A decade and more since the original Hakkasan opened off Tottenham Court Road, finally London is beginning to bristle with top-end Chinese restaurants. Sleek, ambitious HKK is a City newcomer from the Hakkasan group, where dim sum comes in a ‘trilogy’, and lychee wood-roasted Peking duck yields some of the most delectable crispy skin this side of Beijing. Chef Tong Chee Hwee, who masterminds menus globally for the group, is actually in the kitchen here, keeping an eye on the home-made XO sauce and the ultra-refined drunken chicken (poulet de Bresse marinated in vintage Shaoxing rice wine).
Now then, since we find ourselves in puritanical January, we asked George Matzaridis, the group’s senior bar manager across Europe and the Middle East, to suggest a delicious non-alcoholic cocktail for Editer readers to make at home. His drinks list is particularly good on juices and non-boozy libations, with clean flavours to the fore. ‘We naturally work with a lot of Asian herbs and spices in the kitchen here at HKK, and that extends to the cocktail list,’ says George. ‘Lemongrass works very well with fresh mandarin, which is relatively light in flavour. The chilli gives the drink an overall spiciness and the mint adds its own subtle kick.’