It’s been a while since I thought about my first holiday without my family. I was seventeen when I hopped on a plane to Greece one summer in between studying for my A-levels, along with one of my best friends and her older sister. It was two weeks of partying, meeting folks from all around, and spending hours lounging on the beach.
The reason for my visit is to review Hakkasan’s new Ling Ling menu which is “inspired by the izakaya concept made popular in the East.” The Ling Ling experience is all about smaller Cantonese plates which take you from dinner to dancing.
This is made easy by the soundtrack that fills the restaurant, which is both relaxing and upbeat. It makes you feel like you could be sitting at a beach bar in Sydney or Italy. But in this case, the destination in mind is Mykonos where Hakkasan have recently opened an open-air restaurant and bar also called Ling Ling.
And if the music wasn’t enough to transport you to an outdoor bar on a Mediterranean island, the Ling Ling signature cocktail will help you on this journey. As I sipped it I had to ask myself, how does a drink do that? How does it transport you somewhere else, somewhere different? I’ve always loved Hakkasan’s cocktails but this gin-based cocktail is truly something else. It’s more than the elderflower, cranberry or any of the ingredients. It is the whole experience, the taste, the aroma that made me feel I could be sitting on a beach.
As for the rest of the set menu, there is a choice of Fish & Seafood, Meat & Seafood and Vegetarian. I opted for the meat and seafood menu because I wanted to try this trio of dim sum platter. Impeccable. Wonderful as ever.
I also wanted to try the jasmine tea smoked organic pork rib which was beautiful. The smoky flavour gave the ribs a fresh off the barbecue feel whilst the succulent, fall off the bone, meat indicated the care and time these ribs spent cooking.
For the main course I had the spicy prawn with lily bulb and almond with steamed jasmine rice, which I really enjoyed. But if you’re not keen on your food being too spicy, you might want to try the grilled Chilean seabass in honey or stir-fry black pepper vegetarian chicken from the other menus.
And as I finished my lunch and headed back up the stairs to Tottenham Court Road, it did cross my mind that perhaps it’s time I go back to Greece. After all if the Ling Ling menu is anything to go by, Hakkasan in Mykonos will be amazing.
This menu is available at Hakkasan Hanway and Hakkasan Mayfair until 31st August 2015.