Hakkasan Hanway Place in Bloomsbury
Tucked away in an unassuming corner behind Oxford Street is Hakkasan Hanway Place, a Michelin-starred restaurant that has been delighting diners with contemporary Cantonese cuisine since 2001. Descending the restaurant’s steps, we are instantly greeted with the smell of burning incense and are warmly welcomed into a charming space, adorned with delicately carved wooden screens and dark oak latticework. This is calm, collected decadence, providing diners with a safe haven away from the chaotic streets nearby.
We’re here for Hakkasan’s Dim Sum Sundays, and opt for the Dim Sum Sunday Classic, a four course meal for two that comes with a choice of cocktail and a traditional loose-leaf tea. Many of those around us opt for the Signature option, which includes Champagne and an after-dinner cocktail, adding a jovial, leisurely lunch feel to the restaurant.
The Crispy Duck Salad is the perfect introduction: made with succulent shredded duck topped with a layer of crispy skin and accompanied by refreshing pink and yellow pomelo and creamy pine nuts, the result is outstanding. Enjoyed alongside the Coco Passion and the Gavati Refresher, our two light, sweet and fruity mocktails of choice, we are off to a positive start.
The second course presents the opportunity to sample the restaurant’s signature dim sum, including a selection of miniature pastries stuffed with meat and seafood fillings. The Baked Venison Puff stands out from the crowd, with its sweet, game centre and crumbly, melt-in-the-mouth pastry. The Royal King Crab and Truffle Roll is also exceptional, with a meaty filling and a light, crispy coating.
Following this selection of baked goods are the traditional dumplings, including a delicious Har Gau packed with prawns and the Scallop Shumai. The latter is fishy in all the right measures, full of seafood, topped with a delicate, sweet scallop and dotted with bright orange roe to add bite. The Chinese Chive Dumpling and the Duck and Yam Bean Dumpling add a softer taste, with gentle, herby flavours in the former, and a sweeter alternative in the latter, which is filled with carrots and contains a lovely hint of orange zest.
The main course arrives, an impressive selection of dishes to please lovers of meat, fish and rice. The XO Seafood and Water Chestnut Lettuce Wrap, filled with finely diced squid, prawns, scallops and abalone, is delicately cooked, tossed with crunchy green beans and packing a generous level of heat. The Stir-fry Black Pepper Rib Eye Beef with Merlot is even better, with tender meat and a sticky coating that is well-seasoned and perfectly accompanied by Ginger and Spring Onion Fried Rice. The least impressive item on the table is the Seasonal Vegetable, a baby bok-choy which adds an unwelcome bitterness. Still, this is easily forgiven in the grand scheme of this glorious feast of flavours and textures.
Finally, completing the Dim Sum tradition, is Hakkasan’s Classical Beauty tea, with hints of jasmine and a lovely, settling quality. This is enjoyed together with the Apple Tatin, made with Calvados and served with vanilla ice cream. The tart apple is accompanied by crumble for added crunch and a delicious smear of apple compote for sweetness. The Jivara Bomb is shamelessly indulgent, teasing one’s inner child with a white chocolate and rice crispies hiding a hazelnut ice cream. Completed with melted chocolate, dried raspberries and crumble, this is the definition of decadence
From start to finish, the Dim Sum Sunday at Hakkasan Hanway Place is faultless. With every last detail considered, impeccable service and high-quality food in a relaxed environment, this could easily become a Sunday lunch habit. It is easy to see how this restaurant has become so distinguished the world over.★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
To book a table at Hakkasan Hanway Place, 8 Hanway Place London W1T 1HD, call 020 7927 7000 or visit here.