HKK Chinese New Year Menu (2017)

Meal courtesy of HKK and Hakkasan Group

Written by me!

hkk-2017-1-of-15

Michelin Star*

This blog is no stranger to the Hakkasan Group, when it comes to giving recommendations, these restaurants have always been high on my list! (see posts on HKK, Yauatcha, Yauatcha City, Sake no Hana, Hakkasan).

Chinese New Year is celebrated very well at HKK London  and the menus they create for this occasion often outwits the class and elegance of others.

hkk-2017-4-of-15HKK boasts a compelling dining experience from traditional Chinese dishes to high-end quality courses of fine calibre. Opened in 2012, it was the latest of the Hakkasan Group but was very quick to impress, with its culinary string of tasting courses. Chinese New Year is celebrated over a fortnight of festivities and culinary celebrations. HKK has geared up a tailored set menu for the new year inclusive of its famous Peking duck.

Chinese New Year 2017 Menu (available until 11 February 2017) (£93.88)

*Please note they also have a vegetarian menu.

hkk-2017-2-of-15

Started off with an amuse bouche of Kumquat flavouring (complemented with lime liquor and chinese spirits) the liquor was strong and sweet which offset the subtle flavouring of the amuse bouche. Both very citrusy. (We forgoned the Orchard’s flight soon after as we aren’t very good with alcohol!)

hkk-2017-3-of-15

Emperor’s bite of spring (king crab, white truffle, winter bamboo shoot). This was the first time I’ve ever had a pancake roll encased in gold and it was impressive, the king crab meaty and overall a nice light starter to it all.

dsc07501dsc07508

Second course was the Monk jumps over the wall (abalone, sea cucumber, ginseng) and third, Touch of the heart (lobster and pickle Chinese leaves dumpling, king crab with XO sauce dumpling and sea bass and shrimp dumpling). Both these courses come similar to the servings from last year but with a twist. This time with abalone and ginseng bringing a sense of familiarity to my tongue as my family would make this on special occasions. Very aromatic and great for your health too. You can’t leave a Chinese New Year menu without any dumpling fun and one of HKK’s signature courses cannot be excluded! Different dumplings again this time and my favourite out of the three visits here, the King Crab with XO sauce was my favourite. All of these parcels consisted of very meaty fillings with sauces erupting from every bite.

hkk-2017-8-of-15hkk-2017-9-of-15Imperial cherry wood Peking duck.

The peking duck also did a makeover, bringing in black caviar and fried foie gras illustrating class in the highest form. Never have I thought foie gras would go well with the skin of a peking duck and this was an absolute delight.

Followed by scallop noodles (yu fungus, lemon grass, royal stock) and Eight treasure chicken (guinea fowl, ginko nut, mangalica ham). The scallop noodles was the least impressive and this was mainly from the texture of the noodles in which the scallops were sat atop of. Unfortunately thought it was a bit over cooked and too soft. Eight treasure chicken though, was a visual delight with dry ice steaming from the bottom of the box weaving in and around the plastic wrapped the entree.

Our meal comes to a near end with pre dessert kum quat carrot cake, a consistent theme to this years Chinese New Year menu. Served with vanilla cream, orange foam plated around the  poached kumquat sponge cake. 

The real show stopper was the dessert, the century egg, a mousse-y affair with strong essences of coffee and hazelnut in and around the plate, some sesame on the side too.

hkk-2017-14-of-15hkk-2017-15-of-15

HKK (Chinese New Year)

Background and history:

HKK (21 of 48)
8 courses under your belt, and Peking duck personally carved in front of you.
HKK (34 of 48)
Fine dine with lobster noodles, a meaty affair

Courtesy of HKK London.

Michelin Star September 2013

I’ve previously noted my fondness for HKK in my initial post here. HKK boasts a compelling dining experience from traditional Chinese dishes to high-end quality courses of fine calibre. Opened in 2012, it was the latest of the Hakkasan Group but was very quick to impress, with its culinary string of tasting courses. Today is Chinese New Year’s Eve, a day of festivity and culinary celebrations. HKK has geared up a tailored set menu for the new year inclusive of its famous Peking duck.

The room is lit with warm red lighting and highlighted with subtle Chinese New Year decorations. Described as innovative, their menu consists of a 8 course tasting menu priced at £88. A vegetarian set menu is also available with more information on their website.

