1 May 2015

Dining at Hakkasan: A Dry Day, Dimsum Date

(The author apologizes for the cheesy title. She can't help but love alliterations).

I have this list of restaurants/ cafes/ food stalls on my phone. I call it 'To-Eat List'. It includes places that I've never eaten at, but intend to in the near future. The list undergoes modifications constantly, older entries get deleted, newer entries get added, and some restaurants endure the test of time. (New Blogpost Idea: Share 'The List' with you readers). Hakkasan in Bandra belongs to the latter category. 

Now Hakkasan is not a place to just randomly pop in for lunch or dinner on a random day. The ambiance, the buzz, and most importantly the price bracket it falls in makes it a place you would only visit on a special occasion. For me, it had been many many years and that occasion never came. 

Bee being the food lover that he is, decides that a mid week holiday is an occasion by itself and we decide to go lunch at Hakkasan on Maharashtra Day. This impulse decision was thanks to the random surfing he did on the Wow Tables (née Gourmet It Up) website and we found a deal that was a dream! The next day we trot up to the restaurant hungrily, to devour a four course meal with a glass of wine at Rs 1100/- plus tax. I told you, it was a dream! I am listing below three reasons why you must consider the Hakkasan Wow Tables experience. 

Khana Khazana: The food at Hakkasan is delicious Pan- Asian food with emphasis on Chinese and Cantonese cooking. The flavours are comfortable, classic, and robust. It is the sort of Asian cuisine that we Indians have been exposed to and are well acquainted with. Black pepper, sichuan, black bean, stir fry: these are all ingredients and techniques that need no description. Everything we tried was perfectly executed, spiced to suit the Indian palate, and leaves you with a satiated feeling. 
Below are some pictures from the five course meal. We reached the restaurant to realize that they added another course to the meal, which was not advertised on the website. But who was complaining? The sad part was that they were unable to serve us wine, as it was a dry day. Well, you win some, you lose some.

Hot and Sour Chicken Soup
Pan Fried Chicken Buns
Virgin Mojitos #DryDayDilemma
Chicken Shu Mai Dumplings
Corn and Prawn Dumplings
Dumplings Overdose!
Mee Goreng Noodles
Stir Fry Indian Salmon in Black Bean Sauce
Chicken Claypot with Egg Fried Rice
Creme Brulee, Chocolate Mousse
Variety Is The Spice Of Life: One of the reasons why I'd recommend opting for a Wow Tables experience is the immense variety of food that comes to your table. A soup, two types of dimsums, one gravy, rice or noodles, and a dessert - all of this for one person. And if you're two or more people, you literally get to sample half their menu. Plus the portion sizes are decent, and unlike a few other tasting menus I've tried out in the past. A meal of this magnitude is for those with a decent appetite. If you're a measly eater, just order a la carte!

Show Me The Money: Hakkasan is priced on the higher side, with an average meal for two costing nothing less than Rs 4000/- We ended up paying Rs. 1270/- for a five course meal per head including assorted taxes, which is a deal come true. And considering the meal also includes a glass of wine, it is a steal. Unfortunately for us, we had to make do with virgin mojitos instead. (I cannot begin to explain how upset the Bawi in me was). 

I'm definitely opting for more Wow Table set meals in the future, and I've already shortlisted a few options I want to try. Our previous experience dining at Joss was also so positive, Bee and I are happy campers. (You can read about it here).

Here are the dishes that wowed us off the set menu which you must order. And the ones that you can replace with other options.
Must Try: 
  • Pan Fried Chicken Buns - one of the best sticky buns I've eaten ever!
  • Prawn and Corn Dumplings, - who doesn't love a plump, well coated, flavorful prawn dumpling?
  • Indian Salmon in Black Bean Sauce - Rawas in a spicy, black bean sauce. Must have for the love of desi Chinese.
  • Burnt Chilli Dipping Sauce: Not on the menu, but served as an accompaniment to the dimsums, this sauce is delicious enough to be eaten on it's own.

Bye Bye: 
  • Hot and Sour soup - I'm not a soup person and this re-affirmed why.
  • Chocolate Mousse - Very rarely do I not enjoy a dessert. I guess I was expecting a lot from the desserts they serve at Hakkasan, having read and heard so much about them. In fact the Crème brûlée was pretty average too.
(The author dined at the restaurant anonymously, uninvited and paid for her own meal).

Hakkasan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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