A Sumptuous 9 Course Culinary Journey With HKK’s New Tasting Menu
May 22, 2017
If you’ve ever eaten at any of Hakkasan Group’s restaurants – Hakkasan itself, Sake No Hana or indeed HKK, then you’ll know you’re in for a real treat. The level of service, the attention to detail and the unparalleled excellence of their dishes never falters.
As a huge fan of Hakkasan, I was really looking forward to seeing if HKK lived up to expectation and so with a new menu in place (The Chun Fen & Gu Yu nine course menu no less), I found myself embarking on a journey through authentic China with an innovative twist, in East London just behind Liverpool Street Station.
Eating foods which reflect the seasonality is highly thought of in Chinese cuisine – anything that compliments the environment is seen as a natural harmony or balance… And so, with the arrival of Chun Fen in March or ‘Vernal Equinox’ along with Gu Yu which translates as ‘grain rain’, this signifies that the months are about to get warmer and the days, longer.
In addition to the splendour of HKK’s lavish surroundings, for Spring, there’s also a gorgeous light installation hanging in place at the moment, hovering gently over the most beautiful vase of flowers. The feeling is one of calm and serenity – a true reflection of the ambience in this restaurant meaning the design most definitely works!
We opted for the full experience with wine pairings. The first dish, a delicious slither of Wild Green Wagyu Beef melted in the mouth while the strawberry and plum sesame gave it a sweet kick. Washed down with gorgeous sake, the combination of flavours was divine and of course the wagyu – perfect.
The second course, a Chrysanthemum Fish Maw Soup was a typical Chinese broth (with the herbaceous scent of the chrysanthemum working with the dry scallop, coconut and chicken stock. A perky orange wine was a great accompaniment for this course.
With an assortment of brightly coloured Ying Yang Dim Sum next including king crab and prawn which was my favourite, the course which arrived next was definitely my favourite. HKK’s Signature Cherry Wood Peking Duck was carved up at our table – an Irish Silver Hill (renowned for the outstanding quality and taste), the meat had been aged for 65 days and stuffed with lemongrass, salt, sugar, garlic and a special mix of Chinese spices to give it the most amazing flavour. Dried for 24 hours at just three degrees and then roasted twice to give the most enticing crispy, caramelised skin, I’ve never had duck like it before (and may never again!) Without a doubt, a Signature worth returning for and served with a pancake.
Steamed Wild Sea Bass followed – served in a pool of glutinous rice wine and topped with wisps of enoki mushrooms which gave the appearance of fish scales, this fish was beautifully cooked and perfectly mild in contrast to the slightly spicy traditional XO sauce.
Slow Cooked Dingley Dell Pork Belly which came with white asparagus, pear and kumquat foam and white truffle sauce. My second fave of the night presentation amazing. foam so pretty light and airy and the pork deliciously tender.
Desserts included Honey Carrot and Blood Orange – if you think carrot doesn’t work as a dessert, you’ll think differently after this dish! And the Rhubarb Jasmine and Roasted Barley – a beautiful jasmine parfait served with poached rhubarb and a delicate scoop of ice-cream – a small but stunning finish to our meal and served with a sweet sticky Sauternes-Barsac – a Chateau Coutet.
Petit Fours and coffee rounded off a really special evening – the wine choices throughout the night were absolutely perfect choices and service, well, this this is Hakkasan Group after all – you couldn’t expect anything less than exemplary.
At £93.88 for the special tasting menu, along with beverage pairings at an extra £58, this is no cheap feast. But then HKK is the kind of restaurant you want to eat at for a special occasion, to enjoy a leisurely evening course by course and trust us you won’t be disappointed.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield