You should care less if it's Golden, Silver or even Iron Maiden week, the food is always good at Hakkasan. Deeply flavoured soup, a steaming basket of colorful Dimsums, plates of noodles and stir fried meat; These are familiar visuals and aromas for the regulars, yet at every short intervals, out comes a limited edition spread on similar ceramics and manages to leave you awestruck.
The ambiance of the LingLing slash Bar area has always been that modern mix of Tron meets Inception, a very tasteful work of latticing architecture. All that snug sitting and groovy music translates into something like Hans Zimmer's score of Interstellar. You cannot relate to the visuals of Cooper's slingshot through the Black Hole's gravity if the entire sequence took place without that splendid music. Similarly, these elements play a hand in enhancing that gastronomic experience as time moves quickly through an hour to two and more.
A proper definition by Urban Dictionary:
Umame ~ A bullshit invited flavor that tv chefs pretend to be able to recognize, but can never define.
This particular meal classifies as a preview and was through an invite by the restaurant. The price of the meal per person is 2250/- with a minimum count of two people, thus 4500/- is the actual figure spent by a couple. That figure holds a middle ground between- "Okay, that's expensive." and "Oh! that's a steal for a place like Hakkasan." What makes this set meal a lot appealing is the Cocktail to Macaron length of dishes. You would be deeply mistaken if you thought that the Orchid ornamented glass of Golden Ice Tea was going to be an average mix of few grogs giving you a mild turbulence. As it turns out, it's a mashup of another dimension altogether; Belvedre Vodka, Tanqueray Gin, Resposado Tequila, Reserva Rum,Cointreau, Champagne, tea syrup and peach bitters, All that in one glass surely got to be volatile raised to the power of N-Nuke to be precise. Even Walter White would say "This is the danger, I'm not."
The spread sounds plenty on paper with some trendy ingredients like Sea-weed and Mock Meat. As the lids come off the bamboo baskets, a colorful arrangement of deep green, yellow and purple Dimsums greet the eyes. Crab, Seabass, Chicken and Lobster meat, they all bless the basket in different forms of dumpling. The Black Pepper Seabass Dumpling (in green) and the Smoked Chicken & Prawn Shumai (in yellow) tops the Non-Veg basket while the Crystal Dumpling (in white) and the Black Pepper (in green) again takes the crown in the Veg basket. Two of each of the dumpling in a basket of eight is indeed a decent count. Next to arrive was the Prawns & Scallop clear soup with cherry tomatoes, pak choi and shimenji mushrooms. There's something very earthy about clear soups and this white bowl is a testament to that statement. A light and umame (defined above) flavour keeps the Prawns, Scallops and Shimenji as the highlight of the bowl. Definitely, not a dish for someone looking to be pleased with fiery red or deep soy soup.
Stri-fry Chicken in home style fragrant chili sauce, Crispy Broccoli & Sea-weed with Pine nuts, Ginger fried rice and Spicy Ramen noodles arrived for the mains. The stir-fry dish is not only addictive due to it's chunky meat and vegetable cuts, but also due to it's vastly underplayed heat from the dried red chillis and that fragrant, almost Star Anis-ish like sweet flavour that coats the meat. The Crispy Broccoli dish was solely crispy due to one ingredient - Pine nuts. The Sea-weed add that crustean like flavour, while the preserved Olives play hide-and-seek with its vinegary taste. The Sea-weed's texture is what that breaks the monotonous semi-juicy feel of preserved olives and broccoli. The Ginger Fried Rice and Spicy Ramen, both are simple classical bowls of Wok-hei cooking yet you will be constantly looking for the Stir-fry Chicken or Broccoli to make it playful and motivate you to go ahead for a second or third serving. The crispy rice garnish reminiscent of puffed rice and works pleasantly well with the Edamame and Corn from the fried rice. The Ramen are one of the best you'll ever taste in the city, but barely subjugated by the title 'spicy'.
The closing of the meal as stated prior was done by a plate of Golden Macarons; Honeycomb ganache between perfectly crisp discs of gold-dusted macaron. A perfect fit to the name 'Golden Week', though a scoop of Passion Fruit sorbet with a single piece of this Macaron would have made the end orgasmic by a huge margin.
Ultimately it boils down to this-Should you be paying a little over two grand for this set menu? Yes, Definitely! That nuclear cocktails itself is priced at 850 bucks on the Ala carte and add to that the plethora of Dimsums, Small eats, Big eats and a plate of Macarons. Deals don't come sweeter than this; Make up an occasion, book a table and arrive in style.
Remember, You're not going to be always wowed by layered flavours or molecular theatricals, some flavours are simpler and at times forgotten.
Menu details : http://hakkasan.com/locations/hakkasan-mumbai/menu/golden-week-2/
Location : Hakkasan Mumbai, Krystal, Waterfield Road, Bandra West.