Occasions by Hakkasan Review
Occasions by Hakkasan Review
We review a delivery box from the Michelin-starred dining hotspot
How I miss restaurants – particularly those treat night ones with all the anticipation and excitement they entail. There’s the perfectly crafted cocktails, wine lists as big as bibles, and a menu so full of incredible choices that you can’t possibly decide. There’s also the atmosphere, gorgeous surrounds, and, of course, someone else to serve, cook and clear up.
Not long to go until they reopen but, in the meantime, a meal delivery box is your next best option, and several of the capital’s top restaurants – Michelin-starred winners no less – have conjured up some incredible feasts so that you can enjoy your favourite dishes at home with minimal effort on your part.
Occasions by Hakkasan is one such offering. A few years back I had a stunning dinner at the original restaurant in Hanway Place – there’s now two in London and several worldwide serving its high-end take on Cantonese classics. Achingly cool, Hakkasan is all low lighting, dark panelling, and deep house music giving it a clubby vibe. The cocktails are fabulous and the food will blow your mind. How on earth can you package that into a home delivery box for two? They’ve certainly given it their best shot. But it doesn’t come cheap at £175. So, what do you get for your money?
Impressively, they’ve nailed the excitement and sense of occasion. A weighty black box arrives, you open the lid and in front of you is a beautifully designed menu. Delve in, and you’ll find chopsticks, incense sticks and a link to the Hakkasan play list. There’s recipe cards and a link to a short video tutorial on how to cook the dishes before you.
We dimmed the lights, crafted some cocktails, lined up the music, lit the incense and set to work. The package includes a reusable bamboo steamer to cook the dim sum course – this is no ordinary dim sum with beautiful multi-coloured creations of langoustine, halibut, king crab, and wild mushroom. There’s some cute jars of dipping sauces to go alongside everything, and caviar to adorn some of the dim sum. Simply steamed, they were all mouthfuls of heaven.
For mains, there is grilled Chilean sea bass in honey and a dish of smoked beef ribs that you pop in the oven. The main course requires a bit of timing but no real skill – you just need to juggle the stir-frying of the noodle dish and baby broccoli separately while the meat and fish cook. And what an incredible feast it was – the fish was huge and moist, the beef unctuous, and we loved the little garnishes, which not only looked pretty but really added to the flavours and textures such as pine nuts and seaweed to top the broccoli.
Dessert is a chocolate soufflé – pop in the oven but again make sure you time it correctly. Ours rose perfectly, and looked Insta-worthy incredible topped with the dried raspberries and gold chocolate disk. Wow – they were so good we wondered if we could get them to deliver more.
It was one of the most fun nights we’ve had in lockdown. And while there’s no waiter and you need to do your own clearing up, there’s also the bonus that you don’t have to order an Uber home. And we were rather glad after such a feast that we could just kick back and chill, listening to the Hakkasan sound track.
While it’s certainly not cheap, for that special date night this really is a brilliant idea, and it would also make a gorgeous gift for an anniversary.
• The Occasions by Hakkasan box costs £175 for 2 people and is available nationwide. We tried the Signature Menu – but you can also customise your order with other dishes. There’s a vegan option, too.
• Orders can be made via https://hakkasan.com/mayfair/occasions-by-hakkasan/, with deliveries available on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; orders placed before 12pm can be delivered the next day within London.