>> Feb 23, 2011
Note: if you're seeing this post somewhere else, his post has been shamefully plagiarised from www.tummy-rumble.com. *Lifts up middle finger to the thief.*
Facts about Hakkasan:
1. Best Chinese Restaurant in the world (2008)
2. Number 19 restaurant in the world (2008)
3. Opened in 2001.
4. 1 Michelin Stars since 2003.
5. Currently has 5 restaurants, London - (Hanway Place, Mayfair), Miami, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai. (Opening in New York soon)
Facts about Alan Yau:
1. Founder of Hakkasan and Yauatcha (Alan has sold it to Tasameem, a property arm of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority)
2. Founder of Wagamama Japanese Noodle Bar and Busaba Thai.
3. Received an OBE from the Queen of England.
There are only 3 Chinese Restaurants with Michelin Stars in London (Hakkasan, Yauatcha and Kai). 2 of them is owned by the same group whereas Kai is owned and run by a Malaysian (Bernard Yeoh). Click here to read about it in The Star (newspaper).
Anyway, enough of the history lesson. I went to Hakkasan 3 times during my stay in London. Initially, I wanted to try Yauatcha on my 3rd visit, but Yauatcha was a little bit too noisy (we had guests and we wanted to talk). Yauatcha specialises in dim sum whereas Hakkasan is famed for their dinner menu.
Hakkasan is located in a very dodgy alley and in a basement which used to be an old garage. Hakkasan has won many awards for their interior design, hence the no photography policy. Hence, this will be my 1st time describing my dining experience without the need of photographs.
During all 3 visits, I only had dim sum. Dim sum (ala carte) on average would come up to £25 per person. For a group of more than 7 people, it is compulsory to choose a set menu which can be modified to your liking. Their set menu ranges from £40-£70 per head. I've tried the ala carte and the set menu, so I'll list down the dishes that stood out to me.
First of all, the pork and prawn shui mai 'siew mai' at Hakkasan, is the best I've ever eaten. No siew mai will ever taste the same. If I were to rate the siew mai at Hakkasan compared to Chynna (hilton Kuala Lumpur), the score would probably be 5 for Chynna and 10 for Hakkasan (I'm not exaggerating). Each bamboo basket is steamed upon order and served hot. I also tried the scallops shui mai. It was good, but in comparison, the pork shui mai really stood out.
Another good dish was the Peking Duck Dumpling Sze Chuan style. The dumplings were served in a bowl, and on a slightly sourish Szechuan soup-like sauce. Frankly, I couldn't really taste the duck, but the dumpling somehow went very well when taken with the sauce. Two thumbs up to this dish.
The Roasted Duck Pumpkin Puff was a rather unique dish. Instead of using yam (taro) to wrap into a croquette, small pieces of roasted duck was wrapped in a massed pumpkin forming the shape of a mini pumpkin. It even had small pieces of raw spinach on top and a clove for the stalk.
There is also the usual dim sum fare: har gao, cheong fun chicken feet etc.
Another dish that stood out was the seafood dumpling in a clear consommé. The dumpling was nicely seasoned, and was served in a soup bowl with a good amount of consomme. The only problem was the dumpling was rather big. After cutting it up, it appeared a little too mushy. Taste wise, it was still very good though.
The Peking Duck Wrapped was also nicely done. It would have been better if served with a sauce as the duck meat was slightly too dry.
As for desserts, sadly Hakkasan doesn't do any Chinese dessert. Their western dessert didn't disappoint though. We were served chocolate ice-cream wrapped around a crunchy giant coco-crunch like ball. Using fizzy pop that I use to eat as a kid, they made a swirl around the plate. The fizzy pop dance around the mouth when eaten with the chocolate ice-cream. The 2nd dessert, the honey dew panna cotta in my humble opinion, wasn't very nice. My brother seemed to enjoy it though.
All in all, Hakkasan certainly lived up to expectations. Their dim sum is definitely a grade above any restaurant in China town. Then again, a casket of shui mai is almost double the price of a random dim sum shop. I guess one should factor in good service as well as the chink environment. I certainly wouldn't mind going back to Hakkasan when I'm next in London.
*Opinions expressed are solely based on my personal experience
Map to Hakkasan
Nearest Tube Station: Tottenham Court Road
8 Hanway Place,
Telephone number: +44 (0) 207 927 7000
Mon-Sat 6-12M (Sun -11pm)