HARU: a hidden Japanese gem in Karen

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Photo Credits: Susan Wong

April 21, 2011 – Haru, a Japanese restaurant in Karen, named after the Spring season and like it’s name is a restaurant filled with abundance and fresh ingredients.

Located at the Karen Professional Center, Haru is a modest space nestled in the serene surroundings of the Karen neighbourhood.  Although simply decorated, the attention to detail of the décor speaks volumes and adds the perfect ambience to a memorable meal.

For those that are unfamiliar to Japanese cuisine, one may just assume raw fish (sashimi) and exotic ingredients are the only menu options, but for the weary, the beauties of Japanese cuisine are the diner-friendly bite-sized portions and diverse cooking methods.

In Japanese cuisine the emphasis on seasonality, freshness and quality of the ingredients are paramount.  The Japanese also pay a lot of attention to the presentation of a dish and upon closer examination; one can feast with their eyes on the intricate blade works of the Chef and the dynamic colours of nature. 

Capital Lifestyle’s meal at Haru was uneventful, and I mean that in the best way possible.  Haru, delivered a meal that met all of my expectations, the service was attentive and easy; and at the end of the day, Haru complemented my day in the most satifying way.  If you don’t live in the Karen area, it may be a bit out of the way for some, but I would encourage you to make the trip and try Haru’s understated elegance.  

 

Décor. Bright, open, simply decorated but quality finishes.

Service.  Attentive and not intrusive. Easy.

Things to look forward to.  Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll and the Chawanmushi (steamed savory egg custard).  Simply an easy experience without the hassle.  A good selection of Sake and wines.

Price. Due to the high quality of ingredients, Japanese cuisine does not exactly operate on a shoestring budget.  With that being said, Haru’s prices were affordable.  Remember most dishes can be shared amongst a group.

 

Book online at Eat Out Kenya and save now!  Check it out now! http://www.eatout.co.ke/haru

 

Food.

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Usually at Japanese restaurants, the miso salad dressings are strongly flavoured and sharply acidic, which may be a bit too ambitious for newcomers.  Haru’s starter salad was mild in flavour and refreshed the palette perfectly.

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One of my favourites of the day, Chawanmushi, a steamed savory egg custard with Shitake mushrooms, shrimp and pork.  This popular savoury custard is a delicate and stock-enriched egg custard served piping hot.  

The Chefs at Haru were able to infuse each spoonful with fragrant mushroom aromas and the natural sweetness of the shrimp was balanced with a bit of pork.  The texture was perfectly light and silky.

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The Shrimp tempura turned out as expected – perfectly fried to a golden crisp without the grease.  

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The sushi was fresh and what you would expect at a Japanese restaurant.  The sushi rice was flavoured well and the small rice portions matched well with the serving of fish.  

The Capital Lifestyle favourite was the Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll.  Delicately flavoured, crunchy, mild kick and a sprinkle of finely chopped green onion added the perfect zing.

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Red bean served with ice-cream was the perfect ending to our meal.  Homemade and from the aromatic flavours, one could appreciate the labour that has gone into making the red bean sauce.  The red bean sauce was patiently simmered for a few hours until the beans softened and the sugar reduced into the perfect syrup.   

 

Book online at Eat Out Kenya and save now!  Check it out now! http://www.eatout.co.ke/haru

 

Don’t forget to follow us on TWITTER @CFMlifestyle and @SusanLuckyWong (the author)

 

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SUSAN WONG

Susan Wong is the Editor of Capital Lifestyle, a resident photographer, an award-winning journalist, radio presenter, full-time adventurer, long-time admirer of anything edible, and a spicy food athlete at Capital FM.

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