Brunch review: Hakkasan
As soon as we walk through the doors of Hakkasan that Friday brunch feeling hits us, tables of guests already filling the restaurant, a mix of friends, families and couples all busily catching up trying to chatter over the slightly loud but vibrant sounds of the resident DJ’s beats. Recently refurbished in dark wood and soft greens with beautifully carved divides, Hakkasan delivers almost hiding spaces for diners to enjoy a more private experience.
Absolutely ravenous, we order one of the many delightful drinks on offer for the brunch package and ask our waiter to start sending out the Cantonese feast. Starters are shared, along with a round of dim sum, while mains are ordered per person. Small plates are placed on the table, including chilli and pepper crispy chicken, stir-fried vegetable and pine nut lettuce wraps, and a Hakkasan classic, Peking duck. Surprisingly, the vegetable stir-fry is eaten first – we fill the little lettuce cups up so much that spoonfuls of the delicious veggies are now falling to the table while we still try to pile on more before messily chomping down.
The crispy chicken doesn’t wow us, but the dipping sauce is spicy and we love it. We’re not huge fans of fat on meat so the Peking duck pancakes are a challenge to put together with chopsticks. Finally giving up and using our hands to pull apart, we prepare series of generous wraps and they are a joy, especially dipped in the rich plum sauce.
Colourful parcels stack in front of us in small steamed baskets, the smell of cooked meat getting us excited. As soon as the baked venison puff is put down , we know exactly where we’re starting this dim sum feast, with its flaky, buttery pastry wrapped around the tender meat.
Overly full already, we order mains of pan-fried black cod and the tofu clay pot, both served with perfectly fluffy rice. The XO sauce on the cod is superb – fnely chopped chilli, garlic and onion create this sticky sauce which makes the salty fish an absolute dream.
For a swish Chinese brunch, this is still among the top choices in town.
This new brunch might sound meaty, but you can make it vegetarian-friendly. Steamed basket after basket is waiting for you to go in and scoff veggie delights to your heart’s content. Save the smallest amount of room for the selection of desserts that are bought over to the table in a tower of art. Top tip, the mango sorbet is worth skipping one of the dim sum for.
Where: Atlantis The Palm
When: Friday 12.30-4pm
Price: From AED328
Contact: +971 4 426 2626