The most sublime Peking duck in London (pictured below) is the second course on HKK’s Chinese New Year menu for 2015. Roasted over cherry wood it has a very crisp skin and melting layer of fat cloaking juicy duck meat, a heavenly combination. The duck represents Beijing, Shandong in this clever eight-course menu that visits different areas and styles of Chinese cuisine.
The journey begins in Suzhou, Jiangsu with cubes of pork with osmanthus (a pretty flowering shrub) wine jelly and continues via a gorgeous basket of dim sum from Guangdong to Monk jumps over the wall from Fuijan where sea cucumber, abalone and mountain yam are served in a broth. Hunan is showcased with a grilled piece of seabass in sha cha sauce, a savoury, slightly spicy speciality of Xiang cuisine based on dried shrimp, chilli and garlic, Anhui features a more delicate Jasmine tea smoked poussin then the tempo is raised again with braised king soy wagyu beef representing Zhejiang and finally Szechaun chargrilled scampi (pictured below). Two extra courses, tiny dark chocolate dumplings with a yuku and ginger infusion and sheep’s milk mousse, pandan and caremlised puffed rice (like ultra posh rice crispies) finish the meal on a sweet note.
HKK is a smart, modern, Chinese restaurant from the same stable as Hakkasan and Yauatcha and the food is clever and refined as well as being stunning to look at. Head chef Tong Chee Hwee uses traditional methods alongside modern ones and puts a very 21st century spin on ancient dishes. The main room is pared back and sleek and there is an eight-seat counter opposite the sommelier’s station that is open all day. Prices are not cheap, but for several hours of palate pleasing pleasure it is worth every penny and the service is superlative.
The Chinese New Year menu is available until 28th February (we will be entering the Year of the sheep) and you can chose between 8 and 10 courses with wine matches if you like. hkklondon.com
Price range: Expensive
Highlight: The duck, oh the duck. You can see into the oven where it is roasted if you take a turn past the kitchen.
Misfire: A little too quite in the dining room, but that could have been because we were there on a Monday.