From the moment we enter Hakkasan Abu Dhabi we are greeted by smooth electric house music and dim blue and red lighting which sets a relaxing atmosphere for the evening. The restaurant is bustling with guests and the aroma of fine fare fills the air. Carved wooden screens and latticing separate the dining area allowing the large space to become intimate for diners to enjoy. At the kitchen the glass screen gives guests the opportunity to be entertained as a host of chefs work tirelessly to create intricate tasteful dishes.
We begin with the Fried Soft Shell Crab with Chilli and Curry Leaf. A fantastic dish to start our dining experience, from the crispy fried Soft Shell Crab to the spicy Chilli and aromatic Curry Leaf this dish is a sensory delight.
Unable to resist my dining companion opts for the Crispy Scampi Tail with Almond, Oatmeal and Curry Leaf. Beautifully plated this dish does not only offer a visual stimulation but a palatable one however this dish does pack some strong flavours, but the portion size makes it just enough to remain enjoyable.
Wanting to try a few vegetarian options I select the Stir-Fry Vegetable and Pine Nut Lettuce Wrap and from the Dim Sum menu I order the Grilled Vegetarian Shanghai Dumplings. The Lettuce Wraps taste delicious, light and with a rustic soy echo they make for a pleasant dish. The Grilled Vegetarian Shanghai Dumplings are also enjoyable but sadly not as impressive as our previous dishes which have raised the bar on our dining experience this evening.
Guests are spoilt for choice when selecting their mains with dishes ranging from the Roasted Silver Cod, Steamed Alaskan Crab, Pipa Duck, Wok-Seared Wagyu Beef to Chinese Vegetables.
From the Fish section we opt for the Grilled Chilean Sea Bass with Honey and from the Seafood section we select the Charcoal Grilled Canadian Lobster with a side of Vegetable Fried Rice. Both dishes are divine and probably the two best dishes we’ve enjoyed so far this year.
The Grilled Chilean Sea Bass with Honey tastes exceptional, cooked to perfection the fish beautifully flakes off the fork, to the taste the Sea Bass is subtle with a more powerful sweet taste, the unique presentation shows of the culinary teams innovative style.
However, it is the Charcoal Grilled Canadian Lobster that leaves us all in awe, the Lobster meat is light yet the sweet but nutty sauce plays alongside the meaty texture making this a standout dish. The Vegetable Fried Rice is an ideal side as its relaxed flavours do well not to overwhelm our palate.
Concluding our dining experience, we gaze over the dessert menu, I will say this is our least favourite part of our dining experience as we personally don’t like the description of any of the desserts except the Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut Parfait which we decide to share. Once it arrives the dessert is really pleasing and more than enough for two to share.
One criticism is that Hakkasan needs to work on offering guests milk alternatives, I asked for a coffee with either almond, coconut or soya milk to be told they only serve cows milk. For a restaurant of Hakkasan’s calibre we expect options.
If you are looking for fine Cantonese cuisine it really doesn’t get any better than Hakkasan. Overall our starters and mains were excellent, we won’t be too critical on the desserts as we were only going by the descriptions (and the one we did choose was enjoyable).
Set in the majestic Emirates Palace, Hakkasan Abu Dhabi comprises of a restaurant, bar, lounge, four private dining rooms and a spanning terrace. The 108-seat terrace boasts a stylish bar area complete with a bespoke beverage menu and laid-back cabanas overlooking the city-skyline. The terrace is due to re-open mid-October.
Fried Soft Shell Crab, AED 118
Crispy Scampi Tail, AED 168
Stir-Fry Vegetable and Pine Nut Lettuce Wrap, AED 75
Grilled Vegetarian Shanghai Dumplings, AED 55
Grilled Chilean Sea Bass, AED 238
Charcoal Grilled Canadian Lobster, AED 318
Vegetable Fried Rice, AED 58
Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut Parfait, AED 50
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, +971 2 690 7739, https://hakkasan.com/abu-dhabi/