In the kitchen of Hikina restaurant, sous chef Khadija Kumcheang takes us on a culinary journey to the Far East.
What are the latest trends in Far Eastern cuisine?
The latest trends focus on healthy eating. Food must be both delicious and nourishing. These days, diners are concerned about the ingredients they are consuming and prefer to have them sourced locally wherever possible. A chef’s priorities ought to be quality and freshness.
We have also noticed that authenticity is gaining plenty of attention. Nowadays, consumers are knowledgeable. Most of them have experienced authentic cuisine in the countries they’ve traveled to, so they are able to identify the real experiences, cooking techniques and flavors.
Consumers prefer relaxed, casual eating experiences and look for great food in an environment that makes them feel comfortable. This improves the flavor of the food.
What challenges does a chef have to overcome in order to transform a basic street food experience into a fine-dining one?
Fortunately, street food has come a long way. Whether the dish is being served from a street food cart in a busy street market or at a restaurant, it is often packed with flavor.
The biggest challenge that chefs face when it comes to transforming a street food experience into fine dining is presentation.
A wonderful dining experience is multi-sensory and immersive; presentation is as important as the taste. Hikina’s plating elevates the culinary experience and leaves guests happy to have experienced authentic, delicious food.
How does Hikina cater to Dubai’s adventurous diners?
We cater to those passionate about food as our cuisine is deeply rooted in authenticity. We take foodies on an explosive rollercoaster of Far Eastern tastes, drawing on an exotic spectrum of textures and aromas by elevating the well-known street food experience to gourmet dishes that are accessible from a price point.
They genuinely feel that Hikina champions and celebrates the culinary heritage of Southeast Asia. Our guests can immerse themselves in an intimate and exciting dining space, with an open kitchen that’s dynamic.