One of my favourite parts of going for a feast of Chinese food is the dim sum. Those delicious bite sized morsels which contain a total flavour sensation in just a few mouthfuls – actually I’m quite happy to forgo anything else and just order the dim sum! Yum Cha or a dim sum brunch is a Cantonese tradition where by carts of dim sum are wheeled around the restaurant for the diners to make a selection to enjoy with bottomless cups of tea. True to their usual style my favourite Cantonese restaurant in London, Hakkasan Mayfair, have taken the tradition of Yum Cha and given it a modern twist with their new Tea and Dim Sum lunch menu.
For regular readers of this blog, Hakkasan will need no introduction as I’m a huge fan of the brand which boasts two one Michelin starred restaurants in London as well as several sister restaurants here and internationally. One thing that I love about the brand is despite the multiple locations, each restaurant has its own unique character and menu specialities.
The great thing about the tea menu is that it’s ideal for a working lunch and as Mr S has an office nearby he was able to nip out and meet me for a weekday date. With that in mind, the menu includes a mocktail for those going straight back to work, and the fruit blends served at Hakkasan Mayfair are as good as any cocktail! For example the Kumquat Pomme Fizz containing apple, kumquat, lime and ginger ale combining the classic combination of sweet and sour that makes the restaurant’s cocktails so good.
For those not going back to the office, I recommend a strawberry bellini as it’s made with delicious fresh fruit purée and prosecco, an unbeatable combination.
As well as the fruit blend, there is the tea of course and you can enjoy unlimited cups of dragons well green tea or white peony with both of us opting for the refreshing taste of the latter.
You’ll find some of the most popular and classic dishes from the main menu on the dim sum and tea set lunch starting with the iconic venison puffs. I remember trying these for the first time about ten years ago at sister restaurant Yauatcha and they’ve been around ever since! With a rich buttery pastry and sweet, sticky venison, it’s a decadent dish and totally melt-in-the-mouth.
With multiple visits to Hakkasan and Yauatcha, I’ve tried a fair few of their dim sum but the black truffle and chicken roll was totally new to me. A crispy outside with the earthy flavours of truffle and a slight sweetness from the sauce was a great mix and I’ll definitely be ordering this dish again.
It’s also traditional at a Yum Cha feast to serve plates of green vegetables so stir-fry asparagus is included on this set menu. With the perfect bite and a light sauce, this wasn’t just any asparagus, it was just as moreish as the dumplings themselves.
The classic har gau dumpling is deceptively difficult to get right; the skins must be perfect in terms of pliability and the prawns inside must not get overcooked. Of course at Hakkasan they get it just right and ingredients are kept at a minimum with only salt and sugar added to give depth.
The char sui bao is a dim sum brunch classic, filled with sticky pork, these fluffy buns are as light as a cloud!
The crispy bean curd cheung fun is a vegetarian option made with rolled rice noodles with a crispy layer in the middle. Served traditionally in a pool of salty soy sauce, these are popular in Hong Kong and are another favourite of mine.
The scallop and prawn dumpling is slightly bigger and difficult to get your chopsticks around but once you do, you’ll enjoy fat, succulent pieces of seafood with XO sauce.
One thing I always say to people coming to Hakksan and Yauatcha, whether you have a sweet tooth or not, get a dessert! The sweet selection is an absolute highlight here and a whole platter is included on the tea and dim sum menu.
A refreshing fruit selection, and a raspberry sorbet with chocolate crumbs will cleanse your palate. The chocolate and olive oil ganache is actually lighter than it appears as it’s a chocolate brownie with a fruit jelly layer and a raspberry on top. And two classic Hakkasan macarons complete a perfect picture.
The Tea and Dim Sum lunch is priced at £38 person or £42 with tea and a fruit blend which is a serious bargain for the amount of food that you get and at this quality. I can’t recommend it enough!
17 Bruton Street
Our lunch was complimentary