Contemporary Chinese restaurant, HKK, part of the Hakkasan group, have launched a brand new eight-course tasting menu, inspired by the 24 terms of the ancient Chinese solar calendar.
Focusing on the solar terms Xiao Shu meaning ‘lesser heat’ and Da Shu meaning ‘great heat’ the menu uses seasonal ingredients that are at their very best during the summer season. ‘Heat’ refers to the outside temperature, as opposed to very spicy dishes, and the ingredients and flavours used throughout the menu are thought to revitalise the body’s energy and spirit during the hotter days.
Slap bang in the middle of Shoreditch and the City, the décor is calming and relaxing with beautiful design details. To describe it as a very very high end airport lounge (we’re talking Gold member) would do it a disservice, but you get the idea.
There’s a choice of meat or vegetarian menus, and the option to pair with either a wine flight or a non-alcoholic ‘Orchard’ flight.
Staff could not be more helpful. Attentive, informative but never pretentious, they were faultless and absolutely contributed to us leaving so wonderfully content.
The experience began with an inventive amuse bouche before getting started with our first proper course of char grilled octopus with a cinnamon sauce, paired with an ultra-dry, crystal clear sake. We were in love. Next up came a deconstructed truffle soup with spoon piled high with langoustine, goji berries and teeny tiny mushrooms, just add to taste.
The Dim Sum course departs from the wine flight and dips its toe into cocktails. A Japanese whisky based cocktail is prepared at the table, with a really interesting new product, similar to that of cold brew, but with Oolong tea. A fantastic mixer, HKK are one of the first restaurants to include it on their menu. The Dim Sum trilogy came complete with a brush and soy sauce for you to paint on your seasoning and included scallop and white asparagus, langoustine and bamboo shoot and our favourite – chicken and foie gras, which was painted with gold.
Of course, you couldn’t come to HKK without trying their signature cherry wood Peking Duck. Served at the table, the expert chef slices & dices the choice parts of the bird – juicy meat and crispy skin – before presenting it with a duck filled pancake and a slick of plum sauce and a shock of salad. Duck pancakes – but not as you know it.
The seafood returned with a seared scallop doused in a warm XO sauce before returning back to meat with the Wagyu Short Ribs – paired with one of our favourite wines of the night, from the Rhone Valley.
We had a brief pause before the first of our desserts arrived, a palette cleansing Watermelon Compress with minty sorbet. The lightly sparkling Moscato it was paired with was exquisite, really bringing out every layer of flavour from the dessert.
Ensuring we finished on a high, the ‘Longevity Peach’ was a playful dessert that will definitely put a smile on your face.
Whilst the wine pairing was fantastic, we were very impressed by the inventive juice based cocktails from the ‘Orchard’ menu. A fab option for those pregnant, or simply abstaining – you won’t feel like you’re missing out on booze with this lovely lot.
A slick performance from HKK, we’d 100% recommend this, so make sure you catch the special summer menu whilst it lasts.