The hottest September day since God knows when means that I am particularly happy to be heading to Hakkasan Mayfair. Not just for a preview of the new Only At menus and cocktails, but also for the blessed luxury of perfect air-conditioning.
And I am not disappointed; going in Hakkasan is like passing the meat aisle at Sainsbury’s – a sudden and massive drop in temperature. I almost wish I had brought a jacket.
Even better, there’s a bar full of drinks with lots of ice in the glasses. So what’s it all about?
Well Hakkasan restaurants around the world are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the original Hakkasan in London’s Hanway Place by launching local Only At dishes and cocktails. Each will represent the individuality of each restaurant and its location, featuring dishes and cocktails exclusive to each restaurant using seasonal ingredients, whilst still using Hakkasan’s modern Chinese cooking techniques.
There are now eleven restaurants globally and the Only At Bruton menu features Pan fried pork belly in plum sauce, Stir-fry langoustine Szechuan style and Eight treasure crispy beancurd wrap with yam bean and shitake mushroom. These come out in small bite sizes, please do not say Asian tapas, and are excellent. Beautifully presented little bombs of taste. The full size dishes must be fantastic.
The cocktails feature a range of different spirits and flavours, I try the Twist and Stout which will be available on the Only At Bruton menu in which DiplomÃƒÂ¡tico Reserva rum, Grand Marnier, espresso coffee and a homemade stout syrup combine to create a very alternative espresso martini.
At Hanway Place they’ll be serving the Shuijing Fizz to celebrate the crystal anniversary using Mondino Amaro aperitif, Yuzu sake, Grand Marnier and Louis Roederer Champagne garnished with a sugar crystal. The Only At Hanway food menu comprises six dishes including Braised Royal king crab with rock chive, Wok-fried Scottish razor clam in XO sauce and Spicy Rhug Estate lamb cannon with kumquat,ginger and garlic.
The Only At menus also offer individual desserts, the Spiced mandarin will be available at Hanway Place with a toasted sesame crumble and single origin chocolate. Hakkasan Mayfair will serve a Rum baba with malted milk and roasted banana offering guests the chance to pipette the DiplomÃƒÂ¡tico Reserva rum into the cake themselves.
All eleven Hakkasan restaurants will feature a selection of small eats, main dishes, desserts and cocktails that will form the Only At collection. These menus will change twice a year and have a strong emphasis on seasonality, highlighting the originality of each Hakkasan restaurant around the world.
The Only At collection will be available at Hakkasan Hanway Place and Hakkasan Mayfair from Monday 26th September.