“Elegance, energy, invention.” Hakkasan
If you are looking for a high-end Friday brunch serving amazing food look no further than the Hakka Brunch at Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, located in the monumental Emirates Palace Hotel.
The four-course Hakka Brunch has been revitalized with newly designed dishes to complement signature favourites from the existing menu, like the Hakkasan Peking duck and the Hot and Sour Soup. Dining at Hakkasan is always an absolute pleasure, exceptional dishes are created by the chefs who seamlessly fuse their modern interpretation with traditional Cantonese classics, the restaurant has a relaxed ambiance and the immaculately dressed staff offer impeccable and consistent service. Hakka Brunch is the perfect way to enjoy everything Hakkasan has to offer, seated either indoors in the chic low-lit contemporary dining room or like us outside on the beautiful terrace with cityscape views, just perfect for alfresco dining especially at this time of year.
The brunch is a mixture of table service and live cooking stations, serving a diverse menu of dishes from soups, sweet and sour savoury dishes to exquisite and delicate sweet treats. We started with a refreshing welcome cocktail, the Hakka Punch, a mixture of Myers dark rum, Trader Vic’s rum, orange and pineapple juice, grenadine syrup and soda.
Not one to wait when there is food on offer, the other half selected the Hot and Sour soup with chicken from the live station to start while I had a clear Chinese wild mushroom soup with supreme fungus and bamboo pith. The first course was a selection of steamed, fried and baked individually handcrafted bite-sized Dim Sum, freshly made every day at the restaurant, served at the table with three types of chili sauce and drinks according to the beverage package that you select. The other half had the pleated Har gau (prawn), Szechuan style wonton and Scallop shumai are part of his steamed selection along with a venison puff, chicken taro croquette, black pepper pumpkin puff and crispy sea prawn and foie gras sauce for the fried and baked varieties.
I had informed the restaurant in advance that I was a vegetarian so I was presented with assorted tasty vegetarian dim sum options. My steamed selection had four beautifully crafted options each bursting with flavour, yam bean carrot wrap, crystal dumpling with pumpkin and pine nut, chive dumpling and a mushroom and sweet corn dumpling, all served in an authentic steamer basket. The fried and baked selection had a vegetable spring roll, a crispy light pastry mooli roll and a vegetable taro croquette.
My main course was wok-fried Vegetarian Chicken with black pepper, something I had never tasted before that had a meat like texture and a spicy Mabo tofu dish prepared by Executive Chef Lee Kok Hua, who visited us at our table, and his team of chefs. The other half’s mains included steamed wild prawn in a homemade chilli sauce and Sanpei chicken claypot with sweet basil, chilli and spring onion, all mains were served with crisp and colourful seasonal vegetable and steamed jasmine rice. A visit to the live duck station completed the other half’s meal, the perfectly cooked Peking duck served traditionally in pancakes with a rich hoisin sauce
The finale was the serve yourself dessert station offering a selection of well-presented individual desserts and finest patisserie created by the talented Hakkasan pastry team, a tempting array of mini chocolate fudge cakes, delighful raspberry and chocolate macaroons, lemon meringue topped tarts, cheesecakes among others as well as irresistible peanut butter and salted caramel truffles.
Traditionally Cantonese food is lightly cooked fresh vegetables and meat served in sweet sauces, Hakkasan has embraced the Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang, using the concept of opposite forces complementing each other in both its food and decor. Bitter, salty and sour Yin foods feature on the innovative menu alongside the sweet and pungent Yang variety and the restaurant’s interior is a combination of dark and light elements that compound the overall elegance and statement.
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi located in the East Wing of the hotel is a stylish restaurant with elegant decor and aesthetics divided into four different areas. Discreet booths in the main dining area are screened with dark wood carved lattice panels backlit with blue glass, the ambient blue slate lined trendy bar is well-stocked and dramatically lit (my favourite indoor bar in the capital), a red hued relaxing lounge is adjacent to the bar and the outdoor terrace has water lined walkways and dramatic fire pits lit at night. With Chinese New Year approaching guests are each given read and gold tags to write 2016 wishes on and then hang around different areas of the restaurant. Hakkasan is currently offering a separate Chinese New Year menu (see below).
Award-winning Hakkasan Abu Dhabi has set the benchmark for Asian cuisine here in the capital offering signature dishes from the global brand as well as those created specifically for this region. A globally-renowned brand, Hakkasan has eleven locations around the world including an outlet in neighbouring Dubai, the London venue was actually the first Chinese to receive a coveted Michelin star.
Hakkasan is the place to put sophistication into your Friday, Hakka Brunch gives you the opportunity to try some of the delicious food in a relaxed setting, a great brunch that offers quality over quantity paired with fine wines, beers and cocktails. On first glance Hakkasan may seem extravagant but alongside the A La Carte and brunch options there are the more affordable options such as the Taste of Hakkasan and Hakkatini Nights, a Saturday early evening cocktail and dim sum option in the bar. From the moment we arrived to our farewell, we were extremely well looked after by assistant manager Anthony Ma and his team. I thoroughly recommend a visit to Hakkasan Abu Dhabi to try everything they have to offer.
Hakkasan, Abu Dhabi
Location: East Wing, Emirates Palace Hotel
Telephone: 02 690 7999
AED 245 per person inclusive of unlimited select teas and soft drinks
AED 345 per person for unlimited punch cocktails, select spirits, wines and Chinese beer
AED 495 per person for unlimited Champagne package with NV Laurent Perrier Brut Premier Champagne and all select beverages
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi is celebrating Chinese New Year with a signature menu created by Chef Ho Chee Boon available until 22nd February and priced at AED 488 per person. The signature menu showcases dishes that will bring luck, joy and prosperity in 2016 accompanied by an exclusive cocktail and dessert inspired by the Year of the Monkey. See full Chinese New Year menu here.
Read my previous post Review: A Taste of Hakkasan, Abu Dhabi
I was invited to this event but all the views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. Photo of Hakkasan interior used courtesy of HakkasanAbuDhabi.