Sushi chefs Fu Chen and Tim Qi, who is also the owner, prepare Trinity sushi and a combo sushimi dish. Photo by Kathy Feist
Sushi Haru has new owners, new look and new menu
By Kathy Feist
A young Chinese couple has recently purchased Sushi Haru, 13133 State Line Rd., and have gone to impressive lengths to update the menu, the decor and the staff.
Tim and Ling Qi (pronounced chee) purchased Sushi Haru from its previous owner in January. Tim, who had been employed there as a sushi chef, realized the dark decor had become outdated. “I knew I could make it better with a remodel and improve the quality of the food,” he recalls. He also wanted to add food that came out hot from the kitchen.
One of the first actions taken upon purchase was to hire a master sushi chef and a hibachi chef, from Manhattan, NY. Both were acquaintances of Ling’s who had extensive experience working sushi restaurants there. Tim says he is impressed with their homemade sauces. The sushi chef, Fu Chen, is especially talented at creating attractive sashimi dishes.
The quality of the fish was upgraded. “We order fresh fish that is flown here daily,” remarks Ling. “We like to keep it fresh, otherwise we will throw it away.” The quality of the sushi is a noticeable difference as is the size of the sushi, which is larger than many sushi restaurants. Tim says their most popular sushi are the Trinity rolls, spicy tuna and Nigri sushi.
Fried rice, tempura, and hibachi were added to the menu. Hibachi is often found in Japanese steak houses where a chef skillfully entertains customers with fancy food tricks. Ling says at Sushi Haru it’s the same food but without the entertainment, which benefits lunchtime diners. Available on the menu are teriyaki chicken, steak, shrimp and lobster hibachi dinners. All are served tender and sizzling hot.
In July 1, Haru Sushi closed for six weeks to remodel the dark and basic interior. Tim says he invested around $150,000 in improvements and it shows. A variety of light textured oak paneling brightens the dark room. New granite countertops grace the liquor bar and sushi bar.
Six booths were installed, replacing an all table and chair seating. A long black wooden bench follows the length of three or four tables for group seating.
There are two private areas. One is built with a wood panel archway to resemble a Japanese courtyard entryway. It has booth seating. Another has traditional tatami seating, meaning guests sit on the floor, but in this case with a dropped floor for customers’ legs. The tatami has a breathtaking wallpaper backdrop that is replicated in the pillows placed elsewhere in the restaurant.
While LIng was mostly involved with the interior design, Tim is proud to point out one of his contributions. In the entryway are wooden square pieces with Chinese handwriting. Each piece spells the name of a different fish. That was Tim’s idea.
In addition to new lighting fixtures, there is now a sound system installed to create ambience.
Sushi Haru is open everyday starting at 11 a.m. except Monday when it is closed. For more information go to www.sushiharukc.com or call 816-942-1333.