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.

Flash forward to many years later and now with a child of my own and a business, sophistication springs to mind as I walk down the stairs and into Hakkasan Hanway’s beautiful restaurant.
Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

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.

Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

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.

Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

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.

Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

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.

Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

For all of the menus, the meal ends with a selection of macarons which I enjoyed – with a soya flat white to accompany.
Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

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.

Hakkasan Hanway Ling Ling Menu

This menu is available at Hakkasan Hanway and Hakkasan Mayfair until 31st August 2015.

Chelsea Girl

Last week I met up with a friend to try Hakkasan’s Dim Sum Sunday winter menu. The afternoon was wonderful and a chance for two busy mummies to catch up. If there was one thing I took away from it, apart from the memories of a very delicious and fantastic menu, it is how important a little me-time is, especially with girlfriends.

Hakkasan was busy on a Sunday afternoon, buzzing with a mixed crowd of couples, friends in pairs or in groups. Glasses of Champagne were being delivered on trays and the hum of chatter in this beautifully designed restaurant felt good as I made my way to the table where my friend was waiting for me.

We looked at the Dim Sum menu which is available from 12pm until 5pm and picked the signature set menu which included six courses, a cocktail to start with, a bottle of Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV Champagne for two people to share (the whole menu is based on two people sharing) and a dinner cocktail.

To start with, my friend had the Winter Sour, which included apricot, gingerbread, Rittenhouse 100 rye whiskey, lemon, nutmeg and Elumakule Tiki bitters. Perfect for someone who was coming down with a slight cold. (I’m a firm believer in the powers of whiskey. 😉 )

Hakkasan - Dim Sum Sundays

I had the Morello Collins, which included cherry, almond, Tanqueray No. Ten gin, lemon, soda and Peychaud’s bitters. A delicious start to the menu!

Hakkasan - Dim Sum Sundays

For our first course, we had the crispy duck salad …Hakkasan - Dim Sum Sundays

And for our steamed course, we had celery prawn dumplings, har gau, scallop shumai and Chinese chive dumplings with prawn and crabmeat. I loved the crispy duck starter and was looking forward to the rest of the menu but I could have easily spent the afternoon eating just dumplings. Just beautiful.

Hakkasan - Dim Sum Sundays

At some point, the Champagne arrived. I don’t think I had read the menu properly and had assumed that we were having a glass each. But the menu includes half a bottle per person, which really felt like a treat.

Hakkasan - Dim Sum Sundays

The fried and baked course included seafood glutinous seaweed roll, baked venison puff, crispy smoked duck and pumpkin puff, and golden radish crab meat pastry.

Hakkasan - Dim Sum SundaysAnd for our small eats dish, we ordered the salt and pepper squid whilst all along our Champagne glasses were being filled.

Hakkasan - Dim Sum Sundays

Finally for the main which we both loved, we chose the grilled Chilean sea bass with honey. Succulent and tasty, I’d never had sea bass like this.

Hakkasan - Dim Sum Sundays

Even though this menu is available until 5pm, we had easily passed this evening hour by the time we arrived at dessert. And whilst my friend and I were feeling very satisfied, in the name of research and because the menu also included a choice of desserts with  cocktail recommendations for each dish, we went along and ordered the apple tartin … Very lovely!
Hakkasan - Dim Sum Sundays

Chocolate and Kalamansi ganache which was heavenly and came with the Fitzrovia Plum cocktail, which included Suntory Hakushu 12yrs whisky, plum sake, limoncello, gingerbread and Burlesque bitters. You can see this cocktail next to the macarons below.

Hakkasan - Dim Sum Sundays

Hakkasan - Dim Sum Sundays

The cost of the signature menu is £58 with the Champagne or £48 with tea instead of bubbles, which is truly an amazing deal. Hakkasan’s cocktails are reason enough to visit this Michelin starred Chinese restaurant, not to mention the food and with Champagne thrown in? The whole afternoon was delectable and if you’re looking for an excuse for some quality time time with a favourite person, I would recommend trying this.

The menu is available at Hakkasan Hanway Place, 8 Hanway Place, London, W1T 1HD and I was invited to try the menu as a guest. But this truly hasn’t affected my opinion. Anyone who has experienced Hakkasan can testify to their sumptuous delights.

Last week I had a catch up meeting at Sake no Hana, a Japanese restaurant that is part of the Hakkasan Group and located on St. James’s Street.

Sake No HanaAs soon as I laid my eyes on the menu, I knew there was going to be some difficulty ordering. In one respect, I wanted to taste classic Japanese dishes just to see how well Sake no Hana could make them. Then again the specials looked so good, it would be a pity to miss out on them too. Thank goodness my lovely host and I were on the same page as we decided to share platters, so I could taste more of the menu.

Sake No HanaIn the end, we ordered Lobster Tempura. And do I really need to say much about this dish? It was as good as it sounds – actually, probably even better. I could have this everyday.

Sake No HanaFigs with aubergine, which were both light and very tasty; an ideal way of allowing summer to tingle the tastebuds.

Sake No HanaA wonderful sea bass dish …

Sake No HanaDuck with truffles …

Sake No HanaAn asparagus dish …

Sake No HanaAnd soft shell crab sushi, topped with mango slices.

Sake No Hana

Everything lived up to my expectations, which were set high thanks to my first impression when walking through the restaurant’s doors and standing on the escalators as I made my way up to the floor above and was greeted by friendly staff. The restaurant interior’s attention to detail is very much reflected in the dishes’ ingredients and method of cooking. And if you are looking for a Japanese restaurant that oozes both style and taste in Mayfair then I would head down to Sake no Hana if I were you. I’m sure you’ll have a delectable time too.

Sake no Hana, 23 St James’s St, London, Greater London SW1A 1HA