Name: The Golden Week Menu Reviewed
Where: Hakkasan Mayfair and Hakkasan Hanway Place,
Cost: Priced at £88 per person available for parties of two or more, this limited edition menu is only available until 22nd October 2017 and must be pre-booked (reservations on 020 7927 7000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org).
About: The Golden Week menu is a unique collaboration between Chef Tong Chee Hwee, Executive Chef at Hakkasan, and Chef David Muñoz, owner and Executive Chef at StreetXO in Mayfair. Priced at £88 per person, the menu offers 5 small eats followed by 5 more substantial main dishes plus a dessert.
Madrid-born Muñoz cut his skills working at a number of Asian restaurants in London, including Hakkasan where he worked as a Commis-Chef with Chef Tong when he first came to London. He returned to his home city in 2007 to open DiverXO and by 2013 it had won 3 Michelin stars. In 2012 Muñoz opened StreetXO atop a Madrid department store, offering a more affordable dining experience. London’s StreetXO is a direct offshoot of Madrid’s, with a very similar decor and menu.
What We Ate: The menu kicks off with a selection of 5 small eats, starting with the hot and sour soup with foie gras – this had refreshing acidity and included Chinese black fungus, angel hair pasta and pieces of tender foie gras, topped with foie gras foam and red chilli oil. Warming and rich, this was a great start to the dinner.
Next up was lamb dumpling, chocolate and mint served as a dim sum, in a smoke-filled turquoise ceramic pot. With a potent smoky aroma, the rather unusual though creative combination of flavours really worked a treat here.
The chilli crab dumpling with black sesame sponge, and soft shell crab was next. We enjoyed the Chinese concept of this dish, the varying textures (sesame sponge, deep-fried soft shell crab against the soft steamed dumpling) and the marked Spanish flavours like smoked paprika and tomatoes.
The Spanish tortilla dim sum was topped with a perfectly fried little quail egg. On the palate, the familiar Spanish tortilla flavours were presented as dim sum but with the heady addition of black-truffle. We found this inventive and delicious.
The last small eat was Peking duck served with beetroot pancake, kimchee sauce, lychee and rose. With the taste of unctuous duck with the crispiest skin, and a luscious Turkish delight-quality from the rose water, this was Peking duck like no other I have tried before – sweet, savoury and highly aromatic.
And then on to the mains. The first dish to be served was grilled octopus, tomatillo ketchup and shacha sauce. The octopus was expertly cooked and delicious. The bright red tomatillo ketchup was classically Spanish, while the rich brown shacha sauce was full of Asian flavours including five spices, dried shrimps and chilli.
Stir-fry rib eye beef was ridiculously yielding, served with potato gnocchi, shiimeji mushroom, black and edamame beans, lotus root, and lily bulb. This was a richly flavoured dish with a range of textures, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Chinese black laksa of sea bass came with meltingly tender fish, caramelised skin and a delectable lemongrass infused sauce.
Enoki mushroom noodle was, as the name suggests, noodles made up of stringy enoki mushrooms. I enjoyed the creative use of this vegetable, paired with a good crunch from the deep fried lotus root slices.
Three ways crispy egg-fried rice was served with a runny egg yolk, this had jasmine rice, crispy fried rice and paprika rice. Well-textured and delicious, as with other dishes on the menu, this was an imaginative elision of Iberian and Chinese influences.
For dessert, the Naranja Cheng combined citrus flavours with a false orange made from orange cream, a strong hit of alcohol from Pedro Ximenez and deep-fried tarragon.
What We Drank: The Golden Week menu offers the Oriental Frontera cocktail for an additional £13.50. Served in a dinky metal tankard, the Oriental Frontera is a blend of Belvedere vodka, plum sauce infused fino Sherry, pink grapefruit, chilli and Hakkasan sweet and sour.
Likes: there is so much to like about the Golden Week menu at Hakkasan – the hot and sour soup with foie gras was a highlight as were the rib eye beef with gnocchi and the Peking duck with beetroot pancake.
Verdict: The Golden Week Menu at Hakkasan is a unique collaboration of two highly accomplished chefs at the very top of their game. At £88 per person this is also an opportunity to experience the faultless blend of Chinese and Spanish fine-dining that is playful and fun. Highly recommended.