Haisai reopens with a new tapas-style menu
Haisai is back in action (Image: Haisai)
Before it closed last year, Michael Stadtländer’s Haisai in Singhampton, Ontario was a top dining destination in the province. It was a paragon of culinary artistry — like Stadtländer’s celebrated Eigensinn Farm — and it embodied the farm-to-table ethos before it was trendy.
But due to a number of circumstances (two chefs left after their work visas expired, and Stadtländer had his hands full with Soupstock), Haisai shut down operations last September. As of May 17, though, it’s back in action.
Haisai has reopened with a new chef and a new tapas-style menu, wherein most items are under $10. Chef Min Young Lee, who apprenticed under Stadtländer and who also worked at Scaramouche, is now in charge of the kitchen. Lee collaborates with his mentor on the seasonally changing menu, and the restaurant continues its commitment to source nearly everything from Eigensinn and other nearby farms.
Stadtländer’s son, Hermann, talked us through the new menu. Currently, it offers about 16 items, including gyoza with shitake mushrooms, ginger and Eigensinn pork ($5), or beef tongue — braised in miso and sake — with bok choy and pickled ginger ($8). A terrine made from smoked Georgian Bay whitefish and lake trout ($7) comes with asparagus. The restaurant advertises the new fare as “dim sum,” but that designation is mostly just for fun, we’re told.
During lunch, Haisai also does wood-fired pizzas, including one with speck, onion, chives and sour cream ($22).
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Friday to Sunday, but those hours could expand in the future. And for those who forgot, Haisai is small (28 seats inside, 14 on the patio), so reservations are recommended.
Haisai Restaurant & Bakery, 794079 County Rd. 124, Singhampton, 705-445-2748