Going by what a Chinese food fanatic I am and then when I went to a Michelin Star Cantonese restaurant with family and friends during my recent visit to New York, I could not help but share the experience here. I am, by no means, a professional restaurant reviewer. This is my experience and thoughts on Hakkasan, New York.
In my recent trip to New York my brother-in-law (BIL) suggested we go to Hakkasan for dinner after asking me my preferences in cuisine. My BIL is a connoisseur when it comes to food, he tries different places, lots of varieties of dishes it has to offer and you can trust him with ordering really great stuff from the menu! So I knew I would enjoy Hakkasan.
Off we went, my little nephew, who is 2 years and 3 months but can pleasantly shock you with his restaurant etiquette (already!), my sister, BIL, my childhood friend and her husband and your’s truly. It was Friday evening and thankfully, we got reservations.
Hakkasan New York is a fine dining restaurant serving Cantonese food. The first Hakkasan was launched at Hanway Place in 2001. Chef Tong Chee Hwee moved to London in 2001 to open the first Hakkasan in Hanway Place as the Head Chef. Not only did the restaurant achieve Michelin Star status within a year, it maintains it to this day. However, the New York one opened by Chef Ho Chee Boon (International Executive Chef) in 2012 and very quickly won itself a Michelin Star in 8 months time.
The ambiance of Hakkasan is how you would expect a fine dining place to be. Its rather large sprawling over 11,000 sq. ft. It has patterned woodwork with a deep blue color scheme at the corridor that first greets the guests. What I loved about the ambience were the lights. With well accented ceiling and wall lights to little lit lamps on the table, Hakkasan feels warm and inviting while subtly reminding you that it’s just not any other Chinese restaurant around the corner.
Getting our table (and we were carrying a booster for our nephew; Hakkasan does not have seats for little kids), the entire responsibility of ordering was left to my BIL. And he happily obliged going by his many success’ at this job. And everything was delish.
And here’s what the royal meal looked like!
Hakka Steamed Dim sum Platter ~ scallop shumai, har gau, prawn and Chinese chive dumpling, chicken and corn dumpling
Vegetarian Steamed Dim Sum Platter ~ morel crystal dumpling, bamboo dumpling, lotus beancurd roll, chive flower dumpling
Crispy Duck Salad ~ with pomelo, pine nut and shallot
Sesame Prawn Toast with Foie Gras
Stir-fry mushroom lettuce wrap ~ with pistachio and pine nut
Peking Duck ~ with Mandarin pancakes, spring onion, cucumber and hoi sin sauce
Stir-fry black pepper rib-eye beef with Merlot
Spicy Prawns ~ with lily bulb and almond
Three-style mushroom stir fry with Macadamia nut ~ with gai lan stalks and water chestnut
Four-style vegetable stir-fry in sweet Szechuan sauce ~ with asparagus, yam bean, tofu, shimeji
Hakka Spicy Seafood Fried Rice
And last, but not the least, Spring Onion and Egg Fried Rice of which I dont have a picture. (I am pretty sure I was in food coma by then)
The meal was complemented by wines. Hakkasan has sommeliers who will guide you through the selection unless, of course, you are a sommelier yourself.
We were all smiles after the meal and you can tell there was no space for dessert!!
Even this little one was super happy. Throughout the eating, laughing, talking he was a proper gentleman and enjoying his food. And then he decided to wear the rice crisp as a hat. 🙂
If you like Oriental cuisine, you will love Hakkasan. The restaurant requires you to make reservations ahead of time. It is kid-friendly, however you must remember to carry your own booster seats, they do not provide high chairs for toddlers.
The food is delicious overall. But if you are the sort who likes super spicy food you may want to ask the chef to tweak it to your taste. But all the food we ate were extremely flavorful. There was no dish that we were disappointed in or even close to that. I know a lot of vegetarian and vegans do not prefer Cantonese cuisine (my observation only) but you will be pleasantly surprised at the vegetarian food here. Give it a try.
And exactly how a Michelin star restaurant is suppose to be, the service is very good. In all, would I go back? YES.
Until next time, happy eating!