HKK ★ // Shoreditch // London

as expected

HKK shows what Chinese fine dining can be; it’s as simple as that. Although it’s clearly been created for City entertaining, don’t let that put you off if you’re intrigued to go there for a meal with friends. Expectations are perfectly set at a *1 star level, from the welcome, to the apéritifs, to the subtle yet chic decor – and of course the cuisine.

If you want the best out of your experience, you should go for one of the many set menus. Even someone used to ordering Chinese food will find it difficult to recreate HKK’s sumptuous offer from the à la carte menu. Also, rather than have wine with your meal, perhaps opt for a fine white tea to cut through the rich elements of the meal without giving you the distinct flavour of wine.

With the expectation of a starred meal comes high hopes, and HKK fulfils all of these with their scallop dish. Elegantly presented is a deep-fried, textured ball sitting on some tiny shards of pompello pulp. So what is it? The outer crust is a coating of finely shaved taro root, which is uncommon in UK. Break it open with you chopsticks and a thick, velvety sauce flows out, filled with chunks of Canadian scallops. The sauce has that sesame oil hallmark of a Chinese dish, which brings the clean flavour of the scallop, the crunch of the taro and the zest of the grapefruit all together to create something mouth-watering special; an impressive start.

Another treat is the dim sum trilogy, made-up of contrasting morsels, which add-up to a luxury yum char experience. Most unusual of the three is a spicy lamb dumpling which is flecked with fresh coriander leaves. Unusual, because you won’t be expecting such a light delicate flavour from the lamb. The nod to Michelin comes next with the tender squid and foie gras parcel entwined in fried noodles, topped with refreshing roe. Luxury seekers will be most pleased with the open lobster dumpling. The shellfish flesh is sweet and melting as you could wish for and is topped with a buttery, salty spoon of Beluga caviar. It’s the lightest of the three and a sublime way to finish.

And so the set menu continues to impress – dish after dish arrives with interesting flavours and precise presentation. There are also some dining room theatrics when the Silver Hill Peking duck is served. HKK is certainly a worthy contender for being the best fine dining Chinese restaurant in the UK, making a journey to the fringes of The City a “must try” experience.

Square Meal
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88 Worship Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 2BE (View in a map)

Tel: +44(0)203 535 1888