My boyfriend and I love going out for dinner, but only really go all out and splurge on a more expensive meal once in a while. I’ve always wanted to go to the Michelin star awarded Chinese restaurant Hakkasan, so when my boyfriend surprised me by taking me there to celebrate our anniversary I was beyond excited! Now would it live up to my expectations?!
Hakkasan has several restaurants worldwide including two in London, and we went to the Hanway Place branch behind Tottenham Court Road. The interior is absolutely beautiful and perfect for a date, with dark wood, low lighting and decadent reds, black and golds.
The menu is huge (and everything looks and sounds INCREDIBLE!) We decided to go for their middle priced set menu which is £60 a head and offers some dim sum and starters, a variety of main meals and a selection of desserts. Ooohh yeah! I’m also a little bit in love with sesame prawn toast (understatement of the century!) so we ordered up a side of those too. At £13 a dish they’re definitely the most expensive ones I’ve ever indulged in, but my goodness they were worth it! Each piece was an excellent size and really thick with a full tail-on prawn inside. Despite obviously being fried, they tasted almost delicate, none of that greasy, heavy taste and texture you get from your local Chinese takeaway! Sooooo gooooood!!
|The most succulent sesame prawn toasts money can buy!|
Our meal started with a Dim Sum platter which included scallop shumai, har gau, Chinese chive dumpling and sumeji dumpling. They were definitely the most exquisite looking dim sun selection I’ve ever had, almost too pretty to eat! The flavours were all so fresh and complimented each other beautifully, and I even enjoyed the scallop shumai which had a sprinkling of caviar on which I’ve never fancied before.
|Dim sum platter – look how pretty it is!|
We were also presented with some Jasmine tea smoked organic pork ribs. My boyfriend thought he’d died and gone to heaven! The meat was so so tender, it literally fell off the bone and the sauce was absolutely divine – not too much that the meat was swimming in it and not too overpowering so the flavours of pork, tea and barbecue all came through together.
|Jasmine tea smoked organic pork ribs|
For main course we were served roast chicken in satay sauce, pan fried silver cod, stir-fry black pepper rib eye beef with Merlot, spicy prawns with lily bulb and almond, seasoned vegetables and steamed jasmine rice. Wowza! What to try first?!
I was a bit dubious of the chicken in satay sauce as I usually find the dish massively overrated and more often than not comprises of some formed chicken on a a skewer, covered with luke-warm crunchy peanut butter! Well not at Hakkasan boys and girls! It was divine! We were given actual chicken breasts cooked to perfection – nice and succulent, not dry at all, and with lovely crisp skins like you get on traditional peking duck. The sauce was plentiful and not at all like peanut butter. It was rich and full flavoured but not overwhelming – I could definitely have eaten the whole thing to myself!
|Roast chicken in satay sauce|
The pan fried silver cod was probably the least memorable dish we had. It was nice and well cooked, but lacked the wow factor of the other incredibly delicious dishes – probably the most blandly flavoured and least impact full of all.
The stir-fry black pepper rib eye beef with Merlot was again incredible. I love black pepper and beef together and Hakkasan’s had a lovely strong peppery flavour. It was served in such a beautiful way too – in an elaborate nest / shell like structure of woven prawn crackers! AMAZING!
|The stir-fry black pepper rib eye beef with Merlot – sorry for the slightly blurry pic, I think I was dazzled by it’s amazingly elaborate presentation!|
The spicy prawns were in almost a Thai-curry-esque sauce which my boyfriend LOVED! It was very creamy and went well with the texture of the prawn meat. The seasonal vegetables and steamed jasmine rice were also really nice and what you would typically expect from a high end Asian restaurant.
|Spicy prawns with lily bulbs and almonds and seasoned vegetables|
And just when I thought I couldn’t possibly EVER eat another thing again it was time for desserts! HURRAH! We decided to split the Jivara hazelnut bomb and chocolate marquis. Yep, they were definitely as good as they sound!
Again they were beautifully presented – the chocolate marquis in particular was almost, almost too pretty to eat! Presented as a delicate chocolate sided box it was filled with a dark chocolate truffle which was so rich and scrumptious yet not too sickly as it was laced with the fruity bitter taste of kumquats. It also came accompanied with what I will crudely describe as a tiny donut ball and peanut sauce. INCREDIBLE!
|Chocolate marquis (and the mini donut of delight!)|
The hazelnut bomb was a bit like a giant Ferrero Roche filled with delicious milk chocolate and hazelnut ice cream and smothered in a hot chocolate sauce. It was decorated with a swirl of hazelnuts, chocolate crumblings, dried raspberry and popping candy! So inviting and exciting to eat!
|Jivara Hazelnut Bomb – a taste explosion indeed!|
I would definitely recommend a trip to Hakkasan Hanway Place, especially if you’re going for an extra special occasion. The restaurant was beautiful inside, the service was great and the food was literally second to none. I think I even enjoyed it more than the amazing meal I had at Nobu (previously my favourite ever dining experience!) It may seem pricey at first glance but it really was worth it – the portion size was generous, the flavours were incredible…and I’d probably pay any amount of money to have those desserts again!
What’s your favourite place to eat on a special occasion?