"Haiku", literally means short form of Japanese poetry characterized by 3 main qualities - cutting phrase (kiru), 17 syllables in traditional form and kigo (seasonal reference). These qualities bring in the uniqueness of this form of poetry from all other forms. Going by the same name, this newbie venture in Banjara hills, Haiku tries to play with 3 aspects - pan-Asian, ambience and apt service and I think post my visit I can say they got the recipe for success perfectly right. This new place has been in buzz of the town due to its absolutely captivating ambiance and talk about the authenticity of the food.
#FoodieSquad was invited by Management to review their place and we were glad to do so as pan-Asian always excites people to see how flavors play in such complex forms but yet deliver it in a simple notion or perspective. Owner Suma herself was there to welcome us and met with us initially as we started seating around. But the first step inside this multi storey restaurant gives you an aura. Something that everyone can connect. The high basket lights, the huge bird shell hangings on wooden wall, the spacious tables and the upper deck with a 20-25 pax PDR setup, artwork that elevates the mood to a unison feeling. Everything has a reason and delivers that aspect. On discussion with chef, we were so surprised to know they did the entire decor end-to-end within India and everything was MADE IN INDIA. The overall appeal this place gave was absolutely blissful and the yellowish tine all over made it soothing throughout our dining experience. I already fell in love with this place. Its got class and apt for fine dining but at the same time have the exhaustive menu enthrall you.
Note: This review experience is based on Management Invite and was on the house & review shared is honest and unbiased in the interest of fellow readers and foodies.
We had a preset menu for our session and that made our job only focus on eating. We started off with Iced Tea & Bubble Tea.
Iced Tea had the true flavor of tea and was completely refreshing without much over powering of sweetness. Bubble Tea on other hand was something different for regular mocktails lovers. The freshness it gave with the bubble gels was something that many wont like it in first sip but we got addicted to it so much that we went multiple rounds of it .
Penang Laksa (Chicken) is traditional spicy noodle soup in peranakan cuisine which is fusion between Malay and Chinese. Rich rice vermicelli or noodles with good chicken chunks dished in rich spicy curry coconut milk. The flavor was first to arrive in our tables and as we took the first sip - we quickly were transported to HEAVEN OF FOOD-COMA. The richness of the broth spoke volumes as we couldn't stop gorging on it until we finished it till last sip justifies how awesome it was. This was easily one of d best soups I have had in Hyderabad till date - MUST TRY.
Off late lots of places I have reviewed dish out some amazing veg dishes and even sometimes dominating meat dishes. HAIKU has now set a whole new level for me that veg starters nailed it top class and competed one against another.
We started off with Yasai Sarada (Couscous Lettuce Salad) which was simple, fresh, crunchy and soft at the same time and aptly seasoned and I can have such cold salads any day any time. Loved the simplicity of the dish - MUST TRY.
This was followed by Kakiage Maki - Sushi never entertains or excites most of Hyderabad palates and I'm no exception as long as it brings in something new in flavor profiles for me. Kakiage literally meaning type of tempura made with mixed veg strips deep fried as fritters and Maki means inside roll of sushi and raw vegetables wrapped. This crunchy tempura fritters wrapped in sticky rice roll with the soya sauce dipping was PURE BLISS. Taste it to know what are we talking about - MUST TRY.
Off late almost all pan-Asian places serve lotus stem and HAIKU is no exception. Tangy Lotus Stems was aptly spiced and more importantly retained the crunch even after having sauce marination and topped with generous sesame seeds and spring onion, its a perfect snack dish amongst other innovative dishes on the menu. try it. You will like it.
We were swiftly being served another array of veg dishes and first to came in was Jade Tofu and any tofu dish can either go north or south but nowhere midway. Literally its egg tofu which is much softer than other variants of tofu, tossed in green chilli mint sauce and red chilli shavings, this tofu was one of the most softest variant you can have. The toss was perfect and flavor was also very good.
Salt & Pepper Water Chestnut was super crunchy and still bared the Asian flavors. Everyone loved the crunchiness of the dish and was a hit in the table - MUST TRY.
We were then served Thai styled Crispy veg where in veggies were tossed in generous oil , sesame seed & red chilli shavings. The veggies were perfectly coated with batter and toss was near perfection. The sesame seeds not only added the crunch factor but also elevated the freshness from the oil and veggies. Absolutely delightful - MUST TRY.
Now every dish that we tasted till now definitely impressed us in the speed which they were served and obviously no compromise on the flavors and hitting the right note.
Exotic Vegetable Dimsums came in fresh and super soft and aptly ended the veg array of dishes which were almost picture perfect in terms of flavor. Nice dish.
