Preview Of Hakkasan For Restaurant Week India 2012

Citibank Restaurant Week 2012 is a platform where food enthusiasts can enjoy well-crafted dishes by topmost chefs in the industry at a shockingly affordable price. Restaurants like Aurus, Otto Infinito, Yauatcha, Ellipsis and other renowned fine-dines have created a special menu for this gastronomic week. The concept is smart and simple- fixed menu, fixed rates and fixed days except it can backfire because lesser money equates lower quality. But then again, the restaurant’s reputation is the magnetic force for RWI.

I was much excited for the preview dinner at the Michelin star restaurant- Hakkasan. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about, especially because it would be my first meal there. While going through their menu that is priced at Rs. 1,000 for lunch and Rs. 1,200 for dinner exclusive of taxes, I realised a three course meal for that price, there, is quite commendable.

One can choose from a list of vegetarian and non vegetarian appetisers like Grilled Shanghai Dumplings, Chicken Sesame Balls, Radish Puffs, Crystals Dumplings and more. First to come on the table was the Xiao Xing Chicken Roll that was crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside and just the assurance I needed for RWI. The pumpkin puff looked really cute but was a bit too sweet for my liking. The best in the small eat category would have to be the crystal vegetarian dumplings that were literally transparent, giving us a peak into the green and orange veggies inside. The stickiness of the dumplings gave a good contrast to the crunchiness of the vegetables. A choice of sweet corn and hot and sour soup was available. My sweet corn soup with crab meat was delicious with subtle hints of crab and not too heavy on the palate.

The mains, however, let me down at some level only because everything tasted almost the same. The sweetness prevailed in each dish and I was expecting more variety. Options to choose from for the mains would be Sanpei Chicken Claypot which was juicy and flavourful, Steamed Red Snapper in Asam sauce (the only dish that was on a slightly spicier side), Tofu and Aubergine Claypot (the tofu was indeed of very good quality), Steamed Rawas that reminded me of fresh sea water but the home made chilli sauce that it was accompanied with, was a bit too sour and bitter on our tongues.

I had a mixed feeling and wasn’t sure if this meal really did it for me. But during RWI, the elegant ambiance and dining experience is definitely worth it.

When the desserts started coming in, my face lit up with the presentation and the options on the menu. The desserts definitely did it for me! The Chocolate Mouse Granita with masala chai flavoured crushed ice was divine! The White Chocolate Mousse and Passion Fruit Sorbet was a match made in heaven.

Verdict: RWI may be an answer to your culinary fantasies but could also turn out to be an anti-climax, let your taste buds and pockets decide that. It’s a debate between having a set menu at a fine-dine and a price that is as low as it can get. I would suggest you try at least going for one of their many restaurants to experience a high-end meal at low-end pricing!

The Restaurant Week will start from 24th September, 2012 and end on 30th September, 2012.

You can check out Restaurant Week India’s Facebook Page here and their website here.

- Sneha Mankani


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