I’ve always enjoyed good sushi and a warm bowl of udon at a nice Japanese restaurant. (Or just good sushi. Or just sushi.)
Two of my good friends and I went on a spontaneous lunch trip to Shanghai’s IFC Mall, where we found Haiku, a popular Japanese restaurant in Shanghai with quality Japanese-Californian fusion food. I’ve been to their Jinqiao location several times (and loved it), but I had never been to the IFC location before. I was surprised to see such an amazing interior design – it looked like a combination of origami and fish inspired designs. Besides the hip tables and the comfortable booths, they also have private tatami tables. Their modern yet cozy atmosphere made our delicious sushi treat even more amazing.
After all, one of the biggest reasons we go out for meals with friends is because of the holistic experience created by the atmosphere, the staff, the people, the display of the food, and the food itself, etc. I feel like Haiku does a swell job providing that experience.
We all started off with a super small and simple appetizer – free of charge – and we got to enjoy the cute chopstick decorations and layout while waiting for our food to come. I didn’t know that they had a lunch box set (I was probably too obsessed with sushi rolls every time I visited in the past), but this time we did try a salmon bento box, a bit pricey for a poor college student but well worth the splurge – with salmon sashimi, rice, salad, miso soup, tempura, and dessert.
We ordered two rolls: The Butterfly Roll and the Dynamite Roll. They were both very satisfactory, and I’ve always liked the way they display their food. But BOY, THAT DYNAMITE ROLL WAS SPICY. We were so completely blinded by its alluring salmon spell (salmon inside, salmon on top) that we shrugged off the waitress’ comment about the spiciness of this dish. However, it was strangely addicting, although I did have to alternate between chewing and sipping on udon soup/water. Next time I shall heed their advice and try to avoid that red pepper sign…and unfortunately the wasabi challenge roll as well (despite my growing curiosity about this menu)
We also ordered a Tempura Udon, which was a great warming accompaniment to the rest of the dishes.
All of us ended up being really full at the end of our meal. We stayed there until a little past 2 o’ clock, which by then their lunch hours had ended, so the staff was kind of giving us the death glare to make us leave, hahaha. No worries, though. There are plenty of other places at IFC Mall to get coffee/dessert and just chill.
Overall, Haiku is a stylish spot for a delicious meal with friends or family on a classy occasion!
(or doesn’t even have to be a special occasion since it’s sushi)
B1/F, 8 Shiji Da Dao,
near Lujiazui Huan Lu
Metro: Line 2 Lujiazui
Check out their other locations on http://www.haikubyhatsune.com/