The meal:

HKK (3 of 48)
Preparation of the Prosperity platter
HKK (7 of 48)
The first course to commence the 8 course feast

To begin with you’re served the ‘prosperity platter’, prepared by the waiters in front of you. The bowl consists of glass noodles, pomegranate, pomelo, crispy salmon skin and other constituents. They say ‘the higher you toss the prosperity platter with your chopsticks, the better your luck and happiness will be for the year ahead. The salad made a light starter, giving an insight into what’s to come for the evening.

HKK (11 of 48)
Crispy Pork Belly
HKK (10 of 48)
Letter wrapped oyster rolls with black moss

Alongside the salad bowl, lettuce wrapped oyster rolls and pork belly are served together to complete the full starters course.

HKK (13 of 48)
Tai Ji supreme seafood soup

The two soup course consists of crab meat and kumquat and a vegetarian ‘shark fin’ counterpart. The soup are cleverly separated into the symbol of the Yin Yang by its colours, representing peace and togetherness. The making of shark fin soup is a controversial one, in which many restaurants do not serve it given the ethical issues surrounding it. The vegetarian shark fin soup at HKK is something similar to a soy based mushroom broth. The soup here is very intricately made, with each mouthful as flavourful as the other.

HKK (14 of 48)
Yin to the Yang
HKK (18 of 48)
Dim Sum Trilogy

Presentation was also the key feature here resulting in a very theatrical display. The dim-sum becomes a bit of a plaything, using the paintbrush as an intermediary between the soy sauce dip and the dumplings. The turnip pastry was finely constructed and delicate, made with layers upon layers of pastry. Following traditions, eating dumplings on Chinese New Year is thought to bring good luck. Filled with dover sole, foie gras and black truffle, a very memorable dish for all.

HKK (19 of 48)
Picturesque
HKK (23 of 48)
Roasted Cherry Wood Peking Duck
HKK (25 of 48)
A highly recommended dish for all

Considered a very luxurious dish in the past, it was made for scholars and a dish of grandeur and royalty. Both tender and crispy parts of the duck are provided for extra exquisite touch. Instructed by the chef to eat this chronologically starting with the skin dipped in sugar and hoisin sauce, duck breast, and lastly the pancake. There is a subtle sweet taste to the duck, with a mount of brown sugar as an available dip. This adds to the already aromatic taste of finely roasted duck, its tender and moist flesh.

HKK (28 of 48)
A very complex process to making the Cherry Wood Peking Duck, involving multiple layers of preparation
HKK (35 of 48)
Lobster with light noodles and XO sauce

Second main to the 8 part course were the lobster noodles. Representing unity and longevity they’re nicknamed the ‘sea dragon’, thought to bring good fortune per Confucius sayings.

First impression would lead you to believe the portion is rather small but the egg noodles are delicately wrapped and rolled into a bundle. The lobster meat is generously served with high quality flavouring and in XO sauce.

HKK (36 of 48)
The intersection of their lobster claw as per serving
HKK (37 of 48)
Sichuan mala lamb

Sichuan mala lamb was the surprise of the evening. Stemmed from arabic origins and developed with a sichuan twist. Complemented alongside sticky jasmine rice cakes was nice touch to end the mains of the evening.

HKK (39 of 48)
Vanilla and mandarin dumpling, osmanthus, and orange infusion

The desserts I had last time at HKK were good, but did not impress. The vanilla and mandarin dumplings were aromatic in nature and melted in your mouth. Cold but delicate shell outlined around a smooth ice-creamy texture inside. HKK’s artistic approach to its dishes continue with a teapot osmanthus infusion. A light and refreshing dessert to finish off with.

HKK (41 of 48)
The dessert is topped up with cold orange and osmanthus tea
HKK (44 of 48)
Green apple parfait, cardamom cake and crispy apple noodle

The last dessert, sweet yet sour. It dessert name in Chinese represents the meaning of peace, which is taken here in so many different forms. A traditional ingredient for the Chinese during this time of year, the green apple. Cubes of spongy cardamom cake and crisp apple noodles gave the extra kick to complete the highly theatrical affair.

HKK (45 of 48)
Petite fours… became petite eight. The pandan choux is a notable favourite.

Service: At the end of the meal, you get given the menu with the chef’s stamp on it handed out personally by the chef. 12.5% service charge

Bits and bobs:

  • It’s quite a walk from Liverpool Street, plan your route.

