After being awake for over 24 hours and shopping from 9:00pm Thursday to 7:00am Friday straight, Costanza and I were completely wiped. I think I blacked-out for 5 seconds on our drive to Goose's house. Safe? No way! Got all of our Black Friday shopping done? Yup! Thanks to Goose, we had a chance to crash for 3 hours or so. Upon waking up from our short morning nap, we were hungry. Not learning our lesson from the night before eating at The Sizzler, we headed to another buffet. Located in the former location of Todai, Haiku buffet sounded delicious. AYCE sushi and Asian food... Wait... Did I say delicious? WTH? I meant "suspicious".
As we walked into the place, we were greeted by some pretty nice digs with seemingly an endless selection of eats. Oh how looks can be deceiving... Since Costanza and I were pretty darn hungry, we attacked the food immediately starting with the Dim Sum. It sure looked legit with all the individual bamboo steamers. Although, we started worry as some of the dumplings looked rather pale and unappetizing. No matter, we took a sample of almost everything which included a pathetic attempt at a Haw Gow. It looked more like a pale Sui Mai than anything else. The texture reminded me of eating minced pork fat. Yuck. The Xiao Long Bao made me do something right out of Dumb and Dumber. Remember how Jim Carey began spitting out his food? That was me. Can you believe what was in the XLB? How about minced BBQ pork? Oh, the dumpling skin could've passed for Playdoh. I can't remember the last time I could toss an XLB onto a table and watch it bounce and remain completely intact... I could go on and on about the Dim Sum, but I'll let it die a quick death here. I'm not going to waste my time talking about it anymore.
Moving onto the cooked Asian Food (which had elements of Chinese and Japanese food), I tried to sample everything. At the very least, some of the offerings were alright. The Black Bean Clams were a bit chewy, but I give them kudos for having them. It was a bit comical that they had many dishes labelled incorrectly. I think they mixed up the salmon and the chicken. I wasn't a huge fan of the food in this section, so there is no sense in really talking about it anymore. At the very end of this particular buffet line, there was a made-to-order noodle bar. I wasn't in the mood to fill up on carbs, so I didn't bother with that. I did go for the soups though, including the Mock Shark's Fin Soup. For what its worth, I found it to be not bad. The texture of the soup was silky and the vermicelli was predictably soft. There was a meaty flavour to the broth which in turn made it taste okay. I also sampled the Hot & Sour Soup and it was alright. More vinegary than anything.
Moving onto the Salads, there were 8 to choose from and well... they were salads. Nothing particularly exciting, but they looked fresh. I only ended up trying mushrooms and the pickled cucumbers. At least I got my veggie intake for my meal. Adjacent to the salads was probably the 2nd most prominent section in the buffet (to the cooked food). The Sushi Bar consisted of various nigiri and maki sushi. In particular, the maki sushi was of the specialty roll variety at the far end of the bar. First off, I know my expectations had to be reflective of the venue, so please keep in mind that I'm not comparing this to sushi that can be found at a Japanese restaurant. Therefore, I found the sushi to be acceptable for what it was. Sure, the rice was dry and bland, but at the very least, it had a slight resemblance to sushi rice. As for the fish atop the nigiri, it was pretty marginal. The specialty rolls were dependent on the sauces which more or less made it okay to eat. I didn't go back for seconds, so that probably says it all. In fact, you can probably tell by my "enthusiasm" or lack of, pretty much illustrates what Haiku is about. I realize expectations need to be reasonable, yet I found the food lacking. If I had to compare with 2 other Asian buffets in the Seattle area, I'd much rather hit up Mandarin Buffet or Bluefin. Now, that's only if I had a hankering for mediocre Asian food...
- Okay pricing (especially lunch)
- Lots of choice
- Spacious and comfortable digs
- Food in general is pretty subpar, even for a buffet