Hakkasan Abu Dhabi: The Esquire Review
Hakkasan is the now world-famous Cantonese Michelin-starred restaurant chain led by executive Chef Tong Chee Hwee.
He opened the doors of the first Hakkasan in London more than 17-years ago, and since then – under the watchful gaze of International Executive Chef Ho Chee Boon - the brand has spread across the United States (including San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles), as well as the rest of the world; Hakkasan has a locations in Mumbai, Shanghai, Jakarta, Saudi Arabia, as well as two here in the UAE.
While the Dubai branch recently closed its doors at Emirates Towers to re-open at The Atlantis Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah, the Abu Dhabi location remains steadfast at the city’s glitziest hotel – The Emirates Palace.
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi: what’s the vibe?
Hakkasans the world over have a similar look and feel, which we’re going to call ‘modern Asian chic’ because we don’t know a great deal about interior decorating.
Expect the brand’s signature blue hue across just about everything, including handcrafted and embroidered furniture and a huge marble bar. You also get the brand’s trademark wooden lattice work, that divides the dining room (meaning you get the same ambience on both busy and slow days).
The bar gets busy on weekends; full of Abu Dhabi locals and hotel guests sampling the bar’s large drinks menu. Most recently, Hakkasan unveiled an outdoor terrace with views across the city’s skyline which, when coupled with excellent weather in the cooler months, makes for a stellar location to eat and drink.
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi: how’s the food?
The London flagship restaurant in Mayfair has earned itself a Michelin star, and as all food is overseen by Chef Ho, you can expect similar standards over here.
Dishes are authentic and unconventional at the same time, a testament to Hakkasan’s dedication to staying true to its Cantonese routes (while also experimenting with a variety of flavours and ingredients).
For example, Dim Sum come in neat little packages but are stuffed with the likes of lobster and seabass, garnished with gold leaf lychee and black truffle. Abalone is served alongside a mango salad, with a lemongrass dressing (which, trust us, tastes far better than it sounds).
The menu is quite large – and the staff are very good at walking diners through each dish – but you could probably pick and choose each dish at random and end up with a nice assortment of dishes
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi: what’s the verdict?
Interestingly enough, the same man who founded Hakkasan also launched the mass-market noodle shop that is Wagamamas. And while that makes for an interesting comparison (they are not reany wayn anyway alike), what both do very well is ensure standards are kept across every restaurant, across every city in the world.
That’s no more apparent than at Hakkasan’s Abu Dhabi branch. You get stellar service, food, drinks and now – thanks to the outdoor terrace – a stellar view. What’s not to like?
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi: where is it?
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi is hidden within the labyrinth that is Emirates Palace (we got lost trying to find it) in Abu Dhabi.
For more information, go to hakkasan.com