Excellent Chinese cuisine in the Emirates Palace hotel 5 Reviews
The venue: A stylish Chinese restaurant with a special menu for Ramadan.
Iftar: A four-course set menu will be served. It will start with traditional laban and dates, before signature dishes including crispy duck salad, the Hakka steamed dim sum platter and salt and pepper squid. For the main course there will be stir-fried Chilean sea bass with mushroom and king soya sauce, wok-fried beef rib-eye and tofu and aubergine clay pot in black bean sauce. To finish, there will be umm ali or date ice cream. Dhs290 per person.
Suhoor: Not available.
Bookings accepted: Yes. Offer throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan. Timings: Until midnight (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
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We venture through the corridors of Emirates Palace and arrive at what looks like the gateway to another world. Entering Hakkasan, the opulent traditionalism of the palace transforms into a rich, dark, almost mysterious, Asian-inspired setting.
We’re led around the maze of screens and walls to our comfortable, roomy table. Our waiter is over within minutes to explain the menu – which is fairly straightforward, although the variety could easily be overwhelming. He suggests an assortment of appetisers and some of their popular entrees, and advises that we order rice with one and noodles with the other.
Looking at the menu, we decide to take his advice and try several different dishes. For appetisers, it seems we must try the fried dim sum as it’s apparently the most popular of the starters. We also go for the foie gras prawn, because it sounds irresistible.
In the meantime we enjoy our beverages – well taken care of by our (now two) attentive servers. What’s great about the layout of Hakkasan is that the tables are private without being too secluded. We can enjoy
and appreciate the excitement of a restaurant without being able to hear anyone on the other tables.
The appetisers arrive within a few minutes. The fried dim sum is just as delicious as we expected, but the highlight is the foie gras prawn. Our waiter warns us to be careful – and rightfully so. As we bite into this
work of art, the perfectly cooked prawn explodes and a delicious hot oil spills out. It’s flavourful and unusual, and has quite a kick.
For our mains, we choose the Szechuan-style braised wagyu beef cheek and the spicy wild prawn curry, with hand-pulled noodles and jasmine rice on the side. The plates arrive quickly and are piping hot. They are smaller than we expected, although we soon realise that their richness would make them more than filling.
Each bite is better than the next. The curry is perfectly spicy and clearly flavoured with spices and natural ingredients as it isn’t heavy or greasy. The beef, however, is the real star: it’s so tender it almost melts in the mouth. The sauce is sweet but not overpowering and, paired with the chewy, fresh noodles, it’s a dream.
We’re feeling so full and happy we can’t even look at the dessert menu, so we ask for the bill. It’s delivered quickly and, as anticipated, it’s steep – but worth it for the quality of the food, the sophistication of the venue and the superb service.
Overall, the experience was nothing short of delightful. We would come back here in an instant – when we can afford it, of course.
The bill (for two)
Fried dim sum Dhs95
Foie gras prawn Dhs75
Hand-pulled noodles Dhs65
Jasmine rice Dhs15
Spicy wild prawn curry Dhs120
Braised wagyu beef cheek
Total (excl. service) Dhs530
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
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