Chinese New Year Menu Tasting at Hakkasan Doha
There's nothing like ending a busy weekend with a marvelous dinner, and that's how it was this Saturday. Invited to try the new menu at Hakkasan, there was no better way to end the weekend than with a hearty meal with Mr. M.
The Chinese animal calendar, or shengxiao (/shnng-sshyaoww/ ‘born resembling’), is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes. Traditionally these animals were used to date the years.
This year being the year of the monkey, the new menu at Hakkasan revolves around it.
The wish collection and special menu will be available to guests from 22nd January through 22nd February.
The Chinese New Year menu showcases dishes that will bring joy, luck and prosperity in 2016. It begins with Double boiled fresh Ginseng and chicken soup. I found the soup to be on the bit bland side but upon inquiry, surprisingly I was told that some dishes require less salt than normal, and hence it was prepared that way. For me, Chinese dishes are ones that mostly tend to contain more salt than normal food. Regardless, it wasn't a disappointment, nor was it a miss. I would grade it somewhere in between. Since, it's part of the set menu I decided I would give an honest review of each dish on the menu rather than replacing it with another dish.
This was followed by what was called Small Eat: Diced Wagyu beef and pine nut golden cup and a luxurious Dim sum platter. All of them were incredibly delicious, and pieces of art.
I first had a bite of the Diced Wagyu Beef and thought that it was really delicious, but upon trying the Dim Sums, it was kind of a reinforcement of the feeling that the coming dishes would be even better.
The Dim Sum platter included 4 different kinds of dim sum - har gau, scallop shumai, Chinese chive dumpling, and the duck & yam bean dumpling. The colors of the dim sums were all extracted from natural sources - The green color from Chinese Chive, and the orange from carrot. All four of them tasted exceptionally good but if I have to pick a favorite it would definitely be the duck and yam dumpling.
Main dishes include Wok-fry lobster in spicy truffle sauce, Pipa duck, Grilled Chilean sea-bass in honey and Hericium mushroom stir-fry with lotus root, asparagus in black pepper and Dried scallop and crab meat fried rice.
Trying each one, I'd definitely pick sea-bass as my favorite. When I saw sea-bass on the menu, I was highly doubtful of whether I would end up liking it but in the end, it was my favorite among the five.
The fried rice was okay - could have had a little more salt. Presentation wise everything was like an art piece.
The ending with The Golden Halo dessert was definitely the best. This desset is a banana and peanut cake and a five spice infused cream, caramel, chocolate and peanut topped with gold leaf- really which was just so amazing that we cleaned up the dessert plate, and would have opted for more if it wasn't for the fact that I was full.
As for drinks we ordered Sheng Fizz which is made using mandarin, guava, peach, lemon, agave syrup and ginger ale.
The other drink opted was Virgin Hakka which is a mix of lychee, lime, passion fruit with coconut- very light yet very flavorful.
We ended our dinner with Silver Tip Tea which was the soothing end we needed after a heavy meal.
The Chinese New Year menu is available at QAR 428 per person. All items will also be available to order à la carte. Hakkasan is a Chinese cuisine restaurant located at St. Regis Doha in West Bay. Have you been there ? What are your thoughts on the food served? Let me know!
Disclaimer: I was invited for a review at Hakkasan. But, as always all opinions are my own.