Hakkasan Restaurant Review, San Francisco
Posted by Foodnut.com
1 Kearny Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Hakkasan is a Trendy, Modern Chinese restaurant by famed London restauranteur Alan Yau. (London’s Cha Cha Moon, Yauatcha) and now owned by an Abu Dhabi group. He also co-founded UK Japanese Casual Darling – Wagamama. The San Francisco location opened in late 2012. Having been to the London location, we couldn’t wait for a local branch. Hakkasan also has locations in Las Vegas, New York, Istanbul, Miami Beach, and more. Mr Yau’s goal was to create a Chinese Nobu with almost paradoxical Modern Authenticity. Sounds almost like Asian Fusion. We gave them 3 weeks before our visit for dinner.
Decor, Vibe – Continuing London’s trend, another very stylish and hip restaurant with the lights low, lots of dark woods, accent lighting all over, music thumping. This has to be one of the most stylish Chinese restaurants we have ever been to in the San Francisco Area. Finally! The cool sexy design applies the bathrooms, if you can find them. Folks of all ages and races, well dressed, several big parties.
Hakkasan Menu Pictures (Click to zoom into any picture)
There are many items marked with their logo, indicating that they are signature dishes. We tried to stick to these items.
Green Destiny cocktail ($12) was a nice balanced drink, with a bit of cucumber and sweetness thrown in.
Hot and sour soup with chicken ($8) was surprisingly good. Robust flavors, good quality ingredients.
Jasmine tea smoked beef short rib ($21) was one massive rib. Very tender, good flavors, but not very good value.
Pipa duck ($36) is basically Peking duck pre-sliced and ready-to-eat. Nice crispy skin, tender meat, juicy, definitely a must order. They need to include some buns or crepes with this.
Stir-fry black pepper beef ribeye with merlot ($28) contained some tender beef with fairly strong pepper flavor. Beautiful looking dish, good for beef fans.
Stir-fry lotus root, asparagus and lily bulb ($12) with black pepper was a perfectly crafted vegetable dish. Very fresh, and cooked just right.
Roasted silver cod with Champagne and Chinese honey sauce ($28) was deep fried to perfection. This is one must order dish here. Not a lot of quantity, but high on the quality scale.
Egg and scallion fried rice ($5) was simply excellent. Combination of fresh ingredients, and probably some butter. Need to order dishes like this or else the Bill will skyrocket even higher!
Truffle braised noodle with crabmeat and scallop ($29) was surprisingly a strong traditional Chinese dish, with some truffle added to modernize it. Nicely done.
PB&J ($10) Peanut Butter parfait, Concord grape jelly, banana and passion fruit sorbet was a stellar dessert. A dense mousse that tasted was almost like a Reese’s peanut butter cup.
Homemade sorbet ($8) consisted of 3 excellent scoops. Nice and balanced! We’ve had far too many tart sorbets.
Pink Mojito ($12) was okay, but had a little too much ice and subtle flavors.
Shredded duck and fish maw soup ($12) was decent but tasted like a subtle base for sharks fin soup.
Hakka steamed dim sum platter ($26) scallop shumai, har gau, Chinese chive dumpling and black pepper duck dumpling looked wonderful, but proved to be just okay. At this price we felt we needed something more. We suggest sticking to dim sum only at lunch.
Sweet and sour pork tenderloin with pomegranate seeds ($18) was highly recommended by the waiter, and hit the spot. The sauce was just a bit too sour.
Service – Hakkasan had excellent service, with a knowledgeable waiter who helped guide us through the process. Lots of support staff kept Everything flowing.
Value – Hakkasan is Expensive. We ended up spending probably $70 per person. Padding your meal with rice, noodles, and veggies is a must. Lunch is much more economical with a $29 prix fixe menu. Dinner exposes their cutting edge clubby atmosphere.
Alternatives – Restaurants similar to Hakkasan in the San Francisco Bay Area are few and far between. The best Chinese food can be had at Koi Palace, but you will not this level of service or refinement.
Verdict – Hakkasan met our high expectations with excellent food, superb decor, and excellent service. There really isn’t a Chinese restaurant like this around here. I suspect most of the diners haven’t had a true Chinese dinner and are now getting exposed to new dishes. The expense account set, well heeled eaters, and those seeking a cool swanky restaurant have a new place to eat at.
4441 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33140
8 Hanway Place
London, W1T 1HD
020 7927 7000
020 7907 1889 fax
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