JC Eats: A Night Out at Hakkasan
Me and my family have a little tradition – as we all live in different areas of the globe, when we meet up it is quite the occasion. So we always make sure that we go out for a really fancy meal – I am all for the bargain meals most of the time, but I love getting dressed up and going out to celebrate seeing the fam. My dad recently made the 32 hour journey to visit my sister and I in London and the day before he left we all dressed out and went out for dinner at Hakkasan in Mayfair. It was a pretty miserable day, so I got bundled up with my giant scarf (which I am in love with!), some new nude lipstick and headed across London.
Hakkasan is a Michelin starred Chinese restaurant located in Mayfair near Green Park tube. The first thing I noticed was how hard it was to find! The door was black and there was no sign – just a menu with hakkasan written in tiny writing at the top. We went in dropped our coats off then went to our table. The interior is very nice – small tables with couches and single lights hanging over the middle of the table. It worked well as it highlighted the food we were having but gave us some ambiance for the rest of the restaurant. There was a large bar area opposite where we were sitting and some quite loud but nice music – overall I felt very comfortable and that it was quite the trendy place! I wish I could have taken more pictures of the interior but it was quite dark so my little iphone didn’t fare too well.
They have a variety of menus, from the a la carte to set menus for various prices. We decided to go for a set menu so we could try lots of different things which is always my preference. We started with some delicious cocktails – mine was called a lemongrass aviation and had gin, lemongrass, cherry and lime in it. It was pretty amazing, but then I love most things which have gin in them!
The starters then came out – the menu was a sharing menu so they sat in the middle of the table and we shared them between the three of us. We started with a lamb salad which was scrumptious – the lamb was crunchy and fried but not greasy layered with mango and apple slices and smothered in a spicy peanut dressing. This was accompanied with dim sum – my favourite! We got 4 dumplings each, with a variety of flavours – scallop, prawn, and duck. They were steamed, soft on the outside but bursting with flavour – spicy, filled with herbs and served with some chilli dips and soy sauce for a bit of kick.
We then went onto the mains – we had four dishes and two sides. The first side was just plan rice, but the second was pak choi which I loved. It had a sweet and sour sauce over them but were so fresh and still crunchy. The first main was a lobster in black bean sauce, not only was the lobster succulent and juicy – it came with the most delicious crunchy bits on top! I think the waiter said they were deep fried mushrooms, but I don’t like mushroom and they didn’t really taste like them – more like crunchy bits of deliciousness. Some crisp but not greasy at all – pretty sure I ate a lot of those!
Next we had stir fried rib eye with asparagus – this reminded me of a black bean sauce. The beef itself was lovely and tender and the sauce had that great balance between sweet and sour that was so moreish. This was quickly followed by chicken satay. Now I don’t like peanuts, but I like Satay… not sure how that works but this was nutty but not overpowering. The chicken itself was roasted but the skin was so crispy! They had extra bits of skin on top which I was happy about as it was my favourite bit.
Our last main was roast cod with champagne and honey – this was the only one I wasn’t totally sure on. The fish itself was gorgeous – the skin was crispy the middle melted on the tongue – almost like it had been poached to cook it, my sister described it as silk.The sauce was a bit odd – sweet but also lots of champagne which isn’t my favourite thing. I did enjoy it as a whole though.
We had one dessert each and I was very impressed with it! I know desserts aren’t an Asian specialty so wasn’t sure what we would get. It was a lemon sorbet with a chocolate mousse, popping candy and candied nuts – all done well and a perfect round off to the evening!
Overall, hakkasan was an amazing experience. I haven’t done a Chinese degustation menu before so it was a new experience and one I would like to repeat! If you are looking for somewhere to go for a special occasion then I definitely recommend.