I was invited to review the Chinese New Year Menu at Hakkasan Mayfair and my food was complimentary. I was not paid to attend and was not under contractual obligation to write this blog post or create content on any platform.
I’m guilty of bandying around the word ‘favourite’ far to often because there are just so many restaurants that I love in London. But I can say for absolute certain that my true favourite Chinese restaurant is Hakkasan, I’ve even been to a few of their restaurants abroad. The two London branches – Mayfair and Hanway Place – were the first to open and I must have been visiting the restaurant for over ten years!
With that in mind, I was very excited to try the Chinese New Year menu at Hakkasan Mayfair. It’s the Year of The Pig which is the twelfth of the twelve-year cycle of animals in the Chinese zodiac and represents luck and prosperity. I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year!
A refreshing salad of Peking duck with crispy bean curd and mango is the perfect way to start the meal. The duck skin was perfectly crisp and the textures in the salad contrasted beautifully.
I love dim sum and the Chinese New Year menu includes this perfect duo, one seafood sesame jian dui and Shacha chicken puff. The chicken puff has the most melt-in-the-mouth flakey pastry and was filled with a ‘lucky’ red sauce, which I believe was beetroot.
Superior soup with Chilean seabass and bamboo pith is a light palate cleanser between the starters and main courses. The soup is a thin broth but absolutely bursting with flavour.
The main courses arrive banquet style for sharing – the portions are quite small but trust me, by the end you’ll be feeling full. Crispy suckling pig to represent the Year of the Pig is served on sticky rice and there is a gorgeous contrast between the soft unctuous meat and crisp skin. Rhug Estate Lamb comes on a steaming hot plate and the succulent meat pairs beautifully with the slightly sweet vegetables. The wok-fried lobster is a pretty and delicate dish and all three main courses pair well with the stir-fry pak choi with eryngii and pioppini.
Hakkasan and sister restaurant, Yauatcha are also known for their delicious desserts and pastries so I knew were in for a treat.
Shiny red Fortune macarons arrive in a flurry of dry ice tied was an auspicious fortune. This year Hakkasan have reinvented the fortune cookie by enlisting novelist and journalist Will Self, who has written 88 fortunes which include satirical elements of London life. The colour red and the number 8 is lucky in Chinese culture and I love the way Hakkasan have incorporated these traditions into their modern style.
The other dessert is a Wealth Pot with an outer shell of chocolate, filled with chocolate mousse and hazelnut with a topping of mandarin and a chocolate coin on top. Delicious as always and a great way of representing wealth and prosperity as a dessert.
In their usual tradition Hakkasan have channeled the spirit of the wishing tree inspired by the Lam Tseun tree in Hong Kong. Mr Silver and I were given red tags to write our wishes on before hanging them to the restaurant’s beautiful signature wooden latticework. Shh.. it’s a secret what I wished for… I didn’t even tell Mr S.
Another fantastic meal at my favourite Chinese restaurant and I’m sure I’ll be celebrating many new years to come at Hakkasan. A big thank you to them for inviting me to celebrate!
The Chinese New Year Menu is £88 per person for a minimum of two guests and will be available in the restaurant until Sunday 24th February.
17 Bruton Street