Monday, June 25, 2012

Nutty Buddha Roll… Veggie Roll and Fried Tofu… All this at Haiku.

Saddled up at the bar in Haiku off 30th Street across the street from the Drake campus, I was pleased to find Kirin on tap. With beer in hand I perused the menu for vegetarian offerings.

For appetizer I tried the Age Dashi Tofu (deep fried tofu). Encrusted with panko bread crumbs it's lightly crisp on the outside, but silken and creamy within. Fresh from the fryer its piping hot! Think of it as vegan fried cheese. You may have to use your imagination on this one.

The Buddha Roll with honey roasted peanuts and avocado is a unusual pairing, but surprises the palate with crunchy, creamy, nutty and sweet all in one dish. The Vegetarian Roll with avocado, cucumber and seaweed salad is a more familiar combination. The seaweed salad adds some chew and sweetness.

Strongly flavored wasabi and pickled ginger should be employed in the slightest of amounts on the Vegetarian Roll. The sweeter Buddha Roll can easily handle a smidgen of wasabi. Soy sauce adds salty balance to the sweetness of either roll.

Of the two, the Buddha Roll clearly is the standout with its peanutty flavor, crunch and honey sweetness. You could have them for dessert.

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