Hakkasan

Infusion Magazine - - EAT SLEEP RAVE REPEAT -

Open­ing in Lon­don in 2001, Hakkasan rapidly be­came the name on ev­ery­one’s lips (no pun in­tended) when it came to high-end Chi­nese cui­sine, even gain­ing it­self a Miche­lin star along the way. Now ma­jor­ity owned by Sheikh Man­sour, it has es­tab­lished it­self as a global brand with 8 restau­rants in­clud­ing 2 in this re­gion, one in Doha and here hid­den away in Emi­rates Tow­ers Dubai.

The first thing you no­tice about Hakkasan is the at­ten­tion to de­tail: not only from the food but the thought and qual­ity work that has gone into cre­at­ing an au­then­tic space that’ s both func­tional and fun whilst still feel­ing in­ti­mate and livel y.

The well stocked bar and ex­pert mixol­o­gists run­ning it are a les­son to some high end es­tab­lish­ments I could men­tion who wouldn’t know how to pro­duce a mind blow­ing cock­tail if they tried: th­ese guys to­tally know what they are do­ing and it’s a plea­sure to sit down and let them take care of ev­ery­thing for us. I opted for the Zesty Mar­tini and it popped with a del­i­cate co­rian­der top note that just sit in your mouth long enough to make you smile, whilst my guest se­lected a punchy berry- based con­coc­tion that’s both sharp and sweet as you would have liked.

The new res­i­dent DJ Ar­nav built up some great back­ground sounds, bouncy tech house, per­fect for me and her as Vin­cent the deputy manager shows us to our ta­ble. The acous­tics are very well de­signed as we can freely talk above the pump­ing bass.

The menu read ex­actly as it should, clas­sics but with some mod­ern in­gre­di­ents and tech­niques along side. We started with two types of Dim Sum, steamed Sui Mai, Har­gow and Seabass with chilli along with some fried wagyu, veni­son and duck dumplings. They had ex­cep­tional lev­els of flavour and bal­ance, ev­ery mouth­ful bet­ter than the last. I’ve had my fair share of Dim Sum in my time but I rated th­ese as some of the best. We also shared a steam­ing bowl of jas­mine smoked beef ribs, a dish that I could re­turn for time and time again, soft, unc­tu­ous bite­size mouth­fuls of sweet sticky beef, fun to eat with chop­sticks and small enough to feed your guest with eas­ily if the mood takes you.

We then tucked into a crispy duck salad, so fresh and light with a crunch from the pomegranate seeds burst­ing in my mouth, per­fect for shar­ing. Then it was onto some hot dishes. The black pep­per beef was as ex­pected, and the sig­na­ture cod in black truf­fle sauce was di­vine but the real star was the Chilean Seabass roasted in Chi­nese Honey. There was so much depth of fla­vor, with layer upon layer of taste, with smokey sug­ary tast­ing cara­malised flesh along side some crunchy deep fried enoki mush­rooms.

Deserts are nor­mally not a thing the Chi­nese are renowned for so the menu reads a bit like a who’s who of pud­dings of the world in­clud­ing the ever- present choco­late fon­dant. She plumped for the peach melba crème Brule as it sounded in­ter­est­ing and what ar­rived was a plate of scrummy: a silky smooth base, some lit­tle bis­cuit crunch on the side, fresh rasp­ber­ries, soft creamy al­monds and a lemon­grass ice cream that will live with me for a very long time. All very very fine in­deed and per­fectly paired with the rose wine the som­me­lier rec­om­mended along side it.

Restau­rants come and go in this city, you could eat out ev­ery night for a year and still not make an im­pact to that list. How­ever if you want to go some­where that is con­sis­tently de­liv­er­ing amaz­ing fine dining Chi­nese food in an ex­cep­tional en­vi­ron­ment with per­fectly bal­anced cock­tails, on point ser­vice and priced so that you don’t need to get a loan out first, then Hakkasan is the place for you and ev­ery­one you know. Hakkasan, Jumeirah Emi­rates Tow­ers, 04 384 8484

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