First up a confession, I've never been to Hakkasan before but I actually no showed for a Saturday night dinner there 10 years ago. My lovely wife, or lovely girlfriend as she was back then, had booked it for my 30th birthday treat. Problem was the night before I'd had a big birthday bash at 'Langans Coq D'or', we had inevitably all ended up in 'Purple' (people might need to look these up) and then back to my flat 'Chez Dave' where the revelling continued. I woke up about 5PM the next day so we decided dinner wasn't really going to happen. I think we have both matured in the time since then, with Hakkasan rolling their brand out successfully throughout the world and in my case settling down and becoming a parent. I'd heard Hakkasan was ruinously expensive so it stayed off my radar but then last week, a helpful cove on twitter, had waxed lyrical about the Dim Sum they do Sunday lunchtime. The deal was Dim Sum, cocktails and a half bottle of champers each for £58 a head! It sounded too good to be true and I was a little cautious after a similar 'deal' at Arbutus had resulted in some very underwhelming food. However as we had planned to go shopping anyway my lovely wife & I left Baby G at my mum's and headed off to Hakkasan hoping our transgression a decade ago wouldn't be mentioned!
Hakkasan is on Hanway place, a pretty charmless stretch of lane off Tottenham Court Rd that I imagine hosts all sorts of nefarious activities of an evening. Having said that the entrance to Hakkasan is inviting and we descend it's dark scented staircase into the stylish interior. We are greeted very politely at the cloakroom/reservation desk and led through into the restaurant to a nice table for two. It's a big space for a restaurant and though they pack a lot of covers in the high ceilings ensure it's not too deafening. On Sunday they have a DJ playing 'chill out beats' which makes for a nice atmosphere. Our meal involved various courses of Dim Sum kicking off with a choice of cocktail, followed by a shared starter of delicious duck salad, the duck shredded at the table. The Selection of steamed Dim Sum is possibly less delicate than The Royal China's on a good day but on the plus side there is no stinting with filings, plump juicy prawns, huge bits of scallop. It is tasty, perfectly cooked and leaves us impressed. Next up we have the baked and fried Dim Sum again all excellent. We are slowly filling up, helped by our bottle of Louis Roeder champagne that is included in the menu. They then bring the fried salt and pepper squid which is tasty and soft to be followed by our 'main which is XO Lamb chops and fried rice. The lamb is gloriously spicy, the rice cooked perfectly, even the soy sauce they bring us is a cut above the usual.
We finish off with a choice of dessert and another cocktail. My lovely wife has an assortment of huge tasty Macaroons whilst I go for a seriously tasty version of tart tatin washed down with a superior brandy hot toddy. This was a very good meal indeed which accentuated by some of the best service I've had in the West End. When my glass of iced tap water is finished they don't refill the glass they bring me a fresh one. Champagne is expertly topped up so that it comfortably lasts until dessert. Courses are well paced, we make full use of our 2 and a half hour sitting. We aren't pressured to leave or to up order. OK if you go a la carte it isn't cheap but I think you are getting a superior experience for your buck. Our bill comes to £131 with service which is pretty much a steal for all we have had to eat and drink. We glide out, serenely refreshed after our luxury interlude into the drabness and panicked furore of the West End in the run up to Christmas. If you like Dim Sum you should give this a go.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Food 9 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9