Food Review: Hakkasan Celebrates the Chinese New Year
The menu is a perfect divide between an extensive list of meat and vegetarian alternates and unlike other set menus, everything on the list can be ordered. The Espresso Cardamom Martini and Pork Belly certainly deserve a special mention.
This may not be the ideal investment for those with a small appetite. Surely the meal justifies the price, but come geared to eat sumptuously, or don’t come at all.
Between the ambience, the premium bar selection and a menu that delivers way beyond delectable dim sum and noodles, sampling the Chinese New Year treats at Hakkasan should be on your to-do list this week.
Hakkasan in Bandra, Mumbai introduces the Chinese New Year Menu
We’ll be honest, this is our second trip to the renowned Hakkasan in Mumbai, and we find ourselves impressed over what now seems like an underwhelming first experience. You do expect the world out of a Michelin-star brand restaurant, and reviewing the details closely this time, the place delivers on many accounts.
The Chinese New Year menu was calling to us this week, and we can assure you an extensive set course with 17 different dishes (order all or be selective), is far more than anyone can desire or even stomach.
Spoiled for choice, we kick-start with the Yu Sheng Salad served with a side of drama. Our server presented a dish of crunchy vegetables, which he topped with house-made onion-infused oil, plum sauce and some five-spice before he proceeded to toss it in front of us. Cold and refreshing, the salad offers a range of Oriental tastes and textures, while making sure dieters can stay well within their daily calorie-intake limits.
For the appetisers, the perfectly crisp Golden Fried Lotus root triumphs over the slightly sweet (for our taste buds anyway) Steamed Mui Choy bun, while the Prawn and Water Chestnut Roll beats the all-too-familiar Chicken and Taro Shu Mai which lacks not in taste, but the element of surprise.
By the time we move on to our mains, it’s inescapable the balance between sweet and sour that seems to be the core idea between each and every dish on the menu. We discover that Lychees perfectly vibe with Pork Belly, and nothing is quite as good the sweet crackle atop the Golden Dragon Chicken. The Wok Fried Tiger Prawns work well with the vegetable fried rice, as does the delightful Mabo Tofu.
And although the house-made tofu has its pluses, amongst the vegetarian serves, our top recommendation would be the Pak-Choi in Oyster sauce. We were told Hakkasan imports its vegetables from Thailand on a daily basis, and we're guessing they source the bite-size Pak-Choi from there. Lightly tossed in a flavourful sauce, the mini Pak-Choi were perfectly crisp and juicy.
Strawberry and Cream Pannacotta at Hakkasan, Mumbai
To seal the deal, finish your dinner with a classic Chocolate Orange Mousse (check out the presentation on this one), or be more adventurous and reach for the bartender’s special Espresso Cardamom Martini for that perfect after meal hit of caffeine, Kahlua and vodka.
We also spotted a Strawberry and Cream Pannacotta making its way to the next table, and as far as appearances go, it makes one hell of a first impression.
PS: Do not forget to marvel at the premium selection of limited edition spirits that adorn the wall alongside the bar.
The Chinese New Year Menu at Hakkasan is available from 7pm until 1 February; Price: Rs 2,500 per person (plus taxes, and not inclusive of drinks).
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