Celebrate The Chinese New Year With The Specially Curated Menu At Hakkasan
While the New Year is kicked-off with a lot of fireworks and partying on January 1, the Chinese one is interestingly a celebration with a movable date in February. 2018 is being feted as the Year of The Dog – for the uninitiated, although each of the 12 animals (who find a place in the Chinese calendar) is supposed to get an outing and an honourable mention every 12 years, 2018 gains importance because it is the first year of the earth dog since 1958.
And, although the Chinese New Year is officially ushered in on February 16, it was celebrated in Mumbai with much pomp and ceremony a few days earlier. So, we find ourselves spending a leisurely evening at Hakkasan – along with the young Bajaj scion, Karyna Bajaj, who is on the board of KA Hospitality that run this eatery and Yauatcha in Mumbai. At the chef’s table of the well-appointed eatery in Bandra, the evening stretches ahead of us in a leisurely fashion, as under the able guidance of Chef Raymond Wong, the specially curated (and personalised for the evening in its presentation) menu – presents a series of innovative delicacies with his signature flourish. For those who love their food, these offerings will occupy a pride of place of Hakkasan’s special menu till March 4.
Since any celebration is enhanced by drinks, we raise a toast with a special cocktail. Named Happy Daisy, it captures the mood perfectly and is an ingenious combination of Tanqueray No.10 gin, Chartreuse Yellow, lemon, spiced mandarin jam, egg white and soda water.
Interestingly, the dishes have been curated using ingredients that are supposed to bring good luck to people. The dishes find their way to our table with Chef Wong walking up the short flight of stairs and presenting each ‘surprise’ with a flourish and a story. The platters of the evening includes fine fare like pork siew long bun, asparagus and edamame dumpling, stir-fry mushrooms with golden mantao for small eats (we ask for an encore of the mantao – a delicious small Chinese bread), wok-fried native lobster in black truffle sauce, baked Chilean sea bass with kumquat glaze, wok-fried vegetarian chicken (mock meat) in hakka spicy sauce and Szechwan noodles with shiitake mushrooms and chicken for the mains. And for your sweet tooth – and even those who do not have one – was the grand finale of the evening – the Golden Fortune dessert with ginger caramel, roasted macadamia and lemongrass.
After a few hours of stimulating conversation and scintillating food, we prepare to leave. But not before we tie ‘our wishes’ – amidst a host of others, hoping that all will come true and all will be well with our worlds. And as we step out – and into our vehicle – just a little bit before midnight, we raise a toast, mentally, to the Year of the Dog that is soon to begin wishing all a great year ahead!