between 5 people.On 2 occasions we were brought 2 dishes that we did not order.Suprise Suprise it was on the bill at the end of the night.When I queried an item on the bill that looked unfamiliar to what we ordered I was told – thats what we charge for it (in a tone that implied I was being cheap) Overall the service is a let down and could potentially ruin your night out at this fine restaurant. For the price you are paying one should expect a more friendly and obliging experience.

  6. M says:

    We ate at Haiku tonight! Four of us, all vegetarians. The food is DELICIOUS! Best dim sum I’ve eaten in Cape Town, spinach dim sum is unbelievably good. Our favourites were the veg fried rice, the sizzling eggplant, the tofu and mushrooms, and the spinach dim sum. The spicy eggplant was also very good.

    Pity, though, about the service. We were seated at our table and then waited for ages until I decided to get up to find a waitress who could provide more menus (there were two on the table for four of us) and also a wine menu. Eventually a waitress arrived with the menus. She was very nice, but she was in a big hurry to clear our table, removing dishes before we’d finished them and whipped off the glasses before we’d had our last sip of wine. I suspect that because there are two sittings (one at 7pm, the next at 9pm) they want you out of there — we had the 7pm sitting. So you would’ve thought that when we had sat down she would’ve been there with our menus and taken our orders quickly…

    The maĆ®tre’d, on the other hand, was wonderful. Very welcoming, made us feel very special. Pity the waiting staff don’t have the same attitude.

    It’s a place I’d like to spend time at at a slower pace, so perhaps I will wait until they have one sitting in an evening before going back — I wonder if the two sittings are for the summer season only?

    For dinner you have to order four black stars (one black star is R50).

    • Dax says:

      It can definitely ruin a meal if one is rushed. I don’t know if they do 2 sitting year round, I can’t imagine there being enough patronage to support that in winter.