Brunch review: Hakka Brunch at Hakkasan Abu Dhabi

A stunning feast at the Chinese hotspot at Emirates Palace 

Brunch review: Hakka Brunch at Hakkasan Abu Dhabi
Brunch review: Hakka Brunch at Hakkasan Abu Dhabi Image #2

It’s easy to run out of superlatives when it comes to Hakkasan. In a word, it’s exquisite – from the stunning venue with its impressive outdoor terrace overlooking the city skyline, to the chilled ambiance, top service and brilliant food, there’s nothing about the venue we don’t like. We’ve tried to find fault, but nothing comes to mind with this brunch.

We dress up to match the sophisticated setting, get a few selfies and then take our seats outdoors in the amazing weather, eagerly awaiting a feast. We’re still taking pictures of Emirates Palace and the skyscrapers in the distance when food starts arriving at the table.

We start with the crab and sweetcorn soup which is delicate and has perfectly balanced flavours. Before we know it, two more dishes arrive at the table, do-it-yourself Peking duck pancakes and fried soft shell crab. The duck is a real treat, with golden, crispy skin and succulent meat. We wrap it all up in delicate pancakes with sliced cucumber and a dollop of plum sauce. It’s divine. We could eat a hundred of these. The soft shell crab is equally wonderful. Coated in crispy-fried chicken floss, the crisp seafood is a real treat and we clear the whole lot with ease.

Next, arriving one by one to the table, a huge selection of dim sum, dumplings and other bite-sized treats are delivered, each more picturesque than the last. We eagerly tuck in to the lot and nothing disappoints, although some test our chopstick skills to the max. We’re especially impressed with the spicy Szechuan style wontons, crystal wagyu dumpling, wagyu beef truffle puff and the outstanding, orb-shaped crispy prawn dumplings. Every one of them is a delight.

At this point we’re already getting full and decide to put on the breaks, enjoying the weather for a spell before the mains arrive.

Once room is made, rest is taken and appetites restored, we’re back in business.

A trio of dishes are delivered, including steamed wild prawns in a homemade chilli sauce, stir-fried pepper rib-eye beef and stir-fried sugar snap peas, cloud ear mushrooms and ginger.

The beef is impressively tender, coated in a thick, smoky, pepper sauce and we truly can’t get enough of it. The massive prawns, wrapped in crispy noodles are also a real treat. The mains, like the starters, are a hit.

We somehow find some room, right at the bottom of our stomachs to try the chef’s selection of bite-sized desserts.

The dainty bites are lovely but we have to admit defeat after one or two.

Everything here is exceptional and it’s one of the best brunch experiences we’ve ever had in the capital. Friday afternoon at Hakkasan is running Zuma close as the best fine-dining Friday afternoon around.
Dhs318 (soft drinks), Dhs438 (house beverages), Dhs638 (premium beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Emirates Palace, Corniche West (02 690 7739).

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