A&E Food

Tampa Sushi Restaurant is Poetry on a Plate

By Caroline McDaniel

Sushi anyone? Downtown Tampa is filled with hidden gems within walking distance of the University of Tampa. From fine dining to brunch spots, the downtown area is thriving with new restaurants.

Haiku is a new Asian fusion restaurant that offers some of the best Asian food in the Tampa Bay area as it was featured in The Tampa Bay Times as “One of the hottest new restaurants” with an Izakaya inspired atmosphere. Izakaya is an informal Japanese restaurant that serves cocktails and small plates. 

“What separates Haiku is the attention to detail,” said Quinn Ryan, UT student and server at Haiku. From the restaurant’s unique decor to each signature dish that we offer, there’s a lot for everyone to love and it’s certainly very diverse.” 

The head chef, David Reyes, has been featured on “ABC Morning Blend” and “Great Day Live” to share what makes Haiku unlike any other restaurant in the area. The word Haiku means a Japanese poem with seventeen syllables divided into three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. 

“Haiku was designed around the notion that we create poetry with our food. ” said Asad Yusupov, Haiku’s owner.

Haiku opened in January of 2021 and stands at a 4.3 out of 5 rating. A notable dining experience for date nights, families, and even Sunday brunch. The restaurant is known for their art inspired sushi and ramen dishes as well as their quality, service, and presentation. 

Haiku offers many shareable dishes including Pork Bao Buns, Spicy Edamame, and Tuna Tartare while featuring more entrée focused plates like Miso Marinated Sea Bass and Wagyu Beef Ramen. Although the food is more on the higher pricing scale with food  ranging from seven to $32, visitors are paying for high quality cuisine. 

The new Asian- fusion spot offers a weekly Happy Hour, Wednesday through Friday from 4:00pm-6:00pm. For the sushi lovers, Haiku has an entire separate menu including Sashimi and Wood Fire Yakitori. 

Haiku is located on North Franklin Street within walking distance of UT at 0.7 miles. The restaurant is currently a nominee for the annual Best of the Bay 2021 contest for Best New Restaurant. 

The Best of the Bay is a contest for local restaurants, people, and businesses that are selected through an online voting system for the people of Tampa Bay. Each person who participates in Best of the Bay is allowed one entry and the voting recently ended on Sept. 7. The winners will be announced at the Best of the Bay annual party on Sept. 30 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Tampa. The party is not limited to finalists and winners as tickets starting at $55 are offered to the public. The party features craft cocktails and appetizers. 

Visit vote.cltampa.com for more information. 

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