Price: ££££

Click to add a blog post for HKK on Zomato
Square Meal

Yauatcha City

Yauatcha (7 of 35)
The architecture shows it all off here!
History and Background:

Meal courtesy of Yauatcha City. The dim sum at Yauatcha represents an oasis of calm and beauty within the vibrant city of London. Opened in 2004, it’s no stranger to the Chinese dining scene, with a recent new opening of its second branch within The City (20th May 2015), Liverpool Street. Below, a video from the Yauatcha website, a video that best represents the wealth of expertise and reputation Yauatcha currently holds in the restaurant and food industry.

Yauatcha Kitchen from Touchfood on Vimeo.

Yauatcha’s dim sum teahouse offers all day luxurious dim sum and other quality chinese dishes. Set in the heart of the City, it is perfectly within reach for city workers and residents alike.

Yauatcha (1 of 35)
A door step away from one of the many multinational companies around
I was here for the launch of Supreme Saturdays set menu, a set course perfect for catch-ups and casual dining but in an electric atmosphere. The launch of this menu was a highly media-friendly affair, with big name instagrammers and journalists all eagerly awaiting to try the new set menu. (I came here with my colleagues Alex and Liam.) Cantonese dishes flood the menu, with influences from all parts of China slightly altered with a modern touch. The traditional tastes remain.

Renowned for their 38 types of tea, their cocktails and their patisserie. See this post for a more inclusive summary of what their patisseries have to offer.

The meal: [Supreme Saturday Set Menu £49]

Yauatcha (3 of 35)
Pre-lunch cocktails [from Thea Martini, Lychee Martini, Kumquatcha]
Knowing how cold England can actually get for end of August –  it was surprisingly, pretty good weather on the Saturday! Cocktails can be enjoyed by outside on the terrace, when full on a sunny day, the relaxing and chill environment makes it perfect for catch ups and small talk. The Lychee Martini was most impressive, a Hakkasan signature made of Belvedere vodka, lychee liquer, lychee juice and fresh lime. So refreshing!

Yauatcha (10 of 35)
Steamed Dim Sum Platter

Yauatcha (12 of 35)
Amazing colours and texture at Yauatcha City
I naturally have high expectations for Yauatcha (and the Hakkasan Group in general), since, as a regular visitor the reason I keep coming back is due to the fine quality of dim sum offered at a continuously high level. I was slightly concerned when I saw how much liquid had settled down at the bottom of the dim sum plate (pictured above), presumably from the condensation from having the lid closed for a certain amount of time. However, I was not disappointed, the dim sum platter was steamed very well! The dumpling skin thin but strong enough to hold the filling and all the juices with it too.

The dim sum platter is made of pork and prawn shui mai, har gau, black pepper and wagyu beef dumpling, vegetable and truffle wrap, crystal dumpling wrap with pumpkin with pine nut, and wild mushroom dumpling. Genius!

Yauatcha (18 of 35)
Fried Dim Sum Platter
The fried dim sum was also a very delicious affair. The lobster roll can get pretty crumbly but crumbly is good, especially when the filling was surprisingly meaty inside. The platter consists of venison pull, mushroom spring roll, lobster roll and sesame prawn toast.

Yauatcha (22 of 35)
Truffle Pork Belly Rib

Yauatcha (23 of 35)
Lobster Vermicelli Pot

Yauatcha (25 of 35)
Heaven on a plate – the truffle aroma can be smelt without even eating it!
The mains come with a pot of steamed rice too. You will have a choice of two between three, the fois gras diced beef, truffled pork belly rib and lobster vermicelli pot. We opted for the truffle pork belly rib and lobster vermicelli pot. The pork was braised very well and the generous amount of mushroom and truffle made this my favourite dish of the set.

Yauatcha (28 of 35)
My own plate of deliciousness

Yauatcha (29 of 35)
Always in a Chinese meal must you have some veg – Chinese gai lan

Yauatcha (30 of 35)
The Chocolate Pebble!

Yauatcha (31 of 35)
Lemon tart
You can’t leave Yauatcha without desserts, their very well presented desserts can often be too rich for me, but the visual presentation captivates all. The Chocolate Pebble, an alto el sol single origin dark chocolate brownie topped by caramelised white chocolate. The lemon tart was not as strong in lemon flavour as I would have liked, but when theres sesame cremeux and Matcha creme in the equation, that can be forgiven!

