It's Friday brunch, but not as we know it … 6 Reviews
Michelin Star chef Ho Chee Boon has created a truly special festive menu to make the Christmas season even more memorable. Dhs488 (inclusive of Hakkasan Signature welcome drink) Timings: 7pm-1am 25 December 2013
Michelin Star chef Ho Chee Boon has created a truly special festive menu to make the season even more memorable. Dhs488 (inclusive of Hakkasan Signature welcome drink) Timings: 7pm-1am 24 December 2013
Hakkasan’s grape and food night
Enjoy a three-course meal paired with three to four different grapes. Price TBC Timings: 7.30pm (Tuesday)
The lunch menu features spicy prawn, stir-fried rib-eye beef and home-made sorbets, among other dishes. Dhs120 Timings: Noon-3pm (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)
Serves a variety of dim sum, in addition to two main course and three desserts. Dhs278 (mocktails), Dhs428 (mixed drinks), Dhs558 (bubbly) Timings: Noon-4pm (Friday)
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It was only a matter of time before Hakkasan succumbed to peer pressure and started its own brunch. After all, what self-respecting restaurant Dubai doesn’t run a Friday feast? Nobu started last year, The Ivy runs a brunch of sorts, and now, not wanting to be left out, Hakkasan has begun to serve its renowned dim sum on a Friday with the option of free-flow bubbly (this is Dubai, after all).
Dim sum aficionados will be quick to point out that the weekend tradition of early afternoon dim sum – or yum cha, as it’s known – has been about for ages. In fact, Alan Yau, the man who created Hakkasan, made yum cha a popular pastime in London. So it’s no surprise that the format of Hakkasan’s Friday and Saturday meal deal is closer to yum cha than what we Dubaians recognise as ‘brunch’ (aka four hours of excessive consumption).
Hakkasan’s brunch had more or less just launched when we visited and the dark, sleekly appointed restaurant was almost empty, meaning we were able to enjoy the undivided attention of the staff. After establishing which package we wanted (we could choose between dim sum and tea, or dim sum and bubbly), we were presented with our drinks before the waitress disappeared into the shadows.
She soon returned with the first course – scallop shumai, crispy duck rolls and two baked venison puffs.
The latter were memorable for their crispy-then-soft pastry exterior, which gave way to rich, gamey venison. The crispy duck roll – effectively a chunky, compact and filling variation of a Peking duck roll – was equally hearty, the flavour of the meat offset wonderfully by the sweet, sticky plum sauce. The scallop shumai, meanwhile, provided a lighter dynamic, though was excellent it every respect.
Thereafter followed a serving of prawn and chive dumpling, har gau (shrimp dumpling), and exquisite poached Peking dumplings (wonderfully delicate offerings bathed in an ever-so-slightly spicy soup).
A few drinks later came what perhaps could be construed as the main course: roasted duck noodles, mooli puff (effectively a flaky pastry spring roll) and cheung fun (wagyu beef wrapped in translucent flat noodle).
As was to be expected, the quality of each delicate dim sum dish was verging on divine, though we’d eaten our way through the menu by 1.30pm and we still had two hours of brunch to go. That said, we were pleasantly full, and to eat any more would simply have been greedy – but isn’t greed good when it comes to brunches?
The staff were keen for feedback, since the dynamic of this brunch was clearly something that had been mulled over for some time by the restaurant’s management. Our verdict? As much as we’d enjoyed the meal, the bubbly option (costing Dhs300 more than the non-alcoholic package) isn’t the best value for money – especially when you consider nearby Zuma’s all-you-can-eat Friday brunch – but as a yum cha option, Hakkasan is hard to beat.By Oliver Robinson
Time Out Dubai,
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