Posted on Monday, 8th February 2016
Several months ago I visited Hakkasan Hanway Place to try their delightful Dim Sum Sundays menu. The experience was really enjoyable. Not only was the food good, but there was also plenty of booze to go with the food which made it a really fun way to spend Sunday afternoon. And now, with Chinese New Year upon us, Hakkasan have brought out a Chinese New Year Menu to celebrate the year of the monkey.
As some of you may know, the number 8 is the luckiest number in the Chinese culture as it has a similar pronunciation to the word wealth. Accordingly, this Chinese New Year menu is priced at an auspicious £88.88. The menu begins with a soup, several starters, followed by a selection of mains to share.
The soup was ginseng and chicken with bamboo pith and wolfberries which was really delicious. The broth was clear with a beautiful flavour, and it showed off a wonderfully authentic, masterful touch, with both its choice of traditional Chinese ingredients and also in how it had been prepared.
Japanese wagyu beef in a golden cup was next. Containing little cube size pieces of wagyu stir-fried with pine nuts in a crispy pastry base, these cups were tasty if a little salty.
Moving on, a selection of dim sum followed which included har gau (prawn dumpling), scallop shumai, Chinese chive dumpling and duck and yam bean dumpling. The pastry on each was a touch too thick, but nevertheless they were all wonderfully tasty. My particular favourite was the duck and yam with is rich duck flavour and creamy yam texture.
Next was a selection of mains for sharing. There was a delightful grilled Chilean Seabass in honey that was beautifully soft and flaky. A wok-fry lobster in spicy truffle sauce was also tasty. The lobster pieces were a little soft in texture, but otherwise the sauce was warming and aromatic with truffle shavings running through it.
A vegetable plate of stir-fry Hericium mushroom with lotus root, asparagus and lily bulb in black pepper was fabulous with each element on the plate being perfectly cooked and with a nice bite.
The ‘PiPa’ roast duck however was a little disappointing as it was quite dry, and the accompanying fried rice with dried scallop and crab meat was under seasoned.
Finally to dessert, and this was a soy caramel and banana delice with chocolate and peanuts. It was an accomplished dessert, prettily presented with a decadent chocolate ball filled with chocolate ganache. I really enjoyed the combination of the caramel with the chocolate and peanuts. However I found the banana (both in pieces and in sorbet form) a little overpowering.
Overall the food was very good, with the outstanding dish of the evening being the ginseng and chicken soup. The service was solid and steady, and as usual Hakkasan Hanway Place oozed its usual dose of sexy ambience. The Chinese New Year menu was well put together, but at £88.88, it was rather pricey.
Anyway, Happy Chinese New Year all! May you all have a prosperous and healthy year of the monkey.
The Chinese New Year menu at Hakkasan is available until 22 February 2016.
1) The ginseng and chicken soup.
2) The dim sum.
3) The stir-fried mushrooms.
1) The duck was dry.
2) The fried rice was under seasoned.
3) The menu is pricey.
Food rating: 4/5
Service rating: 3.5/5
Price: The Chinese New Year menu is £88.88 per person, excludes drinks and service.