London, October 2014 – Mr. King and I spent a date night at the very hip and modern Cantonese restaurant – the 1-Michelin star Hakkasan on Bruton Street, Mayfair.
After alighting the cab, we looked around for the restaurant, but the only place that seemed to be “bustling” was an entrance with a black façade. At first, I thought it was a nightclub, but a closer look revealed the discrete signage “Hakkasan”.
The lively bar area was on the ground floor. We were led to our table on the lower floor. The overall décor can be described as dark and sleek. The waitresses were dressed in body-hugging red cheongsam (Chinese dresses). The music was from the pop/hip-hop genres, and we felt like we were sitting inside a nightclub, instead of a restaurant. At this point, I was beginning to doubt whether the cuisine was in fact, authentic Cantonese.
Although Hakkasan is famous for more complex dishes like Peking Duck with Hakkasan special reserve ‘Qiandao’ caviar, Mr. King craved for homey Chinese food and selected a few simple dishes from the a la carte menu. We were pleasantly surprised that the food was very authentic Cantonese and delicious. Head Chef Tong Chee Hwee is renowned for his contemporary take on Chinese cuisine.
Salt and pepper squid (£ 13.90)
Stir-fry black pepper rib-eye beef with merlot (£ 24.90)
Stir-fry baby broccoli and preserved olive, with crispy seaweed and pine nut (£ 13)
Three style mushroom stir-fry with gai lan, lily bulb and macadamia nut (£ 18.90)
Singapore vermicelli with prawn and squid (£ 12.50)
Hakkasan is the ideal place for those who are seeking casual-chic Chinese dining experience. Did I also mention that Hakkasan is a favourite haunt of international celebrities like Kayne West, Lewis Hamilton and Will Smith?
Hakkasan – 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
All photos were taken by Mrs. King.