Is Hakkasan the most provocative restaurant in Dubai, or what? If you can find your way through the maze that is Emirates Mall to the hidden door in the wall, you will enter into a world paved with charcoal grey slate walls and dramatically evocative lighting. The Hakkasan experience comes with a rather hefty price tag, however with the welcome addition of the brand new Taste of Hakkasan menu offering a selection of small eats, you can leave not only on a full stomach, but also without breaking the bank.
Everything about Hakkasan screams sophistication, from the marble bar and midnight blue ambient lighting to the rich mahogany oriental screens dividing up the dining areas of the restaurant. The lighting is subdued and almost polarised, illuminating the faces of guests and making the ultimate Instagram setting. From the speakers soft music plays as waiters rush to the tables to take orders for the signature location specific ‘Dubai’ cocktails.
The Taste of Hakkasan menu is a new concept offering a selection of small plates, soups and desserts to choose from – effectively like a super stylish set menu (priced at AED188 pp). The price includes one signature cocktail or sommelier’s choice of wine so we get stuck in with 2 Hakkatini’s – the signature Hakkasan cocktail made with orange vodka, campari, grand marnier, apple juice and grapefruit bitters. Lovely cocktail with very strong, distinctive flavours and beautifully presented – although not our first choice, we can’t complain! Soups arrive and both are suitably delicious – the chef’s special soup is a homely chicken, which with it’s delicate flavours brought back all the memories from our happy childhoods. The edamame and sweetcorn soup was equally moorish.
Onto starters and perhaps a little on the lean side, but what was there was extremely tasty. The chef’s selection of dim sum was superbly presented as always and the crispy duck rolls were perfectly cooked – no soggy bottoms, no ‘squishiness’ and a great flavour. The waiters promptly cleared away our plates and exchanged them for our mains; now having eaten the whole tasting menu here before there was reluctance to order the wagyu rib eye plainly due to the fact we’ve eaten it a million times before, so we opted against the signature dishes. The spicy prawn was a highlight – made with lily bulb and almond, it really was spicy but not in an unpleasant ‘head blown off’ kind of way. Equally praise-worthy was the sanpei chicken clay pot with spring onion, dried chilli and sweet basil. Very flavoursome and served piping hot, which of course gets a big thumbs up from us (nothing worse than luke warm food!).
Finally we picked desserts. The hazelnut jivara bomb was very sweet with a crunchy texture that was very pleasant. Alternatively the sorbet made for a refreshing end to the meal – raspberry, blackcurrant and lemon were three very welcome flavours, although honestly they had a slightly gritty texture so perhaps a little improvement needed there. Overall a great meal for a wonderfully reasonable price of AED188 pp.
Where: Hakkasan, Emirates Mall
When: 6pm-9pm Everyday
How: Call +971 4 384 8484