Yauatcha (33 of 35)
Passion Fruit Mango Dome

Yauatcha (35 of 35)
Post meal cocktails!
Desserts, cocktails and also tea at Yauatcha are highly recommended, I won’t go into it too much here as there is a separate post for this.

Service: The waiters here have a breadth of knowledge, ask them anything and they’ll recommend you dishes suited to your taste buds!

Bits and bobs

  • A great selection of teas, some are slightly pricier than others but their teas are a must try!

Price: ££

Click to add a blog post for Yauatcha on Zomato

Square Meal

HKK

HKK (1 of 45)
eatwithsteph tries HKK, situated between Shoreditch and Liverpool Street, part of the Hakkasan Group

HKK (17 of 45)
The chef preparing our Peking Duck, where the room revolves around a rectangular centered table.
Background and history:

awarded a Michelin star in September 2013

HKK boasts a compelling dining experience from traditional Chinese dishes to high-end quality courses of fine calibre. Opened in 2012, it was the latest of the Hakkasan Group but was very quick to impress, with its culinary string of tasting courses.

Differentiating itself from the other Michelin restaurants, with social media threads of impressive food photography, I’m a fan of its Instagram page! Follow HKK on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

A very corporate feel upon arrival, you instantly enter a spacious, sparse, square room decorated with subtle sophistication.

Described as innovative, their menu consists of a 12 course tasting menu priced at £98. There is also a vegetarian option, but unfortunately that’s all there is to the dinner menus, tasting menus are typically rigid in nature.

The meal:

HKK (3 of 45)
Non alcoholic Cocktails £7.00
Eden – grapes, rose syrup, lychee juice and soda water
Green Nile – kiwi, ginger, coriander, lychee and apple juice

HKK (5 of 45)
Marinated Berkshire Pork and Osmanthus Wine Jelly (黑魚子醬水晶肴肉)
Wasn’t too sure of this starter course, since I’m not a fan of gelatine, but you can’t doubt its presentation.  Constituents are roasted bacon (joint), water chestnut, osmanthus wine, caviars, coriander and fish gelatine with Goji berry sauce.

HKK (8 of 45)
Dim Sum Trilogy (斋点心三部曲)
Presentation was the key feature here, making this course look like something from an art gallery. The dim-sum becomes a bit of a plaything, using the paintbrush as an intermediary between the soy sauce dip and the dumplings, I gave up and just used my chopsticks the normal way! The turnip pastry was so finely constructed and delicate. Was pretty reluctant to squeeze the puff pastry between my chopsticks.

HKK (13 of 45)
King crab puff; Chicken and truffle dumpling; Prawn and Goji berry dumpling;

HKK (14 of 45)
HKK Supreme seafood soup (桂花鱼米野菌汤)

HKK (16 of 45)
Scampi (New Zealand), Chilean sea bass, shiitake mushroom and Italian black truffle

HKK (19 of 45)
Cherry wood-roasted Peking duck (樱桃果木北京填鴨)
Instructed by the chef to eat this chronologically starting with the skin dipped in sugar and hoisin sauce, duck breast, and lastly the pancake. There is a subtle sweet taste to the duck, given that there is a small hill of what I think is sugar, mounted between the Peking duck skin and pancake. This adds to the already aromatic taste of finely roasted duck, its tender and moist flesh.

HKK (20 of 45)
Cut with professionalism, soft to the core, with crispy skin lining

HKK (24 of 45)
Garlic shoot, lily bulb and water chestnut in XO Sauce ( XO酱百合马蹄炒蒜心)

HKK (25 of 45)
Of course, a second shot of this is needed, given the size of the plate!

HKK (27 of 45)
Australian green abalone in royal sauce served with egg noodle (鲍鱼汁捞面)

HKK (29 of 45)
One of my favourite dishes of the night!
Certain people see abalone as a Cantonese delicacy, prices can exceed expectations in Hong Kong, and its no surprise that its made its way into HKK menus. The abalone came soft and tender, and accompanied well with egg noodle in black truffle ‘royal’ sauce.

HKK (30 of 45)
Seared Wagyu beef with coffee barbeque sauce (日本神牛白露荀)

HKK (33 of 45)
Probably one of the plainer dishes of the night, wagyu beef, something that’s becoming more mainstream and common, despite it being a ‘specialty’

HKK (36 of 45)
Spiced cumin Rhug farm organic lamb (鼔油皇子然羊粒)
Of course we can’t forget about the pre-desserts and desserts can we? I love lychee, you can probably tell by mine and Daisy’s choice of cocktails. Pre-dessert though, is something that is meant to be a cleansing palette, but tastes came out too strong, and was almost like a really sweet smoothie.

