There is brunch and then there is BRUNCH at Hakkasan - Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
I love brunch. I enjoy trying it and analysing it, seeing what makes it work and what doesn't. It gives me tremendous pleasure sharing tehse thoughts with restaurants and the public. It is therefore, notwithstanding the bubbly that flows freely, a cerebral experience because the brain is always working. It does not mean to say my mind is never open to an experience where emotion comes to the fore. I recently tried the Friday brunch at Hakkasan housed at Emirates Palace, a restaurant that over the years has set the standard for Chinese cuisine in the city. Would this be another cerebral afternoon or would I be surprised on another level?
An Executive Chef and a Head Sommelier on the floor
Executive Chef Lee Kok Hua is probably one of the, to use my 11 year old's word, funnest chefs I have met. His smile is the first thing you see as you approach him or vice versa. But there is so much more to him. His experience at top restaurants around the globe as well as here in the UAE has given him a perspective and an understanding of the market that few Asian chefs in the city have. The former head Chef of the year as chosen by Caterer Middle East is as dedicated and passionate as he is fun. Having him on the floor at brunch creates a sense of excellence and reassures the guest. But don't be surprised by his warmth. This chef is all heart.
|Roasted duck lettuce wrap|
Drinks, drinks, drinks
The evocation of emotion
Emotions have a way of being triggered. It can be a song, a word, a smell or taste. I spent three years in China, two in the poorest part of China, Henan and a year in Shanghai, still my favourite city in the world. Every city claims to have the old and new. Shanghai is one of those that claims it and it is actually true!
The Foie gras and crab xiao long bao takes me to the streets, not to the fancy streets of Pudong or Puxi, but to their backyard streets, their little restaurants. The crab xiao long bao's combination with the rice vinegar stirs me deep down. But you see, the memories were already evoked when I walked in. It is deeper than kitschy iconography. There are no qipao worn by staff here. No lanterns hanging from the ceiling. The reminders are in the air. You feel them in Hakkasan. If you have lived in China, you are likely to understand what I am writing. China.
|Foie gras and crab xiao long bao|
|Stir fry rib eye beef|
|Wok fried wild prawn|
+971 2 690 7999
Friday Brunch 12pm-4pm
318AED Non-alcoholic beverages
438AED Punch, house spirits, wine, beer
678AED NV Louis Roederer Brut or NV Perrier Jouet Blason Brut Rosé, wine, beer, spirits.