Haiku by Hatsune: Raising the Bar for Teppanyaki

haiku

Haiku by Hatsune is a teppanyaki + sushi restaurant that’s been off the radar for the past few years. It was buzz-worthy and super trendy back in 2008 when it was part of the Block 8 entertainment complex that also featured the gorgeous, sand-filled bar called “The Beach” on its rooftop. But after Block 8 closed (along with that awesome rooftop bar) in 2011, Haiku also went under major renovations to specialize in teppanyaki.  Fast forward several years later, Haiku is back under Hatsune management and has combined two wonderful worlds of sushi and teppanyaki under one glorious roof. Unlike other teppanyaki joints, Haiku is not about quantity – no  all you can drink/eat here – it is about quality.

If you are unfamiliar with the Block 8 complex 8号公馆, this is just on the west gate of Chaoyang park, a little to the north of Jenny Lou’s. As you enter the main entrance off the main Chaoyang Park West Gate road 朝阳公园西路, follow the road to the right and walk around the big block of buildings until you see the building with Haiku’s logo on the 3rd floor. Once you get to the lobby, staff will usher you into the elevator where you go up to the third floor.

Walking in, you’ll notice that the place is like a rabbit warren. Lots and lots of private rooms. Whilst they do have open tables, more intimacy is definitely the focus.

Haiku at Block 8: Chaoyang Park West Gate

Look for this Building in the Block 8 Complex with Haiku’s Logo on the 3rd Floor

Haiku at Block 8: Entrance

Entrance to Building’s Lobby – Head Up to the 3rd Floor

Haiku at Block 8: Bar

Haiku’s Bar Area

Haiku at Block 8: Interior

Welcome Area

Haiku at Block 8: Teppanyaki Rooms

Row of Private Teppanyaki Tables

Haiku at Block 8: Amuse Bouche Trio

Trio of Appetizers Featuring Roasted Black Garlic, Tempura Mackerel and Sliced Chinese Asparagus with Tobiko

Haiku at Block 8: Oyster

Gillardeau Oysters with Chopped Okra & Yuzu Sauce (RMB 85)

Oyster with quail yolk and soy – easily one of the best oysters I have ever eaten. The combo makes it go down super smoothly and without any of the really aggressive seafood taste that puts many people off oysters in general.

Haiku at Block 8:

Botan Ebi Sashimi, Soy Marinated and Served on top of Shiso Wrapped Roasted Shiitake  (RMB 75)

Always my favorite sashimi, here is Ebi on a whole new level that was a personal highlight for me. All you need to do is take off the tail (that’s just for presentation) and then try your best to get the whole combo of flavors and textures in your mouth in one go (Ebi + Shiso + Shiitake + black Tobiko). It’s gorgeous and if you like Ebi, you’ll love this dish, but the trickiest thing is not letting it fall apart as soon as it leaves the plate (extra hard for clumsy people like me).

Haiku at Block 8:

Wagyu Ribeye Tataki with Ponzu Dip & Abalone Mushroom Crisps (RMB 128)

A new dish that Alan (founder of Hatsune & Haiku) was proud to introduce to our table of foodies, this is a creation he designed specifically for Haiku’s menu. You can see where Haiku gets its inspiration from Hatsune’s concept, but Haiku takes it a level up in terms of both adventurous dishes and premium ingredients (and of course price point). This dish is exceptional and really showcases what Haiku is about.

Haiku at Block 8: Amaebi tartare with avocado

Amaebi Tartare on a bed of Avocado (RMB 136)

Another shrimp sashimi dish because it was my birthday dinner and wanted all the ebi/amaebi I could get. Another specialty dish on par with the Wagyu Ribeye Tataki pictured above, this is a bed of amaebi tartar on a bed of avocado chunks. Two ingredients that I can’t get enough of and just happen to go beautifully together.

Haiku at Block 8:

Foie Gras Miso Soup (RMB 35)

Creamy, smooth, savoury and rich. This is the perfect break from raw starters and a lot of sashimi as we move into the teppanyaki portion of the dinner.

Haiku at Block 8: Chicken Cartilage

Crispy Chicken Cartilage (RMB 48)

If texture is something that you don’t get, then you probably won’t dig this dish. But to me, this is like popcorn. In fact, I wish I could order a bucket of this at movie theatres in China. Knowing how much Chinese people generally love this sort of thing, I’m actually surprised they don’t do this already.

Haiku at Block 8:

Teppanyaki Buttery Cod Fish

Haiku at Block 8:

And the teppanyaki begins!! Buttery and melts in your mouth, this codfish doesn’t need much more than a sprinkle of salt. A crowd-favorite, make sure you remember to get a portion (or two) when you come to Haiku for dinner.

Haiku at Block 8:

Teppanyaki Jumbo Prawns (RMB 90 per prawn)

You can’t expect me to get all that Ebi and Amaebi and not also get a big portion of grilled jumbo prawns. This is a must for any teppanyaki dinner at Haiku, where you can trust the quality of ingredients and you know these prawns are fresh and fantastic.

Haiku at Block 8: Teppanyaki Wagyu Steak

Teppanyaki Wagyu Ribeye (RMB 465)

Ordering for a big table, I wanted enough, but I also couldn’t just order a bunch of Wagyu so I compromised with both a portion of Australian Angus Beef followed by Wagyu. If you aren’t going to go for the wagyu, this is a worthy substitute. Not quite on the same level, but by jove it is a beautiful dish in its own right!

Wagyu Grade 9 – this is the real showstopper. The beef actually looks pink before it is cooked because there is so much juicy fat spread throughout the muscle. Compared with a normal piece of beef, it is almost like a separate species.

Haiku at Block 8: Birthday Noodles

Bowl of Birthday Noodles

Before the finale of Tokyo-Style Ramen, they came out with a bowl of birthday noodles for me. I was saving the last bit of stomach space for the ramen to come, so I didn’t finish this dish but wanted to feature it all the same as it was a considerate touch and a nice surprise.

Haiku at Block 8: Tokyo-Style Ramen

Tokyo Style Ramen (RMB 56)

Haiku is not cheap and makes no pretentions about it. But, the quality is incredible. We were very impressed with everything that came out. For a special occasion, it is somewhere worth looking into. Now, if someone can find out where to get some more grade 9 wagyu for me…

Firecracker Chicken

Firecracker Chicken

Prawn Tempura with Shiso

Prawn Tempura with Shiso Sea Salt

Haiku by Hatsune Contact Details:

  • Address: 3rd Floor of No.8 Mansion, West Gate of Chaoyang Park, Chaoyang District, Beijing
  • 隐泉之语8号公馆店: 北京市朝阳区朝阳公园路8号102室
  • Tel:  010-65088585

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