A new addition to Redmond Town Center, in the space formerly occupied by Todai, Haiku Sushi & Seafood Buffet excels in the areas it needs to.
Let’s just get this out there—if you want a superlative sushi meal, you probably shouldn’t look to Redmond, and you definitely shouldn’t count on a buffet. That being said, Haiku offers a solid option for large groups or anyone who struggles to fill up on a couple orders of sushi rolls.
Not only is Haiku’s buffet expansive, the food is reasonably fresh and rotated often, with small serving plates that ensure dishes aren’t languishing under lamps for hours on end.
On a Sunday night, about 30 varieties of sushi—both rolls and nigiri—were available. There was a certain sameness to most of the rolls, with much of the flavor coming from non-seafood ingredients, like the cream cheese in the Las Vegas Roll or avocado that topped several selections. Additionally, the sushi rice in many rolls possessed a too sticky, slightly caked texture reminiscent of pre-packaged supermarket sushi.
Some of the nigiri looked a bit worrisome upon approach, with the piece of albacore I selected appearing especially wilted, but all of the cuts I sampled—salmon, white tuna, albacore, unagi—possessed perfectly fresh texture and flavor.
Wasabi and ginger were served in large bowls at the buffet’s corner, and the large serving spoon accompanying the wasabi made it near impossible to come away with just a small dollop. Soy sauce was located on each table.
While the sushi sits front-and-center at Haiku, there’s a breadth of other options, including soups, steamed dim sum, vaguely Chinese meat dishes and seafood options like mussels, raw oysters and crab legs (some dishes are only available during dinner on weekends).
Most everything I tried was also above average by buffet standards, with butter walnut shrimp and baked mussels standing out as especially delicious. There are way more options than almost any appetite could handle, which could prove overwhelming, but Haiku’s sectioned-off layout helps keep things manageable.
On the dessert side, pieces of fresh fruit—strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew—sit across from a selection of tiramisu-like cakes. Dessert usually isn’t the strong point at any buffet, and Haiku isn’t much of an exception, with the cakes being too bland and spongy. However, a selection of hand-scooped ice cream is available as well—a fact I discovered too late.
The décor is fresh, bright and trendy, with fun light fixtures comprised of a cluster of hanging orbs. With its royal blue accent lights and rippled buffet, it has a look that could get dated fast, but all is well for now in its shiny new state.
Buffets can also suffer from inconsistent service, and at one point during my Sunday night visit, there was a 15-minute wait for drink refills—which is basically the only server task once you’re seated. I’ll chalk it up to new restaurant jitters, as the rest of the evening featured prompt and pleasant if a little distracted service.
Haiku Sushi & Seafood Buffet is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Lunch buffets are $11.95 on weekdays and $14.95 on weekends. Dinner buffets are $20.95 during the week and $22.95 on weekends.