Popsplat Recommends: For a restaurant as posh as this one, it goes without saying that prices are usually North of what you’d read on the menus of most Asian eateries. When we saw the Chinese New Year deal at Hakkasan, we were surprised by the economy of it. Although we were there on the restaurant’s invitation, Rs 2,500 per head for a menu of 15+ dishes with repeats welcome is something we’d be happy to pay for. That, since the food was excellent and a few dishes remarkable enough for us to want them on the menu permanently.
The five starters – three veg and two non-veg – are all light and fuss-free. We started with the unusual Steamed Mui Choy Buns and moved on to the Chicken And Taro Shu Mai. They were both average dishes, but the other three were significantly better. The Prawn And Water Chestnut Roll was elevated in spades by the accompanying dipping sauce. We also liked the Golden Fried Lotus Root that was crunchy and topped off with a light marinade. The best was undoubtedly saved for last with the Yu Sheng Salad. The server, while mixing its ingredients – including onion oil and five spice powder as seasonings – explained to us that the Chinese considered this dish lucky and creating it was a custom they loved to follow. We’re no fans of radish, but we enjoyed its use as one of the base ingredients, among other shredded vegetables.
Mains that are part of this menu include veg and egg fried rice, crispy noodles, and six items encompassing chicken, tofu, pork, prawns and veggies. For those who aren’t fond of meats, the Mabo Tofu is a delight. It is super soft and the gravy is delectable. Hakkasan’s Pak-choi in Oyster Sauce is a good reminder to anyone that a dish needn’t be complicated to be beautiful. The third vegetarian dish, a stir fry, got no complaints from us either.
Among the meats, a special mention must go to the Smoked Jasmine Tea and Lychee Pork Belly. The pork is cooked beautifully, and when teamed with the lychee, its ecstasy on your palate. We were also happy with the Wok Fried Tiger Prawns in ‘Thai who’ sauce, which went well with the egg fried rice. What had us squealing in delight for its sheer nostalgia value was a more street-style dish that we wouldn’t expect to see on a high-end restaurant’s menu – Crispy Noodles with Black Bean Sauce. Hakkasan’s version was made with mock chicken – a concept we have despised so far – but they did a better job than most variants we’ve tried.
Leaving adequate space for dessert is definitely warranted. We were in heaven with the chocolate orange mousse, where we weren’t expecting a scoop of sorbet to create a warm-cold tingle of excitement for our senses. Even the Strawberry Panna Cotta had a scoop of sorbet, and although a departure from the traditional recipe, we enjoyed it nonetheless. We also tried a couple of ice creams, and the white chocolate won hands down over the Belgian chocolate.
The menu is available till February 1, 2014 from 7 pm onwards every night.
Other eateries with Chinese New Year Treats:
Pan Asian at ITC Maratha will also usher in Chinese New Year with a festive menu that’s available for lunch and dinner, till February 4, 2014. The a la carte menu will feature home-style dishes like Pan Fried Sea Bass With Honey Pepper Sauce, Mixed Bean Curd And Mushrooms In Soya Garlic Sauce and Boiled Sticky Rice Dumplings.
Celebrate at Haochi Sun N Sand with a special menu by chefs Gautam Mehrishi, Gao Fu Liang and Xiang Shi Hong, from January 31 to February 5, 2014. Call 6693 8888 for reservations and other details.
Enjoy special tasting menus, complimentary drinks, a live jazz performance and Chinese specialties at Asian Kitchen, Four Points By Sheraton, from January 31-February 10, 2014. Call 6158 7777 for details.
Try some Sichuan and Cantonese specialties at Emperor’s Court, Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, Powai, from January 26 to February 4, 2014. The special menu is available from 7 pm every night. Dishes on offer include Chopped Mushroom And Bean Curd Soup, Spicy Lamb Bao, Wok Fried Cuttle Fish With Mushroom In XO Sauce and Crispy Chicken In Orange Sauce. Desserts include Coconut and Chocolate Dumplings, Almond Tofu and Fresh Fruits with Ice Cream. For reservations, call 6692 7561.
Mekong at Palladium Hotel, Lower Parel, will celebrate Chinese New Year from January 31 to February 6, 2014 with traditional delicacies, Chinese cocktails and good luck giveaways. Try their Steamed Chicken Dumpling with Abalone topped with Tobiko, Carrot and Purple Cabbage, Stewed Fungus Mushroom Kumquat flavoured Chocolate Mousse and Mango Pulp with Sago and Pomelo. Drinks include Beijing Beauty, Yin Yang and Luck-T-ini. Call 6162 8422 for reservations.
To celebrate Chinese New Year, Yauatcha at Bandra Kurla Complex is launching an all-new menu. The latest items to be added are Panfried Morel Mushroom Bun, Three Star Shuimai, Crispy Lamb with Raw Mango and Stir Fried Lotus Root.
Mark the beginning of the Year of the Horse at Golden Dragon, The Taj Mahal Palace, Apollo Bunder, with a special menu from January 24 to February 2, 2014. New dishes include Panko Dusted Tofu, Jade Bean Curd, Crispy Taro and Dry Fruit Dim Sum With Sabayon Sauce. Call 6665 3366 to make a reservation.
Usher in the New Year with a special menu at Ming Yang, Taj Lands End, Bandra (W), till February 2, 2014. Their spread offers a choice of veg and non-veg dim sums with a variety of fillings ranging from Chicken Kothe, Hargow to Renkon and coriander. Also try their classic dessert, Li Wong Pao, a custard bun.
Visit outlets of Nom Nom at Andheri (W) and Bandra (W) for your fill of Chinese specialties like Sichuan Style Pan Filled Brinjals And Minced Soy, Crispy Corn In Plum Chilly Sauce, Chinese Provence Xin Jiang Charcoal Lamb Kebabs, Chinese Tiramisu and Guava Wanton Honey.
Auriga, Mahalaxmi is celebrating Chinese New Year from January 31 to February 6, 2014. The restaurant is offering five course menus for Rs 1,199 and Rs 999 for non-vegetarian and vegetarian options respectively. Call 4347 2505 for details or to make a reservation.