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16° & RAINY ON WEDNESDAY 8 APRIL IN AUCKLAND
By Sophie Chung
October 08, 2015
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Haru no Yume

The go-to for all avid sushi and sake devotees
By Sophie Chung
October 08, 2015
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Located next to Victoria Park Market and surrounded by office buildings, Haru no Yume is often bustling with casual chic corporates during the lunch hour; it's also the go-to for all avid sushi-devotees. Apart from the leisurely lunch meetings that take place in this hub of renowned architects, it makes for a perfect mid-day break out of the office. Their dinner menu can be ordered a la carte, but why would you when there is a Japanese buffet dinner available that is served to your table ($39 per person). It is most definitely not your ordinary low-quality buffet that you may be accustomed to. Their buffet menu will be served to your table as if you've ordered a giant multi-course meal; if you feel the need for more, then you can place a mound of food on your plate that your stomach can accommodate.

The beef tataki with confit shallots is the first dish that is served - it goes brilliantly with a sweet and fruity sparkling sake like Mio ($19 bottle) which has notes of grape, pear, nectarine and apple. Once your bouche is well and truly amused, Japanese sushi-guru of 30 years, Takashi Ueno, will slice up a selection of super fresh salmon, tuna and a white fish-of-the-day sashimi to meticulous perfection. Yamadanishiki ($8.50 glass), a dry and pure tasting sake, pairs well with the fresh fish.

The Tokyo chicken, with its uber-crispy twice-fried batter, garlic crumbs, fried shallots and parsley, house-made sweet-chilli and sprinkle of crushed peanuts is fried chicken in all its glory. It's the perfect union of crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside and goes down a treat with a glass of silky-smooth medium-bodied Tamanohikari ($14 glass).

If you only want to carouse on a single sake, Denemon ($16 glass) is strongly recommended – its fragrant, honeydew melon aroma and balance of acidity and spice with enoki mushrooms and fresh finish goes well with most dishes. If a hot sake is more towards your palate's predilection, then Atsukan ($6 glass) is a very low-budget sake that will compliment the ever-boiling hotpot at the end of your meal.

Every so often, Haru no Yume hosts a delightful sake tasting demonstration dinner with dishes from their current and to-be-released menu. The aforementioned dishes are part of their buffet course but if you're lucky enough, you can indulge in something special at their demo nights when the chef feels like spicing up the menu a bit. Did I mention it includes unlimited sake?

Friday nights are always jam-packed and it might be hard to score a table but Tuesday nights are ideal if you like hogging all the food. The warm lighting is also rather flattering – befitting for a romantic date night or useful when maintaining an elegant appearance while classily scoffing your face with endless amounts of sashimi. It's safe to say, all that Omega-3 will help make your brain pump and your hair shiny the following day.

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