01 September 2016
Once we’d become accustomed to the darkness of the dining room, it was possible to discern the care with which it has been laid out and decorated to hint cleverly at the style of cuisine and to make diners feel comfortable from every point of view. The front of house staff, surprisingly all non-Asian, were very professional and constantly on hand when needed. The Taste of Hakkasan menu looked very good value and we started with one of their special house cocktails, a concoction comprising Belvedere vodka, Akashi-tai sake, lychee juice, lime, coconut and passion fruit which were mixed so as to produce a marvellously creamy, fruity introduction to the meal. The “small eats” to start were an impressive crispy pomelo spiced duck salad with pine nuts and shallots, and amazingly light chicken and prawn dumplings boosted but not overwhelmed by chilli and vinegar. We both chose the spicy prawn main, which was a colourful riot of tastes to accompany the gigantic curried prawns, including asparagus, almonds, lily bulbs, spring onion, and water chestnut - a beautifully and cleverly designed combination of textures as well. Our dessert was a perfect light variation on lemon tart with a sablé base for the sesame meringue, fresh lemon sorbet, white and black sesame seeds, candied lemon and white chocolate disks - a great way to end the meal. Altogether a very satisfyingly unpretentious and high quality dining experience.