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Hakkasan can seat 152 people, but you wouldn’t know it. Walking through the restaurants dark slate corridor, whittled wooden screens provide privacy within the space, almost like a maze of semi-private dining areas. This is perfect for the UAE market, but the design reflects its Cantonese roots.

The restaurant is dark, save for lighting behind the walls and electric blue illuminating the bar area. This gives the otherwise traditional decor a very modern twist. Hakkasan is a brand that’s known globally for its iconic menu and opulent style. We’re told that the staff are given 40-minutes of training every day, and it certainly shows. We quizzed the barman on his drinks, and he enthusiastically took us on a world tour of various beverages. The waitress was similarly knowledgeable about the menu.

We were there to try the Taste of Hakkasan menu which, as the name suggests, is a tasting menu. For the reasonable price of AED188, you can work your way through four courses along with a glass of house red or white. We opted for the dim sum selection to start. As expected for restaurant that specialises in oriental cuisine, it was delicious. The soup course was a bit of a non-event – chicken broth with a few vegetables wasn’t quite what we expected – but it was the only low point in an otherwise exceptional meal. The highlight of the menu is the choice of mains. With options like braised chicken clay pot with mushrooms and tofu, or stir fried tiger prawn with pineapple in spicy dried shrimp sauce, the dishes are some of Hakkasan’s finest.

Often with Chinese restaurants, the dessert is a let-down, but not here. We highly recommend sharing a fruit platter and ice cream – the ice creams are made in-house and come in strong flavours such as salted caramel, while the platter is full of beautifully presented fruits. We’re already planning our return.

Three dishes to try:

Chef’s selection of steamed dim sum
This tasting portion of hot dim sum is our top pick from the menu.

Osmanthus wagyu beef rib eye
It costs an extra AED60 to have the wagyu for main, but it’s worth it. The strips are tender and cooked in a rich sauce.

Exotic fruit platter
We recommend ordering this along with the ice cream and sharing with a friend. There a great selection of fruits – and the presentation is very Instagrammable.

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