“Originally conceived by renowned designer Christian Liaigre, the interiors are opulent yet intimate, an ethos found in Hakkasan restaurants around the world.” Hakkasan
If asked to name my favourite all-rounder restaurant in Abu Dhabi my answer would always be Hakkasan. Located in the magnificent Emirates Palace, the restaurant is both stylish and sophisticated, serves exquisite Cantonese cuisine and has exemplary service. Add in the well stocked blue hued bar and the newly opened terrace and you can see why this all rounder is always a pleasure to visit whatever the occasion.
The Hakka Brunch, served every Friday from noon until 4pm, offers diners the opportunity to try modern Cantonese cuisine that seamlessly fuses with traditional flavours. The five-course menu offers a steady stream of beautifully presented dishes served to your table accompanied by selected beverages according to the package of your choice. All three options offer soup, small eats, dim sum, main course and a chef’s selection of miniature desserts. There’s a separate vegetarian menu and the lavish champagne package offers indulgent extras like caviar.
Dining at Hakkasan is always an absolute pleasure, exceptional dishes are created by Executive Chef Lee Kok Hua and his team who deliver dish after dish of picture-perfect, mouthwatering Cantonese cuisine. The restaurant has a relaxed ambiance with the immaculately dressed staff always welcoming and flawless in their service.
On this occasion the other half and I both selected the champagne package to try some of the more indulgent dishes accompanied by signature cocktails and of course bubbles. We started our gourmet experience with some cocktails, a Pink Mojito (Jose Cuervo Reposado Tequila with cranberry) and a Baoding (Beefeater 24 gin with rhubarb liqueur, elderflower, lemon and ginger beer). This particular menu offers a braised superior seafood soup with black truffle and fish maw to start and I sampled the veggie option of a thick textured edamame sweetcorn soup.
Next up was small eats of roasted duck lettuce wrap followed by a trio of decadent dim sum that included foie gras and crab xiao long bao, wagyu beef truffle puff and abalone shumai. The main course was stir-fry rib eye beef with mushroom, wok-fry wild prawn and pineapple and xo sauce and Cantonese style crispy noodle with roasted duck. The piece de resistance of this menu is the apple wood smoked Peking duck with caviar. All diners can visit the live duck station served traditionally with pancakes, baby cucumber and spring onion with a rich hoisin sauce.
The vegetarian menu offered eight varieties of perfectly crafted steamed, fried and baked dim sum. The steamed selection included a yam bean carrot wrap, wild mushroom and sweet corn dumpling with yam bean and the king oyster mushroom dumpling. The fried and baked selection a crispy light pastry mooli roll, a vegetable taro croquette, pan-fried taro and pumpkin cake and a box dumpling.
My main course was wok-fried ham with black pepper, a spicy Mabo tofu dish as well as stir-fry sugar snap and cloud ear all accompanied with steamed jasmine rice. The finale was the a selection of miniature desserts, all beautifully presented on a circular shelved blue stand. The sweet treats included a Hakkasan signature teal macaron that perfectly matched the restaurant’s interior, classic truffles with crunchy outside and a smooth rich chocolate filling, a gold covered chocolate mousse, strawberry topped cheesecake and a mini fruit salad.
A globally-renowned brand, Hakkasan has eleven locations around the world including neighbouring Dubai, the London venue was actually the first Chinese restaurant to receive a coveted Michelin star. Located in the East Wing, Hakkasan Abu Dhabi can be accessed via its own private entrance or via the hotel’s main lobby. The elegant restaurant has a stylish interior and the option for alfresco dining at certain times of the year. Divided into four different areas, guests can choose to sit in the more discreet lattice panelled booths in the low-lit dining area, indulge in a signature cocktail at the well-stocked dramatically lit bar (one of my favourite bars in the capital), sit in the adjacent Ling Ling lounge or relax on the outdoor terrace with its water lined walkways and nightly dramatic fire pits.
A new additional is the spacious terrace with its own outdoor bar that offers a bespoke cocktail menu and cabanas overlooking the skyline. The Hakkasan Terrace welcomes a calendar of local and international DJ’s, the ideal place to enjoy the sunset after brunch or for drinks pre and post dinner. The creative drinks menu is complemented by a small eats menu that includes dim sum platters and Peking Duck.
Multi award-winning Hakkasan Abu Dhabi has set the benchmark for Asian cuisine in the capital with signature dishes from the global brand as well as those created specifically for this region. If you are looking to put some sophistication into your Friday Brunching, Hakka Brunch has got you covered, it’s the perfect way to enjoy everything Hakkasan has to offer. Different packages all offer quality over quantity paired with fine wines, beers, mocktails and cocktails. You can sit indoors or like us opt for alfresco dining on the beautiful outdoor terrace.
Hakkasan, Abu Dhabi
Location: East Wing, Emirates Palace Hotel
Telephone: 02 690 7999
Hakka Brunch – AED 318 per person inclusive of unlimited select non-alcoholic cocktails, soft drinks and Jasmine green tea
AED 438 per person for unlimited punch cocktails, select spirits, wines and beer
AED 678 per person for unlimited Champagne package with NV Louis Roederer Brut Premier, NV Perrier Jouet Blason Brut Rose Champagne, champagne cocktail, wine, sake, house spirit and beer
All prices are inclusive of 10% Service Charge, 6% Tourism fee, 4% Municipality fee and 5% VAT
I was invited to review this brunch. All the views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2018. All rights reserved. Final photo used with courtesy of Hakkasan Abu Dhabi
Read about Ling Ling in Mykonos here