Hakkasan and Kunal Rawal join forces to create an immersive dining experience

With dragon-inspired décor and a limited edition menu, this collaboration celebrates the Lunar New Year.

Harper's Bazaar India

Hakkasan, known for its modern Cantonese cuisine, collaborated with fashion designer Kunal Rawal to create an immersive dining experience in celebration of the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Dragon. Blending the best of fashion and food, Rawal's interpretation of the dragon adds a touch of mystique to Hakkasan with textures and motifs that pay homage to the revered creature. This collaboration symbolises a shared appreciation for cultural resonance. “As a designer, I understand how attention to detail, the use of a variety of textures, and the limitless possibilities in creativity, can make a difference to any kind of craft. Whether it is couture or cuisine, every ingredient makes a difference,” explains Rawal. 

Hakkasan always held a special place in Rawal’s life, and this collaboration felt like the perfect culmination of everything coming to a full circle. “My first memory with Hakkasan takes me all the way back to my college days in London,” reminisces Rawal, who used to go to the restaurant’s London outpost with his parents. “As a young independent student, indulging in a luxurious meal at a place like Hakkasan was a real treat; it's something that I'd always look forward to. When I visited Hakkasan for the first time at its London establishment, it was love at first bite. The flavours, ambience, luxury, and hospitality at Hakkasan always overwhelm me with a sense of nostalgia, taking me back to all those heartfelt meals with my parents,” says Rawal. 

Rawal's influence is evident in every detail, from bespoke table mats featuring his signature designs to wall décor inspired by the mythical dragon. “We have had a lot of fun using this element of the dragon, which is considered a mythical character, and reimagining it with our craftsmanship through different handmade textures and tactile elements. We incorporated various art forms—signature to us but reflective of the significance of the dragon, which symbolises strength and power.”

“Another very exciting part of this collaboration is the fact that it is our first foray into co-creating an entire menu and meal,” expresses Rawal. To begin with, Rawal definitely wanted a salad to be on the menu and went for the avocado and passion fruit salad. The best part of this salad is the plum and passion fruit dressing that goes in it. Be it the black truffle mushroom dumpling, the lobster and mozzarella puff, or the deep-fried prawn and kumquat—the Chinese New Year menu offers a plethora of options for small fares. This is especially thrilling for those who prefer diversity on their table.

Two plates, the soba noodle and tofu pot and the wild prawn soba noodle pot, come with the textures and flavours of water chestnut, scallion, and chives—ingredients that hold cult status in Asian cooking. Stir-fry options like the prosperous Buddha's delight vegetable and wok-tossed grouper fish are flavourful additions to this mix. For dessert, one can indulge in the auspicious dragon—a spicy chocolate mousse paired with a raspberry compote and sorbet.

This immersive dining experience at Hakkasan is incomplete without trying their curated cocktail menu, inspired by the spirit of the Chinese New Year. Sake makes a pleasant appearance in the Red Dragon, a refreshing cocktail made with the zesty flavours of yuzu and homemade raspberry lemonade. Those who love a dash of spice in their cocktails must try the Lunar Old Fashioned, made with Thai chilli cordial, and the Yuzu Picante, which comes with jalapenos. 

All-in-all, this collaboration between Hakkasan and Kunal Rawal takes you on a sensory journey that pushes boundaries in both gastronomy and design. 

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