Page 49 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine II

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Sumptuous surroundings whet the appetite
When it comes to fine dining, Abu Dhabi hasn’t seen
anything like Hakkassan before. Truly fitting to the
sumptuous surroundings of the Emirates Palace, Hakassan
is a huge 1600 sq ft and takes pride in its own separate
entrance and dedicated valet. Such extravagance and
delicious fayre obviously comes at a price, but one we
were more than happy to pay for an exceptional evening.
The opulent dining room is spacious, yet not impersonal.
With a luxurious interior fit for royalty and befitting
of the Emirates Palace for us, the Feng Shui, like the
food and the overall atmosphere, was just right. Carved
wooden screens and latticing create an exclusive yet
friendly vibe. We arrived stylishly 15 minutes late, which
isn’t a cool thing to do when it comes to Hakkasan. This
restaurant is money printing machine.
The demand definatley outweighs the supply. 15
minutes late generally means, you can say bye bye to your
reservation and we can understand why. With an endless
list of VIP’s seeking a last minute table, as they do, we
were lucky enough, to have not lost our reservation. The
extremely professional, well mannered and softly spoken
restaurant manager; Mr Aurelien Pottier made sure that
we seated and greeted in typical Hakkasan sophisticated
style . Before being taken to our table, our taste buds
were tantalised and tempted by the incredible mixologist
Mr Sanka Pasindu, who Pear Nashtini was out of this
world. During our cocktail indulgence, Aurelien sat
with us, casually chatting about his love for life, food,
drink and Abu Dhabi. Wowzers, we know it would be
physically impossible but, it made us wish all Restaurant
managers were like this. The service levels here are just
incomparable. We have eaten at Hakkasan London and
sorry but it doesn’t come close to Hakkasan Abu Dhabi!
We sat in one of the many dark wood ‘cages’, the partitions
creating a sense of privacy should you desire it, without
detracting from the overall atmosphere of the restaurant.
What Hakkassan boasts in style, it matches in substance
and we couldn’t wait to tuck in.
Mouth-watering Chinese cuisine
The impressive menu at this Michelin-star Chinese
restaurant couldn’t fail to whet the appetite. Headed by
Chef Lee Kok Hua, who worked under head chef Tong
Chee Hwee in the London flagship restaurant for five
years, Hakkassan’s award-winning reputation precedes
it and we were positively champing at the bit to sample
the delicacies on offer in such fantastically sumptuous
and relaxing surroundings. Magnificently fresh food in
generous portions that don’t over-phase are served with
style and the menu boasts a wide choice of top class dishes
including traditional favourites, Chinese staples and local
flavours, all with a contemporary twist. The quality of
the cuisine available is exceptional and it was difficult
to narrow down our choice, but what a difficulty to be
subject to! Renowned for its modern Cantonese cooking,
signature dishes like the mouth-wateringly glorious Peking
duck with caviar and grilled Wagyu beef with king soy
sauce are served alongside exciting new dishes specially
created for an Emirate clientele.
If you’re a wine lover, then Teeshan Ramtohul, Hakkasan’s
very own designated wine sommelier will certainly ensure
you dine and wine correctly. If you don’t consume alcohol,
a choice of drinks includes an appealing range of non-
alcoholic ‘mocktails’ which will quench your thirst and
perfectly complement your fine dining experience. Our
personal favourite was the Eden, packed full of tasty black
grapes. The perfect pre-dinner aperitif was so delightfully
flavoursome that when the steamed red snapper was
served, expectations of the food were high and as we
relaxed into the evening and sampled the fine dining, the
HAKKASAN
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food more than exceeded those high expectations. At
Hakkasan the dishes are kept simple which is what makes
them so amazingly tasty and no one complained of the
food being oily, which is a typical bugbear with Chinese
food. A wide and delicious range of options make this the
Chinese restaurant with something for everyone. An A La
Carte Menu to appeal to all tastes, the array of vegetable,
fish, meat and tofu dishes all have their own distinct
appeal and the descriptions can’t fail to make you hungry.
According to our fellow diners, the Sichuan tofu and
aubergine is truly sublime. One of many delicacies for us
to bear in mind on our next visit!
We feel we really must go back soon as the menu had so
many dishes vying for our attention, it would be a real
shame not to sample as many as possible and having had
such a special evening, reinforces our feeling that this
is one restaurant well worth a return visit. Charmingly
attentive waiting staff catered to our needs without
being intrusive, allowing for a perfect evening spent in
good company with great food. Beautiful glasses and
magnificent crockery added to the sumptuous dining
experience and made the food taste even better. Dinner is
served from 6pm until midnight – the last booking being
11.30pm and the bar is open from 6pm until 2am. A&J
would like to thank the attentive waiting staff for making
our evening an incredible one to remember. For a truly
unique dining experience that appealed to our palates as
well as our senses our visit to Hakkasan didn’t disappoint.
When you dine at the Emirates Palace the only way to
dine is in style. Hakkasan, you were and still remain our
favourite restaurant.
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