Scores: 1 M*/ GFG 5/ Z 26/ H 2
In the past I have eaten several times in the Mayfair and original branch of Hakkasan as well as in the connected HKK restaurant (supposedly the fine dining version of buzzy and trendy Hakkasan.) Although Hakkasan is trying to do a ‘Nobu’ and roll out across the world, including a massive nightclub in Las Vegas, this certainly seems not to have affected the food in London. Like the original branch, Mayfair is a very cool restaurant – but make sure you request a table downstairs for the full experience. The upstairs bar is nice for a drink before dinner but gets packed and is not as stylish as downstairs.
A dim sum platter (£15.00) consisted of scallop shumai, har gau (prawn dumplings), Chinese chive dumplings and duck dumplings. It was top drawer- definitely some of the very best dim sum in London and up there with a lot of my experiences in Hong Kong. In fact, it made me wonder why I have never been for dim sum here before (although I have been to the related Yauatcha a couple of times).
Salt and pepper squid (£13.50) was good, the batter being nice and light with the squid well cooked and not rubbery, which is always a risk with squid dishes. On the other hand golden fried soft shell crab (£13.50) was a bit disappointing. The pieces of crab were too small and picked up too much excess batter. A crispy duck salad (£21.50) was nice with pieces of with pomelo (a citrus fruit that tastes a bit like a sort of bitter sweet orange) helping cut though the fattiness of the duck. Jasmine tea smoked organic pork ribs (£13.50) were very good as always, the tea adding a nice savoury smoky flavour.
Grilled Chilean sea bass (which is not actually sea bass at all, but is in fact Patagonian Toothfish as we spent a good 10 minutes discussing over dinner…) in Chinese honey (£39.00) was cooked very well and the sweetness of the honey was a good complement. Chilli prawns in Jin-Chuan sauce (£28.00) were fresh and well cooked. I was particularly impressed with the service on this dish as our server arranged for the sauce to go on the side in case it was too spicy for my Mother, which I felt was a really nice touch. The service in general was, as in almost all the times I have dined here or at the other restaurants, very good even if one has to shout to be heard at times. Jasmine tea smoked chicken £17.50 was another good dish although it was surpassed by the very tender Mongolian style lamb chop (I think £25+ for 3). A vegetable dish of stir-fried lotus root, asparagus and lily bulb in black pepper (£12?) was also of a high standard.
A couple of deserts cooked good and I was told tasted good but I have overindulged by this point! The meal was washed down with some cocktails and a couple of bottles of Santorini, Hatzidakis, Santorini, Greece- which at £39 is still one of the cheaper wines on the list. I know nothing about Greek wine at all but this was recommended by someone in advance who does and was a good complement to the food.