Good Eats

Haiku by Hatsune (Taojiang) @ Shanghai

The stylish sister restaurant of Beijing’s wildly-popular California-style sushi spot Hatsune opened in Shanghai’s French Concession.

First of all, the Japanese name and the Chinese name do not translate.Haiku 俳句 is a Japanese poetry form  Opened in November of 2006, Haiku by Hatsune is Alan Wong’s venture into Shanghai with partner Vincent Liu.

I let my host do the ordering and he let the waitress decide. So we had omakase in the end.

Amuse bouche

Promptly we were served a sugar centred egg which is usually found in a bowl of ramen.  Ominous start to an expensive dinner – are we being taken for a ride?

Octopus salad

Next, a mesclun salad with sliced octopus dressed with sesame wafu sauce. OK, what’s next?

Uni sashimi

One whole sea urchin served as sashimi, it does not originate from Japan but from the more nearby waters of Hainan. The uni was not as creamy as the Japanese counterpart.

Sashimi platter

I seldom order sashimi in China, fearing the quality and hygiene of the preparation. As I am a guest, I let the host do the ordering. I wasn’t very impressed with the selection except for the botan shrimp. Everything else would be considered Grade B sashimi in Japan, something that would not be served in a restaurant this calibre. They would take the botan prawn head and make a miso soup for you.


Haiku was known for their innovative Californian-style maki creations. The signature ‘Moto Roll Ah’ (a play of words with Motorola, just like their name) is filled with spicy tuna and snow crab and topped with avocado and tobiko (flying fish roe). Innovative and pretty to look at, but I really couldn’t comprehend the association with Motorola.

Hirame sushi

Then there were some nigiri sushi. The only one that impressed me was the hirame nigiri. The flatfish was light and fresh, perfectly sliced and shari was competently made too.

Botan prawn miso soup

The botan shrimp head returns in a miso soup.  They have put some enoki mushroom in the soup that made the soup slight more watery that it should be.

Grilled black cod

Buttery and melts in your mouth, this grilled black cod doesn’t need much more than a sprinkle of salt. A crowd-favourite, make sure you remember to get a portion (or two) when you come to Haiku for dinner.

Teppanyaki Australian Angus beef

If you aren’t going to go for the wagyu, this Australian Angus beef cubes in teppanyaki style is a worthy substitute for the rather expensive wagyu. Not quite on the same level, but it is a beautiful dish in its own right!

Fruits platter

Finally a plate of fruits was presented. I skipped the prepared dessert which was a mocha ice cream.

Here’s a haiku 俳句 for this dinner that summarised the experience

A friend in Shanghai
Together we came longing
We should not bother

Haiku by Hatsune (Taojiang Road) 隐泉の语
28B Taojiang Road, Shanghai, near Hengshan Road
桃江路28号-乙, 近衡山路

Date Visited : Jan 2016

The sushi bar is closed. In its place, a teppanyaki place, Kagen, owned by the same restaurant group.

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