Bucket List No 15 – Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant

8 Sep

A couple of weekends ago, my mum and dad took our baby girl for the weekend so me and my husband had a whole, lovely, two days to do whatever we wanted. And it was the perfect opportunity to tick this one off my bucket list.

Being the cultural capital it is, London has a lot of Michelin starred restaurants to choose from. A lot of them, unsurprisingly, are French but we wanted something a bit different.

Hakkasan seemed to fit the bill. The website describes it as Cantonese cuisine and it has restaurants all over the world including Shanghai, which I took to be a very good sign. Most of my experience of Chinese food has been mediocre, gloopy takeaways, mostly while I was a student. They have their place but I doubt very much they are any kind of reflection of authentic Chinese cooking.

My next question was how expensive is this meal going to be? You might be surprised (I was) to find out that Michelin restaurants do some excellent deals. Set lunch menus seem to be the best way to get a brilliant value deal at some of the most exclusive London eateries.

Hakkasan is offering a few different menus – see below for more details and website – one of which is a “Taste of Hakkasan” dinner menu which will set you back a mere £35 per person. My husband, deciding I deserved to be spoilt, said we should just make the booking and order whatever we wanted. We made a reservation at Hanway Place in Soho and ended up going for the tasting menu because it looked amazing and gave us the chance to try lots of different dishes.

Seafood Dim Sum

Seafood Dim Sum

First to arrive at the table was a dim sum platter. I haven’t eaten dim sum since I had a dodgy batch while pregnant and this was hands down the best way to reintroduce them into my life. A selection of steaming seafood dim sum which I can’t remember exactly but there was definitely an amazing crab and prawn one in there.

Next was a long, rectangular plate with the mains. Peppered beef (hubby’s favourite), spicy prawn (my favourite), sea bass, duck, vegetables all served with pots of jasmine rice.

The main course...

The main course

We rounded the meal off with a choice each from the dessert menu. I got the macarons which were amazing but I was so stuffed by this point, I couldn’t finish them and I do not have a dainty appetite by any means.  My husband got some kind of chocolate rice krispie dessert which sounded gooey and rich but was really light and a new spin on the rice krispie cakes I made as a kid.

So pretty...

So pretty…

I got so excited by the food (and rightly so, it’s really good!) that I haven’t even mentioned the setting. It is all about drama at Hakkasan – all dark wood, low lighting, waitresses in red dresses and little sections cordoned off with wooden screens allowing you to sneak a peek around. It’s one of those super modern places where you can’t always tell how to open a door. While I was in the ladies, every woman who came in had problems first finding the cubicles and then figuring out how to get in, which I found amusing only because I’d had the same problem when I walked in. The best way I can describe it is very sleek, very glamorous and very Chinese.

Inside Hakkasan

Inside Hakkasan

I love food and I loved this whole experience. If Hakkasan is anything to go by, I can see why there is such a fuss over Michelin starred restaurants. I have a feeling this is going to be the start of a new habit which is going to make me a bit fat, but is definitely going to be a lot of fun.

Hakksan Hanway Place  www.hakkasan.com

Taste of Hakkasan Menu £35 per person; Dim Sum Sundays £58 per person; Signature £40 to £118 per person (vegetarian options also available)

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