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    Friday, 13 November 2015

    HKK TASTING MENU WITH SQUARE MEAL

    I feel like I start every blog-post saying that I love a certain type of food.

    Steak. Burgers. Lebanese. Cantonese? Okay it's not exactly a favourite but I've found myself becoming a big fan of Asian cuisine recently and this post is about to demonstate why.

    An invitation dropped into my inbox recently from Square Meal asking me along to HKK for a blogger dinner. If you haven't heard of it - HKK is the newest offering from the group behind Hakkasan (when I say new it's been open since 2013) and it styles itself as fine-dining Cantonese.

    It's hidden away round the back of Liverpool Street Station and is so discreet - I literally walked past. Like all the restaurants under the Hakkassan umbrella, it has a Michelin star and once you see the food on offer you'll understand why.

    There's no al a carte menu at HKK. Just a 9 courses tasting menu (£88) so loosen your belt buckles, grab some sake and come along while I take you on our culinary ride.
    First up, one must amouse one's bouche with the tastiest morsel of food. This little ball of joy is a deep-fried prawn and fois gras croquette with black truffle sauce. Crispy with a lovely bite to it, I ate mine whole and only wish it was more than a mouthful.
    Next on to manton (or Chinese steamed bun) - a pillowy soft bun encasing pork belly (you know how I feel about pork belly), black truffle and pork juices with lotus root & watercress. Dish of the night? I think so. It's only early on and HKK are setting the bar very high.
    Being traditional Chinese, the soup course is an important one. Ours is a fragrant chicken broth, double boiled for eight hours and adorned with prawns and scallops. Dunking your delicate chrysanthemum flower into the soup takes the floral notes to a new height but the fish flavours are a little too subtle for me and the gelatin-esque textures a bit.
    Dim Sum time. Isn't Dim Sum such an art? My favourite of these delicate parcels was the wagyu beef puff (think - posh steak pasty) but the lobster parcel and dover sole dumpling with caviar were equally good. You can even get creative with your soy and paint-brush. 
    Now I know you've all been waiting for this next course. And it's finally time for peking duck. Expertly cooked by the chefs and carved right in front of us. Just look at this beauty stretching his legs all seductively... 
    You are served three cuts - a piece of juicy breast meat served with hoisin sauce and salad, crispy skin (*drool*) and a duck pancake created using leg meat, cucumbers and leek.
    Neatly following on we've got the fish course. Wok-fried seabass fillet served on rice paper with a balsamic vinegar, black truffle and pomegranate reduction. Delicately cooked and absolutely divine. 
    Now I can see you're starting to struggle. But keep with me. This is the best course. Cubes of the highest grade Japanese wagyu beef with potato croquettes and a sweet and spicy king sampei sauce. 

    If I can be reincarnated, I want to come back as a wagyu cow. These little ladies spend their days getting massaged and getting drunk on sake.....until they end up one ours plates but let's gloss over that.
    Time to unbutton another notch on our belts because there are TWO puddings. I repeat two puddings.

    The first is a black sesame mousse with fresh blackberry, lemon sorbet and a sesame tuile - which I'll be honest, isn't really for me. I'm not a big sesame fan, especially in a sweet dish but I can appreciate how pretty it looks. 

    Second pudding is much more up my street. A pumpkin and orange sponge cake topped with caramalised pecans, carrot ice cream and a pumpkin and orange sauce. Comforting perfect. 
    We did it. We made it to end. A little heavier and a little drunker than we arrived - did I mention we had the matching wine pairings through-out *hic*. All in all, a brilliant night with some brilliant company - I highly recommend you try HKK. I know set/tasting menus can be a bit hit and miss but all the dishes in here were top quality, as you'd expect from the Hakkasan family  

    Broadgate Quarter
    88 Worship Street, EC2A 2BE
    *I was a guest of Square Meal.

    Square Meal HKK Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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