Owner Dennis Sung and executive chef Karen Hwang – both originally from Korea – have brought great ramen, donburi and udon to the ‘burbs, since opening in early December 2017.
Expect a mix of Japanese and Korean specialities. Kick things off with the very rich, but tasty crispy salmon skin, and a double order of gyoza. The delicate and well-executed pork or chicken dumplings are a real highlight of the menu.
Sushi is justifiably popular. Try one of the specials like the dragon rolls with tempura prawns, caviar and mayo, or flaming salmon rolls with velvety torched salmon, mayo, spring onion, caviar and teriyaki sauce.
Ramen is delicately flavoured and filling. Try the ton-kotsu ramen with pork bone broth, pork belly chashu, spring onion, bean sprouts, nori, and a toffee-like seven-minute egg.
The donburi – Japanese rice bowls – come with beautifully crisp-crumbed chicken katsu (a panko-crumbed schnitzel), though you may find yourself wanting a little sauce. Possibly the katsu served with Japanese curry is a better option.
There are no desserts.
At the time of writing, Haru did not have a liquor license, so bring your own for no charge, or try one of the green, oolong or black teas.
Quiet but efficient.
Pale grey walls and blonde wood cladding make for a light bright space. The full tables make up for the slightly too brightly lit interior. Some tables are a little close together, so be prepared to converse with your neighbour.
a relaxed sushi and ramen dinner in the suburbs.
Since opening in early December 2017, this delightful little restaurant has taken off like a rocket. Haru has a double meaning: ‘spring’ and ‘glory days’. Living up to its smart moniker, it has blossomed overnight, bringing exotic flavours to the suburbs, joining a cheek-by-jowl culinary row of neighbouring bistros such as Some Oaks Bistro and Michael’s Kitchen and Bar, and Chuck Yang’s Specialty Dish.
Haru’s décor is minimalist with bright pastel tones, blonde wooden cladding and streamlined grey hues. There are intimate bistro-style tables inside, plus a covered street-side terrace for fresh-air fiends.
Opened by Korean restaurateur Denis Sung and experienced Korean chef Karen Hwang, Haru has a menu that tempts with delicious ramen, udon and soba noodle broths – served with a wooden ladle to share – as well as piquant Korean specialties like bibim naengmyeon broth, a delicious cold, spicy noodle bowl served with steamed beef, chilli paste, sesame and pickled radish.
Korean and Japanese culinary influences complement each other on the menu. For starters, share a platter of yaki gyuza dumplings, filled with finely shredded and divinely spiced steamed pork and chives. Most of the sushi, tempura and dumpling dishes come in four or eight pieces, so are good to share on attractively presented wooden batons.
You will love the delicate flavours of the ton-kotsu ramen, one of the house specialties: a pork-bone and pork-belly broth served with a seven-minute egg, bean sprouts and nori.
Vegetarians will enjoy tofu broth, ramen bowl, seasonal vegetable tempura and vegetarian sushi (all highlighted with a V). All dishes pop with freshness, delicacy and layers of flavour.
Favourites on the sushi side of the menu, served with a choice of light or salted soya, are the tempura prawn California rolls, the velvety flaming salmon and crispy torched tuna rolls – all twice seared. You have to go back to continue exploring the menu, especially the donburi rice bowl topped with katsu, a breaded cutlet of chicken, salmon, tuna or vegetable. No desserts.
Haru is currently unlicensed, so bring your own. There’s a great selection of gourmet Japanese tea, from sencha and genmaicha (flavoured with toasted rice and barley) to sakura cherry-flavoured and oolong jasmine tea infused in teapots at table.
Laid-back and relaxed, this neighbourhood eatery is very family friendly.
Warm and efficient, with good advice on Korean house specialities and ingredients.
To experience the unusual menu, share sushi platters or sample the great-value bento and katsu lunch boxes. The bill includes an automatic 10% service charge. Sushi is also available as takeaway.
A great little gem in the burbs! (Just avoid the school rush from neighbouring Rondebosch Boys if you can...) The main offerings are Japanese, so you can look forward to thick udon noodles in broth with delicious titbits, crispy tempura and perfectly made sushi. Don't forget to order some calming and fragrant tea. It's pretty simply furnished and calm inside, and there is a smallish crowd over lunch.