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Tuesday 30 May 2017

The New Tea and Dim Sum Menu at Hakkasan Mayfair

Name: Hakkasan Mayfair - Tea and Dim Sum Menu

Where: 17 Bruton Street, London, W1J 6QB, http://hakkasan.com/locations/hakkasan-mayfair/

Cost: Hakkasan Mayfair Tea and Dim Sum Lunch Menu is priced at £38 per person for 7 classic dim sum dishes plus a platter containing 3 types of dessert, or £42 for all the above plus a choice of two teas and one fruit blend per person. Available from 12 midday to 6.15pm for parties of two to seven.

About: Hakkasan Mayfair opened in 2011, and within a year was awarded a Michelin star, which it has maintained ever since. It updates it menus regularly, and is now offering a new tea and dim sum menu, available daily from 12 noon to 6.15 pm. 

Hakkasan Mayfair spans over two floors for up to 220 guests - the lower ground floor has the familiar and intimate Hakkasan setting as in the original Hanway Place, made up of a number of rooms partitioned by intricate wooden screens, whilst the ground floor features a relaxed dining space with high chairs and tables and a bar area.

Executive Head Chef Tong Chee Hwee oversees the kitchen, where dishes unique to Hakkasan Mayfair have been created, such as steamed New Zealand mini lobster, Black truffle roast duck, and Sliced blue abalone in Hakka sauce.

I visited Hakkasan Mayfair earlier this year for a taste of their Year of the Rooster Chinese New Year Menu, for more information, read the review here.

What We Ate: The new Tea and Dim Sum menu was served in rapid succession. Char sui buns were well made, with light and fluffy rice pastry and a richly aromatic, sweet barbecue pork filling. 

The har gau were filled with little cubes of bamboo shoot as well as prawn, giving another layer of flavour and contrasting crunchy texture. 

Topped with goji berries, the XO scallop and prawn dumplings were served each on its own little queenie scallop shell. The casing pastry was delicate and very fresh, while the XO sauce, made from chopped dried seafood and chilli pepper, imparted an exhilarating whack of heat and shellfish flavour.

Black truffle and chicken roll came gorgeously presented, in a crisp deep-fried rice paper case, with a single pomegranate seed, in a richly flavoured chicken stock and truffle reduction. This was the highlight of our dim sum lunch!

The baked venison puff had rich, sweet and tender meat in a light, crumbly pastry. 

Equally good were the crispy bean curd cheung fun – this had a layer of super-fine cheung fun (rice noodle) wrapped around crispy beancurd, filled with aromatic vegetables - mushroom, baby corn, and gai lan (Chinese broccoli).  With an unusual crunchy texture and complex flavours, this was another highlight of our meal.   

I was pleased to see a platter of greens among the dim sum offerings - the stir-fried asparagus was flavoursome, vibrant green and retaining some crunch. 

For dessert, there is a platter of three dishes. The matcha apple custard bun had a crisp choux pastry case, filled with cubes of fresh green apple, and in the centre a crisp dark chocolate truffle filled with green tea. It came decorated with gold leaf, little cubes of fresh apple, and an apple sorbet. The dessert was beautifully presented but in my opinion, it didn't quite come together as a whole.

The seasonal fruit platter included a selection of tropical fruit, including melon, dragon fruit, lychee, watermelon and physalis. The Macarons were violet and rose petal on the day we visited and were superb as usual.

What We Drank: For our mock cocktails, we chose the Kumquat Pomme Fizz, a mixture of kumquat, apple, lime and ginger ale. The Coco Passion was a blend of coconut, passion fruit, almond and coconut water.  Both were very sweet for my palate and I wished I had saved them to drink with my dessert.

The menu also comes with a choice of dragons well green tea or white peony tea, and we had the latter delicately scented white tea with our dim sum lunch. 

Likes: the highlights for us were the black truffle and chicken rolls, the crispy beancurd cheung fun, and the gorgeous macarons!

Dislikes: the mock cocktails were very sweet (perhaps they should be offered with dessert). I could have done with some more starch in the meal, perhaps a small bowl of rice, I must admit being still a tad hungry as I left the restaurant. I loved the food and the experience as usual at Hakkasan Mayfair, but I do not feel this menu compares favourably to others offered by the same group, for example – the Dim Sum Sundays menu at Hakkasan Hanway is priced at £58 per person but includes 2 alcoholic cocktails plus ½ a bottle of Champagne per person plus starters, dim sum, main course and dessert.

Verdict: For top quality, modern Cantonese dim sum in one of the most glamorous parts of London, few places can beat Hakkasan Mayfair. Their dim sum dumplings are superb, utterly fresh and I highly recommend them.

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