Wynwood gets an exclusive taste of Japanese cuisine at Haiku.
Grilled Japanese eggplant with aka miso gelee, garlic blossom, baby scallion and togarashi crumble PHOTO COURTESY OF HAIKU
Cured hiramasa, garlic blossom, dehydrated papaya and Japanese mustard oil emulsion PHOTO COURTESY OF HAIKU
Haiku interior and seating arrangements PHOTO COURTESY OF HAIKU
Kombu-marinated kampachi, nashi pear and Peruvian chile sauce with nori gel and pickled pear. PHOTO COURTESY OF HAIKU
The haiku, a Japanese short-form poetry, shares a new definition for Wynwood residents in 2021 with the opening of an exclusive resto of the same name. Haiku (@haikurestaurants), the brand-new space set to debut early this year, will be offering a new dining experience. In the wake of COVID-19, owner Jess Varughese knew he had to find a way to pivot. His solution? A members-only private restaurant experience with a luxury menu and an overtly safe environment. For the first year of business, Haiku will offer 40 memberships, which include access to private dinners for parties of up to 16 guests, and each member committing to five reservations over the 12-month period. And with executive chef and partner Albert Diaz setting the menu, you’ll want to book six. Diaz had a clear vision for the menu from the start, which he says is loosely based on kaiseki, a traditional multicourse Japanese meal presented in a tasting menu format. After travels to Japan and months of research, chef Diaz has created an impeccable menu utilizing fresh ingredients and beautiful presentation. The Haiku dining experience will offer 10 to 12 signature dishes, including togarashi pork crisp with cured lionfish and finger lime; elderflower tempura with stracciatella, dashi and white balsamic; and a selection of Edomae sushi. The space, designed by Scott Kester, features a 16-seat chef’s tasting counter, bold blue accent chairs, an inverted cathedral ceiling and scalloped walls, giving off a modern Tokyo vibe. What can be better than getting the extravagance of a restaurant experience while keeping it completely exclusive? Nothing.