Hakkasan - owned by Alan Yau of Wagamama fame - has a reputation as one of the best Chinese/dim sum eateries in London, and being a huge fan of his other restaurants (Yautcha, for fantastic dim sum, cocktails, pastries, and a stunning aquarium; Busaba Eathai for Thai food with a twist - great if your group is large enough to commandeer one of the large 'communal ' table; and of course Wagamamas - quick, cheap, and reliably good ) I was extremely excited to finally go there.
Led to our table by one of the well-dressed waitresses, we were quickly served with our drinks. The service was incredibly attentive - in fact, everything was served and cleared away so efficiently that there was perhaps less time to linger over our meal than we would have liked...(although I would have been the first to complain if we'd been left hungry...so I'm not saying the good service is a negative!)
A photo of the fancy bathroom (I was too embarrassed to start snapping pics of the restaurant itself!)
We had planned to sample one of their tasting menus, but unfortunately these are available only for parties of three and above. Instead we ordered as varied a selection as we could from the A La Carte menu.
And, finally, our side dish. Pak choi with ginger sauce was good, but at a not insignificant £11 for what was effectively a plate of steamed vegetables, it is probably better to spend your money on something where the Hakkasan flair is more apparent.
We were fairly full at this point, but the quick service meant we were not quite ready to leave, so we decided to stay for dessert. Good decision! The desserts were fantastic - my boyfriend insisted that they were the highlight of the meal, and despite having given my heart away to the beef in merlot sauce (<3), I have to agree that they were exceptionally good.
I struggled with the dessert menu - everything sounded so fussy and with so many components that I couldn't find anything that took my fancy. So, throwing 21st Century feminism to the wind, I let my boyfriend choose both sweets.
The chocolate souffle was served alongside a creamy scoop of vanilla icecream (topped with a tasty dark chocolate curl) and three blobs of gorgeous creme anglaise sprinkled with dehydrated raspberry, all arranged artistically on a piece of grey slate. The souffle itself was light and pleasantly moist with a strong chocolately flavour, and the accompaniments complemented it perfectly.
The chocolate cherry pot - a sumptious mix of rich chocolate mousse and juicy cherries - arrived in a large glass tumbler topped with a thin disc of dark chocolate, over which our waitress proceeded to pour a hot cherry sauce (melting the chocolate disc and oozing into the dessert below...mmmm). Absolutely amazing.
All in all, a fabulous meal, and (for a special occasion or a one-off treat) well worth the cost.
*There were literally 5 or 6 - one even seemed to have been asigned the task of opening the door to the toilets. Service indeed!
** And when I say "up-market clientele" I of course mean me, in my 'best' jeans...
*** Long steamed rice noodle rolls, filled with huge firm king prawns and crunchy vegetables, drizzled with sweet soy sauce and chopped into three with a spoon at your table.