Hakkasan

Fancy Chinese dining comes to the St. Regis Doha in Qatar Reviews

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Hakkasan oh my gosh, oh my gosh Hakkasan. Seriously. From the minute we pulled into your private drive and entered through your super secret sliding door that mostly looks like a wall (why are you hiding from me? You know I’m getting all up in you), we knew we were in for a treat. It’s packed, and without a reservation we wouldn’t be getting a table. It’s a Tuesday. They’re that good.

The restaurant is just funky. It’s a little Chinese, with cut out dark wood partitions, but that’s as close as it gets to stereotypical. The rest is all posh seating (which are a little low, I’m not going to lie: Hakkasan, some of your customers are tall. Stop making me feel like I’m sat at the kiddie table), with a really cool bar. Which is good because my friend is late, and so I tuck myself in and partake of their epic drinks menu. Yes, my beverage was called something like Forever Weeping Kitty in the Valley of Despair but it was a symphony in fruit.

But we’re not here for the drinks. We’re here for the nosh. Once we’re ushered to our table our waiter comes over with recommendations. Which is good because we’re not going to lie, the menu is a bit overwhelming. It just keeps going and half the dishes don’t seem to resemble words. We begin with the hot and sour soup, the smoked beef ribs and the fried dim sum platter. Our table is small. We know it, our waiter knows it, and we all know we’re about to cover it in way too many plates. He promises to bring things in waves, and, surprise, he does! As we lap up each course, the next appears seamlessly. Hakkasan has service down.

My friend digs into the hot and sour soup, which is spicy and good, but I’m distracted by the dim sum. It is too cute to eat. It’s like every cat who ever lol’d is on the plate and I can barely dare to bite it. There’s a venison, a beef, and one stuffed with pumpkin that’s shaped like a tiny pumpkin complete with leaf for goodness sake. My friend enquires about why they didn’t come with sauce, but I’m already chopstick deep in the venison and can hear it laughing at her. The dim sum is all ‘what is this sauce you speak of? Foolish mortal, we are tender and seasoned perfectly and have no need of this sauce! Put me in your mouth and stop being difficult’. And so we do. And are very happy.

After we polish off round one, our smoked beef arrives. Smoked with tea, this is a mound of beefy morsels that are just, utterly, exquisitely, perfect. I’d come back just for these. They’re tangy and just that right amount of caramelized without being sugary—we think it’s the tea that’s giving a fantastic note to this dish. They’re smoky and excellent and if we can arrange to have several portions of these delivered to my office daily I’d be grateful. But we’re not done yet: next up is mains, and after the success of the starters, we dig in heartily with the grilled wagyu beef in soy sauce, the sea bass in Chinese honey, the hakka noodles, sugar snap peas and egg friend rice with edamame.

And face disappointment. Oh Hakkasan, how could you betray us so? The peas and the rice are just. . . bland. Now, I personally think it’s a good thing, having a counter point to the intense flavours of everything else on my plate. My friend thinks they could do better. Whatever, I’m not filling up on rice: I’m here for that sea bass. It. Is. Incredible. I barely eat fish and I’m lapping this up. My friend is allergic to honey and starts to feel decidedly itchy but she keeps eating it because it’s just that good. It has a thick, almost chicken-like mouth feel, the honey is sweet without being cloying and drool. Drooling on my keyboard. That’s all that’s happening when I think of it. The beef in soy sauce is equally delectable, and the noodles are a mound of carby perfection with just a hint of spice for bite. Yummy.

As the remains are cleared away, we contemplate dessert. Asian restaurants are not, as a rule, known for their desserts. But, oh Hakkasan, we trust you, we feel so safe with you, and so: the jivara bomb and the chocolate orange must be ours. Also some of your macaroons. The macaroons are yummy and fluffy, but the others are pure theatre. The jivara bomb is a ball of hazelnut frozen cream, coated in what is probably something fancy like crisped rice plucked from a field where unicorns frolicked but which mostly tastes like Rice Krispies, with a pool of chocolate sauce poured over it table side. The chocolate orange comes in a tiny fishbowl studded with fresh fruit and chocolate biscuits, with a chocolate cover keeping the orange sorbet fish inside. Again, there’s a chocolate rainfall before we dig in. Both are just. . . seriously Hakkasan, why can’t you be bad at something? You’re too expensive to go everyday and now we really want to. Drat.

The bill (for two)
2x Water QR80
1 x Hot & sour soup QR40
1x Fried dim sum QR95
1x Smoked beef Qr125
1x Honey seabass QR220
1x Wagyu with soy QR270
1x Hakka noodle QR65
1x Rice QR40
1x Sugar snap peas QR65
1x Chocolate orange QR45
1x Jivara bomb Qr45
1x macaroons QR335
1x Café latte QR28
Total QR1153

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: The St. Regis Doha, West Bay, Doha
  • Tel: 4446 0170
  • Travel: Street Westbay
  • Website
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Times: Open Sat-Thu 7pm-midnight, Fri noon-3.30pm
  • Price: QR500+
  • Credit Cards Accepted: Yes

Is this your establishment? Want to update any details? Please send your updates here.

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User reviews:

Posted by: Franck on 14 Mar ' 15 at 06:28

Edited by TimeOutDoha.com

I experience for the first time the Friday brunch, it was a nice atmosphere and a good food, I've been to many brunch in Doha and I have to say that in general it was a disappointment for me and my friends, Except the quality of the food we could not really understand what type of brunch we are going for, the staff told us that there is a buffet but they recommended us not to go there?!? WHY??? We could choose from a menu whatever we would like to eat and that's about it, The drinks were probably the most disappointed thing, in about 3 hours we could not have more that 3 drinks, the reason why is obviously the efficiency of the staff, one of my friend even waited one hours to received her drink!!!! Taking into consideration that the brunch including drinks cost you 450QR per person that was a big disappointment, it is suppose to be THE PLACE to go in Doha isn't it? That was the first and last time I've been there

Posted by: Ryan on 09 Aug ' 13 at 18:12

The environment was nice and new. The service was just okay for waiter, they did not mention their name and did not ask about allergens. I would like to say more about hostess, they are not very friendly and they even did not say bye to me. They asked me to leave or move to the bar later, because there are reservation guests are coming later. I did not feel well about this. Menu are variety and food are nice. However, it will be much better if the service people suggest some dishes positively. I would like to give only 3 star of 5 for this experience.

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