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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Top Notch Dim Sum, Champers and Cocktails - My Kind of Sunday Lunch at Hakkasan Hanway Place


Name: Hakkasan Hanway Place (Dim Sum Sunday)

Where: 8 Hanway Place, London, W1T 1 HD, 
http://hakkasan.com/locations/hakkasan-hanway-place/

Cost: Dim Sum Sunday menus at Hakkasan Hanway Place are priced at £58 (‘Signature’ menu including ½ bottle of Champagne plus 2 cocktails per person) and £48 (Classic and Vegetarian menus – includes no Champagne, but offers unlimited Taiwanese tea plus 1 cocktail). The food offering is the same between the two non-vegetarian menus, the only difference being the drinks.

About: Regular readers will know I've long been a fan of Hakkasan's dim sum, so I was chuffed to return to try their new Dim Sum Sunday Signature menu, launched in October 2015.


Served from midday until 6.45pm, Hakkasan’s ‘Signature’ set menu includes a pre- and a post- dinner cocktail, and a ½ bottle of Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV Champagne per person. The food menu features a salad starter, a range of 8 different dim sum (4 steamed and 4 baked/fried), two main courses with an accompanying vegetable dish and fried rice and a dessert. For the Sunday dim sum service, the restaurant employs a DJ who selects a range of lounge- style music well suited to the day after a late Saturday night.


What We Ate: The menu started with a refreshing salad of crispy duck served with pomelo, pine nuts, shallot and a mix of green leaves and cress. Seasoned with a sweet and lightly tart dressing, with warm slivers of duck meat, it made for a delicious start to our meal.


Next up was the dim sum. This included the steamed morsels har gau (shrimp dumplings), scallop shumai, Chinese chive dumplings (a personal favourite), and duck and yam bean dumplings. The pastry was light and delicate as only top quality dim sum are. They were freshly made using great ingredients, and well seasoned.


Equally good were the roast and baked dim sum which included royal king crab and truffle roll, a sumptuous buttery baked venison puff, smoked duck and pumpkin puff in a beautiful pumpkin-shaped pastry case, and golden radish with crab meat pastry.


For our mains, there were two – a delectable lettuce wrap of finely cubed seafood and water chestnut in XO sauce, and also a stir-fry of black pepper rib eye beef with an unctuous merlot sauce. The beef, a Hakkasan signature dish, was meltingly tender and very richly flavoured and as good as I remember from when I first tried a few years ago.


To accompany we had a platter of tender green asparagus, with ginger and spring-onion fried rice.


For dessert, we opted for the apple tatin, with vanilla ice cream, caramel and calvados. I love serving a traditional French tarte tatin at my supperclub, but Hakkasan’s version was something else.  With the lightest of pastry topped with layer after layer of fine caramelized apple slivers, this was a very refined interpretation of a French classic.


The Jivara Bomb was another beautiful dessert combining a praline of hazelnut encased in rice crispies and topped with a warm milk chocolate sauce.


What We Drank: We were chuffed to meet the charming Jefferson Coltro, a fellow Brazilian and Hakkasan’s head bartender, during our visit. Jefferson took his time explaining to us, the various cocktails on the menu (all alcoholic options are priced at £12.50) and below are some of his suggestions.


The Morello Collins blended cherry, almond, Tanquery No. 10 gin, lemon and Peychaud's bitters, and was light and refreshing. The Hakushu Crush had a bracing combination of one of my favourite fruits, the kumquat, with Japanese yuzu, Suntory Hakushu 12 year old whisky, Drambuie, ginger and cardamom bitters. I really enjoyed this cocktail, generously laced with whisky and some wonderful citrus notes.


Jefferson Coltro recommended a third cocktail which we found hard to resist - the Amer l'Orange. Made with Grey Goose l'orange vodka, Amer Picon (a French aperitif combining orange, quinine and cinchona and genetian), lemon, cinnamon and cranberry – a magnificent cocktail, it had a good hit of alcohol with bittersweet citrus flavours. I loved it. The menu also includes 1/2 bottle of Louis Roederer per person, and as there were two of us, we shared a full bottle!



With our desserts we had two other cocktails - the Mayahuelo was made from Del Maguey Vida mescal tequila, Antica Formula vermouth, apricot brandy, almond syrup and lime. Strong, smoky and flavourful, this was a great cocktail to finish our meal. The Charantais Toddy, ordered to accompany the tarte tatin, was served warm, combining Hennessy Fine de Cognac with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, it sent us into the chill November late afternoon with a soothing glow.


Likes: Dim sum of the highest quality, stunningly presented, cool vibe courtesy of the resident DJ, great cocktails, generous Louis Roederer Champagne offering. Excellent value.

Dislikes: None.

Verdict: The Dim Sum Sunday Signature menu at Hakkasan offers excellent Chinese fine dining at one of the most glamorous venues in London. A personal favourite, and at £58 including two cocktails and half a bottle of Louis Roederer Champagne per person thrown in, as well as plenty of delicious food, it is probably the best value for money menu in London right now. I can’t wait to return. Very highly recommended.

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