Ramadan treats: Hakkasan iftar

Stir-fry Chilean sea bass with baiyu mushroom and king soy sauce at the iftar at Hakkasan, Emirates Palace in Abu Dhbai. Photo by Stacie Johnson
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I’ve been to several iftars since the start of Ramadan and unfortunately, they’re all starting to look the same.

Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace iftar is a grand affair in the specially constructed Ramadan Pavilion that overlooks the beach on one side, the hotel’s beauty on the other.

Like many iftars you’ll find at hotels, it’s a lively event. But if you head toward Hakkasan in Emirates Palace, you’ll get quite a different experience.

It was nice to bypass the long queue of cars on their way to the Ramadan Pavilion and just slip quietly inside Hakkasan for their Summer Taste of Hakkasan menu.

The dim lighting inside accentuates Hakkasan’s soothing ambience. The music was not too loud; not too soft. This restaurant knows how to set a mood and we immediately felt relaxed and at peace when we stepped through the doors.

As is usually the case at Hakkasan, the food was tasty and met our expectations. Though I thought there might be new dishes created for Ramadan on the Summer Taste menu, that was not the case (save for the desserts).

The menu is priced at Dh299 per person and you get to choose one soup, one small eat, one main and one dessert. They have a few choices in each category and you probably won’t go wrong with any combination.

But here are my picks for the tastiest 4-course meal off Hakkasan’s Summer Taste menu: Hot and sour woup with chicken, grilled vegetable Shanghai dumplings, stir-fry Chilean sea bass with baiyu mushrooms and king soy sauce and traditional umm ali with vanilla ice cream. The two desserts on offer are unique to the summer menu — umm ali and homemade date ice cream.

We also had the crab and sweetcorn soup, the crispy duck roll, the wok-fried rib-eye beef in seafood sauce with wild mushroom and homemade date ice cream. But, they were just a smidgen less exciting than the choices I listed above.

If you want a break from the typical iftar celebration, Hakkasan is the place to be. It’s a relaxing, soothing way to break the fast and who couldn’t benefit from a little more peace and quiet?