Hakkasan

Hakkasan, an elite chain of restaurants which needs little introduction. Last month I headed to their joint in Hanway Place, which is hidden down a back alleyway near the west-end. It boasts a stunning interior, creative cocktails and sophisticated Cantonese food.

As we descended the stairs into the restaurant, we were instantly hit with the smell of burning incense. The steps give away to a sleek space, with low level lighting and charcoal-grey slate. It’s then divided into sections by oriental carved wooden screens. Hakkasan gloats a classy interior and it gives diners a safe haven away from the hustle and bustle of the nearby streets.

hakkasan

I was invited by the company I work for, Goodmadn Masson, along with 30 or so others as a celebration. We were served a set menu of a selection of Dim Sum, starting with their crispy duck salad. It’s served with a mix of green leaves and water cress with warm slivers of duck meat, a delicious start to our meal.

hakkasan duck salad

Next came the sesame prawn toast. You seriously need to put these tasty treats on your food bucketlist. They’re a world away from your cheap and cheerful Chinese takeaway, as they burst with a molten centre of liquid foie gras.

hakkasan prawn toast

The dishes then came flooding out of the kitchen, and we were brought the stir-fry of black pepper rib eye beef, spicy prawns, chicken satay and silver cod, alongside a side of green asparagus and jasmine rice.

hakkasan beef

hakkasan prawns

The stand out dish was by far their silver cod, a Hakkasan signature dish for a reason, the fish itself was charcoal grilled and was silken, and served with thick, rich champagne and honey sauce.

hakkasan silver cod

Needless to say, Hakkasan isn’t your average Chinese restaurant, so it comes with a hefty price tag. But every last detail is considered – the service is impeccable and matched with high-quality food in a relaxed environment. It’s easy to see how this restaurant group has become to distinguished the world over. Push the boat out, at least once.

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Hakkasan, 8 Hanway Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1HD

Lazy Sumdays at Ping Pong

Deciding on where to eat in Soho has always been a complicated affair and Ping Pong has been on my radar for a little while now. After a colleague mentioned that they offered unlimited dim sum on a Sunday, I was there with bells on.

Their lazy sumday menu heavily features steamed dim sum, and even though specials and deserts aren’t included in the price tag you don’t feel like you’re missing out. Their concept is straightforward and you have to simply tick your desired dishes off against their menu. You’d advised to order 3-5 dishes at a time and you can always go back to the menu to order more if you wish.

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The service was fairly fast and soon our plates of dim sum arrived in quick succession – no sooner then our first dish of edamame beans arrived we were then surrounded by bamboo steamers.

One of the highlights of the meal was the char sui buns which are soft, fluffy buns filled with a sticky honey-barbecured pork. A favorite of mine was the beef gyozas as they were fried to perfection and not at all greasy – I ordered a second potion of these as they were so good.

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Another dish worth noting was the honeyed chili chicken and mushroom rice pot which was incredibly filling and contained tender shiitake mushrooms, braised chicken and soya beans.

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A dish I would avoid is that black prawn dumpling which is made with a squid ink pastry – it doesn’t look too appealing and it was very slimy.

Without the offer I reckon Scott and I would rack up a pretty hefty bill, so Ping Pong is a perfect place for people who want to try everything at least once.