Chicken Gyoza was again beautifully cooked and the glaze on it was super crunch but yet soft inside. Minced chicken inside the dimsums could have been more flavorful and soft but none the less with the dippings, it went well.
Crispy fish with Malaysian sambal chilli was a HIT right away. The super soft baha fish cooked in crispy batter with that spicy hot sambal and red chilli shavings was pure bliss. The fish was amazing and just melted in mouth range - MUST TRY.
Prawn dimsums came in last for the non-veg starters and anyone who loves prawns will fall in love with this dish. The way the cook was done to almost right temperature and with the dipping sauce, it was another beautifully made dish - MUST TRY.
Non veg sushi variant came in the name of Prawns Lover Roll was fresh and that cook on prawn was amazing and that sticky rice made it another slurpy sushi. The wasabi also was flavorful . Now I have started to develop a palate for sushi - MUST TRY.
Next came Crispy Shredded lamb was definitely over crispy with toss of spring onions, tomato and red capsicum, well on first few bites, I felt it was too crispy that I couldn't relish the lamb at all but that's exactly how Koren lamb version is made that it goes well with sake or rice wine. Again another hit dish.
Too stuffed we ended with the last starter of all , Rose Wine Prawns which made me taste it but went to gulp it. Killer dish PERIOD. The prans just literally fell apart and melted down the menu. Chef is himself very clever to use sesame the right amount to give that flavor elevation without impacting the main aroma and taste of the ingredients - MUST TRY.
We were beyond stuffed to even go to main dishes but Chef and owner insisted and so we ordered one serving of the following andI should say we are glad that we did as again their main dishes also spoke authenticity in its top level.
Tori Soba Noodles originating from the word "Yakisoba" which means fried buckwheat it means loosely - ramen style fried noodles and this was the chicken variant. Its more like the street noodles in Singapore cuisine. One scoop of it would make you go WOW. The sweet and spice levels kept it interesting to savor - MUST TRY.
Green fish Curry was definitely the best curries I have had in recent times and with fish it just went amazingly well and what a combination with those flavorful jasmine rice . I never get tired of this combo - MUST TRY.
Nasi Goreng Veg Fried Rice looked like normal veg rice and but one bit makes you go wow there is something about it. the right amount of veggies in it and pepper flavors, I had couple of spoons as I was filled to the rim but loved it - MUST TRY.
Clay Pot chicken is your regular Thai style chicken curry cooked in clay pot and was very good as well as I just tasted it and friends who had it said WOW for it as well.
Now lots of pan-Asian places WOW you in any areas of dining experience but in Hyderabad based on my encounters in most of the leading pan-Asian places, they take a step back in desserts or rather go down south which always keeps a bit disappointment in me to why they cant complete it make it 100% perfect meal and here comes my answer finally in HAIKU.
Their Chocolate Spring rolls with ice cream, Mango Mousse & Layered Indulgence are nothing but guilty pleasures which make you feel WOW and go crazy even if you are so stuffed with your main meal - MUST TRY.
Each of them are so perfectly made and competes with one another so stiffly. Some of us had mango mousse as the top choice and some on the rolls but for me the Layered Indulgence kills it with the creamy cheese cake with caramel layer in the middle and chocolate sand on the top was a marriage on HEAVEN and any chocolate lover will go GAGA over it. TRY IT FOR YOURSELF - PERIOD.
Service & Hospitality:
Steward Vishal was a powerhouse and and he gave a completeness to our amazingly curatd meal for the session and ensured dishes came in and out in a jiffy and we were constantly pampered with food and all the requirements end-to-end. I couldn't have asked for a better service just to make sure the place ticks off in all areas for me and yes it did.
We also met Owner Suma and Chef Dambar from their kitchen who got our feedback and to be frank we couldn't find any remark to comment or complaint about as were in FOOD COMA from start to end. Owner was pleased with our positive feedback and ensured they will keep it simple, consistent and ensure HAIKU keeps serving amazing dining experiences. Their Japanese Chef Joy also is a big asset to them and I believe they have proven to us on that night and I can now definitely recommend this place for anyone who loves pan-Asian and want to have a special dining experience.
HAIKU just as its original meaning simple and straight, knocks food & service out of the park and I couldn't frankly say anything on aspect of improvement or any negative feedback as they fed us from their heart and a soulful dinner with some amazing dishes from all courses can never make you feel less than 100% satiated. If you are one who looks for pan-Asian places and are bored of your regular spots, HAIKU will be the pit stop to go without a shadow of doubt. - JUST GO !!!.