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Why this Bandra restaurant's special Chinese New Year menu is a must try

Hakkasan's special menu for the Chinese New Year celebrations leaves little to be desired

We never say no to Chinese food, ever. So the fact that we're in the midst of the ongoing Chinese New Year celebrations, is just another excuse for us to indulge in our favourite cuisine.

Spicy Prawns Curry with almonds and waterchestnuts is a beautifully-cooked dish
Spicy Prawns Curry with almonds and waterchestnuts is a beautifully-cooked dish 

We head to Hakkasan to sample their special four-course oriental menu, as part of the celebrations. According to the Chinese Zodiac, it's the year of the sheep. We have no clue if sheep are great foodies, but we've built up quite an appetite before coming here. Once we're settled at a cosy corner table and taken in the dim, mood lighting and soft music, we don't have to wait too long for the first of our appetisers to arrive. Maybe, the server knows we had skipped lunch in anticipation.

The Steamed Dim Sum Platter makes its grand entry and out spills a riot of colours with its various fillings and flavours. While the Har Gau has a nice, soft prawn filling, the Scallop Shu Mai's delicate salmon caviar garnish is quite literally, the icing on top of a delicious scallop dumpling. As for the Chive Dumpling and the Corn and Prawn Dumpling, we would have guessed the delicate flavours in them, even if the server hadn't announced them. This little basket is a piece of seafood happiness.

But as impressed as we are with the above-mentioned platter, the Golden Fried Soft Shell Crab doesn't exactly live up to our expectations. The chilli and curry leaves' uplifting flavour is let down by the slightly oily, fried soft shell crab. However, the Lamb Xiaochi, with its minced lamb and pine nuts, in a sweet and salty sauce, delivers just the right kick we need to get started on the mains.

Wishing Tree Dessert has a lemony sorbet and chocolate mousse
Wishing Tree Dessert has a lemony sorbet and chocolate mousse 

But just before we do, we happen to glance at a wooden wall, where many red wishing ribbons flutter. However, before we can come around to asking about them, the Lamb Fried Rice with Egg White is placed before us. And it may just be the best fried rice we have tasted so far. The lamb chunks are succulent and the rice is mildly flavoured, making it ideal to blend in with a gravy dish.

The Grilled Chillean Seabass in Honey turns out to be beautifully grilled, with the fish literally falling off as we nudge it with the fork. But since we like something with a lot more spunk when it comes to mains, we turn to the Spicy Prawn Curry with almonds and water chestnut. And this is where the food quotient goes from good to oh-my-god-I-can't-stop-eating-this! The prawns are big, beautifully cooked and definitely spicy, and the curry is a delicious broth, with a touch of coconut milk.

Our curiosity is spiked yet again, as our server walks up to our table with the Mandarin Wishing Tree, a delicate looking dessert with a lemony sorbet and chocolate. The intense burst of flavours in our mouths makes this the perfect end to our meal. As we close our eyes to savour the taste, the server places the red wishing ribbons in front of us to write our wishes for 2015. And we write — May the good times roll with great food and company.

Where: 206, Krystal, Waterfield Road, Bandra West
Till: March 1
Food: Soulful
Service: Helpful
Ambiance: Serene
Cost: Rs 2,888 plus taxes, per person
Call: 26444444

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