Quickly after moving to The Hague from Asia, one of my husband’s colleagues was raving about a Michelin star fusion French-Chinese restaurant we had to try. Being French and having lived in China, the place more than tickled our curiosity. So we quickly made a reservation and another. Believe or not, the second time was even better.
HanTing Cuisine is located on Prinsestraat in the heart of The Hague. Opened in 2010, the restaurant won top restaurant in The Hague the following year in the SpecialBite guide 2011 and soon after, one star in the Michelin Guide. The owners, Han Ji and his wife, Tingting Ji, make a great team. While Chef Han puts the most delicious dishes on the tables, his wife works with her top staff for the superior service and hospitality. The fusion of their names came naturally to create their unique signature.
The experience starts at the door. The two employees dressed all in black set the tone of the evening: elegance, chic, and attention to the last detail. They greet us with charm and very professionally lead us to our table. The layout is beautiful. Chinese influences set by the exotic dark wood of the paravents, the red of the walls, and the artwork. The French elegance of the white table cloths and design lamps over the bar creates a very atmospheric ambience. Fusion again!
Choosing from the menu was not easy; everything looked so delicious on paper. The first time we chose the blind five-course menu, which was amazing. This time we go for the Qi Balance Menu, the perfect illustration of Chef Han’s philosophy of good and healthy food. Each dish has a positive influence on a particular organ. Using 500 years of Chinese food knowledge combined with French culinary classics, Chef Han promises to offer well-being for the body along with new taste sensations, and we are totally up for it. We even ask for the proposed wine pairing.
Our dishes are superbly prepared, beautifully balanced with such refined taste. Each plate is a painting to see, such a pleasure to the eye and our palate. The tuna jellyfish salad with cucumber mousse is out of this world. Our second course, so Yin and Yang, is served on two separate plates, one white, the other black. Every following dish is a party in itself, with surprising taste combinations: roasted halibut on tofu with morilles mousse, goat cream, and goji gelée; lamb with pesto and garlic sauce, beans, radish, and carrots. All the way to the last dish, a declension in five ways to serve banana. So delectable!
Soon, too soon, came the time to go back to the real world. Eating at HanTing Cuisine is a culinary experience that appeals to all your senses. Words are not strong enough to describe the unique style of Chef Han and his crafted team. What I am sure of is HanTing Cuisine lived up to our high expectations. This place is an absolute must for the real food lovers.