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Haru Restaurant in Rondebosch
For an authentic Korean ramen experience, or sushi where the fish/rice ratio is in favour of the former, look no further than the new kid on the Campground Road block — Haru
The hub of restaurants and cafés along Campground Road on the Newlands/Rondebosch border has remained largely unchanged for nearly a decade. In fact, the only change to the strip in recent years has been the introduction of Some Oaks, which currently fills the space previously occupied by Borruso’s. The Italian restaurant, along with neighbouring Chuck Yang’s Speciality Dish and Michaels Kitchen and Bar, have seen a new neighbour pop up in their block — Haru.
Haru is a Japanese and Korean eatery which opened its doors in December 2017. The setting here is clean, open and spacious, with a well-lit dining area that contributes to the authenticity of the space with various Asian-style decorations and trinkets on display. In Cape Town authentic restaurants specialising in Japanese and Korean cuisine exclusively are relatively few and far between, so Haru’s marriage of the two on their menu is a unique discovery.
Owner Dennis Sung and executive chef Karen Hwang, both originally from Korea, have brought something very special to this neighbourhood stretch of restaurants by sticking to a set selection of dishes and doing them exceptionally well. Though not unlimited, a look through the menu reveals a substantial sushi selection comprising old favourites and new contenders for Cape Town sushi aficionados to try. Donburi (rice bowls), crispy-torched rolls and the Eel-like roll are among the dishes that are not likely to be found elsewhere in the city. The latter is a dish inspired by eel, an ingredient which is notoriously difficult to get fresh in the Cape. Moreover, Sung and Kwang have crafted a like-for-like replacement for it by using marinated, crispy-fried salmon skin. If visiting Haru during lunch, two Bento box deals are available between 12—2pm.
Ramen is wonderfully represented at Haru, and is the first first true ramen offering in the vicinity. Opt for Ton-katsu; Japanese ramen noodles with pork bone broth soup, pork belly meat, 7-minute egg, spring onion, bean sprouts and nori — a house specialty. The Shoyu Ramen is just as good. Likewise, fans of the humble broth will rejoice when they try Bibim Naengmyeon, a cold and spicy Korean dish consisting of thin noodles topped with egg, meat and vegetables in a cold savoury broth.
Tea has been a smash hit at Haru since its opening, with eight different Japanese varieties on offer. The Sakura cherry brew is a tea rarely seen on menus in Cape Town.
The bill: Haru is unlicensed, so BYO. There is no corkage fee. Factor in around R150/p to get a credible taste of this new Asian eatery in Cape Town. Please note that a 10% service charge is automatically added to the bill.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday 11:30am—10pm, kitchen closes at 9:30pm.
92 Campground Road, Rondebosch | +27 (87) 470 0474
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