A night of Fine Dining

My experience of fine dining, courtesy Restaurant India Week


Let me first tell you clearly that this is not a review or an analysis. It’s plainly my first experience in experiencing a dinner night at the high-end restaurant Hakkasan in Bandra, Mumbai. I am no gourmet or a food connoisseur, just a regular girl who wanted to expand her horizons in trying different cuisines.

Firstly I got the opportunity to enjoy a night at Hakkasan thanks to Restaurant India Week’s special offers. At the cost Rs,1200 (plus taxes) per person you can enjoy a three-course meal (non-veg) in any of the high-end places they have tied up with. My boyfriend and I chose to go to Hakkasan mainly because we usually wouldn’t get to afford it and it was nearby for both of us.

To begin with, I will take you through the basic points of a review and say that the place was perfect. No issues with the reservations, we got a place quite easily and the staff was also quite warm.   The restaurant in itself looks and feels rich and if you aren’t used to going for fine dining then you might take some time to adjust with the environment around. Out of the fixed menu that was part of the offer we ended up ordering the below dishes:

Starters: Chicken Shui Mui and Salt and Pepper Squid

Main Course: Braised Pork Belly and Tofu and Aubergine Claypot. Egg Fried Rice and Veg Hakka Noodles

Dessert: Mango Truffle and Chocolate Orange Mousse

Needless to say my favourite course was the dessert! But sad to say the mango truffle failed all my expectations as it tasted more like homemade mango ice cream than a truffle. But to balance the difference, the mousse was oh-so-perfect. It just melted in my mouth and was the clear winner dish. All my nights of watching Masterchef on TV paid off as I could individually taste all dishes and somewhat figure out the components. I still won’t tell you if any dish was bad because for me it was the first time I ate both pork and tofu, so definitely I’m not a good judge. The experience however of tasting such authentic Chinese was top-notch and I can safely say I enjoyed it. The portions may look less in quantity but as time passes by you realise you’re more than full.

To be honest, since it was my first night out of ‘fine dining’ I was nervous and excited of how it will be. After going through a whole day of what to wear and what not when my boyfriend and I finally reached the restaurant the whole nervousness kind of fizzled out. We expected the place to be quite uptight but it was actually normal. In fact I remember seeing a guy at one of the tables wearing track pants! The waitresses too were so impeccable that they wouldn’t even disturb you unless asked. The only problem I had that despite everything placed on the table even chopsticks there were no signs of forks. So it was kind of assumed that you would eat with chopsticks and that’s quite unfair. Thankfully I didn’t and asked for extra forks so that my food doesn’t go flying on someone else’s dish!

I will refrain from calling myself a foodie but I surely enjoy eating. You offer me anything and I will eat it gladly but for me it’s important that the food fills more than my stomach. Now with this three-course meal my stomach was ‘fine’, my mind too was ‘fine’ but my heart was just not content. Maybe I don’t know anything about good food but I know that food is not only to satisfy your hunger pangs but also your need to eat.

There was nothing wrong with the food at Hakkasan, it was in fact good but I came out feeling dissatisfied, incomplete. Maybe fine dining is just not my cup of tea. Maybe all I need is a plate of roadside Chinese. I am happy to have experimented with my taste buds and the derivates are that expensive dining is just fine!

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