HKK is a fine dining Chinese restaurant which specialises in seasonal tasting menus and it’s owned by the Hakkasan group – they own Hakkasan, Sake no Hana and Yauatcha. It’s based in a quiet part of Shoreditch – on our Saturday evening visit there was not a soul to be seen and you’d easily walk past it as it looks like an office block.
Inside however was a beautiful and serene space which was every bit as elegant as you might wish for. We decided to go for the 8 course menu (£48) which can only be eaten at the counter overlooking the bar. Luckily for us, as they had space in the dining room we offered a table there which was much nicer.
A bai hua prawn which was basically a deep fried battered prawn with a sweet tomato sauce, got things off to a lovely start; a very tasty morsel of food.
A dimsum trilogy was next which looked every bit as beautiful as it tasted. The three dumplings had been masterfully made; one was filled with a plump juicy prawn, another with a mix of chicken and prawn but my favourite was a deep fried pastry encased dumpling stuffed full of turnip. Utterly delightful. They were served alongside a paintbrush which was quite a fun way of applying the soy sauce.
Next was the cherry wood roasted Peking duck where you’re invited to watch it being carved by the chef at the counter in the centre of the room – a really lovely touch. Well, it really doesn’t get much better than this if you ask me; the most succulent slices of duck, the crispest of skins, homemade wafer thin pancakes and a sweet homemade plum sauce that fills my mouth with saliva as I think about it! It was then beautifully arranged on a plate and taken back to our table where we devoured it with gusto.
Poulet de Bresse and ginseng soup with silken bean curd followed which was a really flavoursome bowl of soup. It could have done with a touch of chilli or some spice to give it a bit of oomph but it was still thoroughly enjoyable.
Next up was Gai-lan, shimeji mushroom and lily bulb in XO sauce which was a touch disappointing. Gai-lan is a Chinese broccoli and it was very….stalky; this dish just tasted like stir-fry veg to me, it lacked any real flavour. Considering XO is a spicy seafood sauce we expected a little more punch.
Our next course was a real highlight; jasmine tea smoked Wagyu beef with water chestnut. Other than the water chestnut (am I the only person who just doesn’t get water chestnuts? Totally tasteless!) this was a superb plate of food. The beef was out of this world; soft and succulent with a sticky glaze that had the subtlest hint of jasmine tea and a little mound of sticky white rice was the perfect accompaniment.
Both desserts weren’t quite as wondrous as our previous courses but were tasty never the less. Mandarin jelly with pandan sorbet and jasmine meringue was very nice; a delicate blend of intriguing flavour combinations. But my favourite pud was the pineapple fritter with salted lime jelly and vanilla ice cream. The fritter was comfort food indeed and it satisfyingly warmed my cockles.
To accompany my coffee some delicious petit fours were served; the macaroon, as is often the case, was my favourite. A truly lovely end to our meal.
We had a brilliant dinner at HKK, both the service and the food were utterly delightful. Restaurant manager Mehmet ran a front of house team who exuded friendliness and charm which really added to the whole experience. Every diner also gets a signed copy of their menu which is a lovely touch – and I shall cherish mine.
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