HKK (39 of 45)
Passion fruit jelly and lychee tapioca served with Lychee milk sorbet

HKK (41 of 45)
Chocolate and line mousse served with sesame ice-cream

HKK (42 of 45)
and that’s my 10 courses!
Service: The waiters are pretty quick in getting the plates out to you, observant as to when you finish your meal. At the end of the meal, you get given the menu with the chef’s stamp on it handed out personally by the chef. 12.5% service charge

Bits and bobs:

  • If you’re going for longer course menus like the 15 course, I highly recommend you start your dinner early, say 6, otherwise it will take you hours
  • It’s quite a walk from Liverpool Street, plan your route.

Price: ££££

Click to add a blog post for HKK on Zomato
Square Meal

Duck and Waffle

Go at dawn, go at dusk, it’s open 24/7!

 

Duck & Waffle (85429), London Reservations

History and background:

Duck and Waffle is situated on the 40th floor of the Heron tower (the third tallest building in the UK). As UK’s highest restaurant, it also boasts a 24 hour opening, offering breakfast, brunch, an all day menu and late night.

It is a fairly new restaurant, having opened in the summer of 2012, however it has garnered worldwide attraction. (Mostly Asian diners I must say.) 

The floor-to-ceiling windows designed by CetraRuddy architects have been an a major feature to the dining experience, which overlook the Gherkin and the City’s financial district.

Duck and Waffle takes fine dining to new heights

 The meal: 

Below is the foie gras crème brûlée is served with butter roasted brioche, and Scottish lobster. This dish, is an absolute beauty. I wasn’t a big fan of foie gras before this, but I loved it. The texture was just right, foie gras creamy, spread over brioche, just melts

foie gras crème brûlée £16.00

Below we have the bacon wrapped dates which came with linguiça, manchego, watercress salad.

Linguiça is smoke cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika, (Portuguese dish). Manchego is a  cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the manchega breed, (and yes these are Wikipedia definitions).

These were okay, just slightly oily. The creamy cheese were a good addition.

DSC03861_1
bacon wrapped dates £9.00

Here we have the Duck and Waffle, the Duck and Waffle. This time round I don’t think I liked it as much to be honest. The crispy duck gets smaller and smaller each time I get it..

The signature dish

This dish consists of crispy leg confit, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup. Duck egg is chewier than usual chicken eggs, they’re more elastic, maple syrup and waffle too, were standard.

DSC03871_2
duck & waffle £.17.00
whole roasted shropshire chicken £35.00

Above and below, by far the best dish hands down. Loved it so much I would probably come here by myself and order just this.

It is a whole chicken with the supplements ratte potatoes, wild mushrooms and truffle. It is a 40 minute wait for them to roast the chicken though, so don’t order this if you don’t have time. It is also for 4 people.

Highly recommended dish

Desserts were okay, I couldn’t enjoy it because I was too full from the chicken..

Torrejas (Hungarian dish) comes with maple caramel apples, and cinnamon icecream. Very sweet, verrryy sweet.

torrejas (serves two) £11.00

Service: It’s always been on a good level, there’s a coat rack to take the heavy load off of you, and they serve you with full attention. You do pay 12.5% service charge, and if there is a cancellation 24 hours before a booking you may have to pay a discretionary charge..

Bits and bobs: 

  • Extensive cocktail menu, there is a bar area
  • Private dining in a separate room is available
  • Executive and head chefs Daniel Doherty and Tom Cenci were graduates from Michelin star 1 Lombard Street.
  • Daniel Doherty’s signature dishes are the Foie Gras Creme Brulee, and fan-favourite Spicy Ox Cheek. (I have not had that yet)
  • Booking in advance is recommended, not to mention hard to park near, since it’s bang in the middle of corporate buildings.
  • Can I also say, that Tom Cenci has retweeted and liked my food photos on Instagram *fan moment*
  • **UPDATE** Tom Cenci and Dan Doherty read this review!! #starstruck #foodstruck

Price: ££

(£113.05 for three)

Duck & Waffle on Urbanspoon

Square Meal