However, on such a gorgeous evening as
thiswe hadno intentionof dining inside.
We were greeted by a charming waitress
andescorted to an immaculately laid table
on the hotel’s terrace. From here, we
could look out once more over the
stunning vista of Downtown Dubai. It’s
a city that never fails to inspire: a place
that attracts some of the world’s most
sophisticated, elegant and talented
people.
Before our meal, we were served some
absolutely incredible tea-based non-
alcoholic cocktails. These drinks were
expertly mixed. The flavours were so
subtle, so compelling and so expertly
crafted that each sipwas like travelling to
an entirely differentworld. These are the
kind of drinks that you sip and savour
ever so slowly, because you just don’t
want the experience to end.
In these stunning settings, we decided to
share three dishes: honey cod, shrimp
wasabi, and scallops. All three of these
amazingly crafted dishes were strikingly
presented, and each tasted phenomenal.
Wewere impressedwith theway that the
chefs had taken provincial Chinese
methods of preparation and added a
thrilling contemporary twist.
My personal favourite was the honey
cod. I just loved how this classic fish
responded to being cooked with sweet
honey. Such a seductive blend of
flavours! The shrimp wasabi, too, was
superb – a really vibrant mixture of
freshness and spice. The scallops were
also faultless, prepared toutter perfection.
And to accompany these amazing dishes
we ordered sides of tasty mushrooms,
fiery pickled soy beans and crunchy
zucchini.
The food was everything we had hoped
for – and more. The chefs are clearly
artists at the top of their game. But a
special mentionmust go to the service at
Hukama. The waitresses were ready to
answer every query about the food, and
told us the fascinating story behind the
menu here. The head chef has travelled
extensively throughAsia inhis search for
the finest cuisines. He has specialised in
various styles in the past, but atHukama,
it’s Cantonese that is his passion.
Cantonese food, originating in China’s
Canton region, features a large amount
of seafood, and is all about natural
ingredients and fresh produce. Unlike
Szechuan cuisine, it does not gain its
power from strong spices, but rather
from finely harmonised flavours. It was
the first type of Chinese food tomake an
international impact – and from our
experience eating here at Hukama, we
can say that its reputation is utterly
deserved. The dishes are truly
sophisticated, and really showcase the
cuisine’s wonderful balance of delicate
flavours. Having sampled the
authenticityof this brilliant food,wewere
not surprised at all to find that eight of the
outlet’s 10 chefs were from
China.
The team here are hugely
passionate about sourcing thebest
ingredients. Lobsters come from
Canada, ducks from Malaysia,
and vegetables are flown in from
China. Then there are the live
fish and lobsters in the kitchen’s
fish tanks: it’s hard to beat that
kind of freshness.
Hukama’s menu is based on a
principle of seasonality – so it
changes every six to eight
months. But whatever is being
served, you can be sure it is going
to be absolutely in season and top
class.
There are, of course, some
signature dishes that always
remain. Formy dessert, I ordered
the restaurant’s classic banana
creation. The dish consisted of a
rich and succulent banana cake,
which came with flambéed
bananas on top, as well as a
banana chip and a generous scoop
of soft, sweet banana ice cream. I
really loved the inventiveness of
this dish. It was a novel and
exciting experience to enjoy so
many textures, all sharing the
same fundamental flavour.
Jordana ordered black sesame ice
creamcrumble, which I found to
be equally deliciouswhen I tasted
a little. The crumbledisplayed the
sophistication and elegance that
we have by now come to expect
it was supremely rich while
being utterly delicate. The ice
cream itself, meanwhile, was
refreshing and creamy, with a
really subtle flavour.
So, did the meal live up to the
high standards demanded by its
setting in the gorgeous Address
Downtown?
Absolutely!
Hukama is a shining jewel in the
midst of a superb hotel, itself
located in an exquisite city.
When you next come to Dubai,
you simply must visit this
remarkable restaurant. We
promise you, you will not regret
it.