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