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My family dined at Hakkasan for Father's day and I hope that our experience will be helpful.

The restaurant has been much discussed, mostly negatively, with regard to decor, food and pricing. The restaurant needs an awning or sign. The door to the restaurant is difficult to find and other than secret societies and private glee clubs, restaurants shouldn't make it difficult for patrons to find the entrance.

The restaurant is capacious, maybe overly so, there's a lot of wasted space and the cavernous dark hallway makes it feel more like a nightclub than a restaurant. Overall I didn't have issues with the Chinese by way of Blade Runner interiors but the music is overly loud, thumping, distracting and completely inappropriate for an upscale dining experience.

Service was in the vein of upscale casual restaurants, friendly and solicitous, think Union Square Cafe or Mas Farmhouse. Professional but still rough around the edges and the ignorance of Chinese cuisine is disheartening. Not that waiters should be experts on the cuisines they are serving but for an upscale restaurant, I expect more training. There were lovely thoughtful touches, the waiter having overheard we were celebrating a family event, wrote congratulations on the dessert and all the staff wished my father a happy father's day as we were leaving.

As for the food. I will refrain from going on a diatribe but I will disagree strongly with Pete Wells and Adam Platt, both of whom call their professionalism into question with their jarringly inaccurate reviews in contrast with my experience. First, my experience, dishes ordered may vary greatly from theirs and perhaps there is inconsistency of preparation. That being said, the food at Hakkasan ranged from good to exceptional.

Highlights included the pipa duck. As a duck lover this dish is non pareil, text book perfection of moist duck elegantly presented with exacting cuts of rectangular medallions. The skin is crisp and refined, the meat is tender counterpoint with clear, rich duck flavor, lacking the gaminess I find objectionable in ducks that are mass farmed. The saucing is judicious and if served with steamed mantou, it would set a high standard for Peking duck iterations in NYC. I have had duck in many restaurants, many highly esteemed Western restaurants, and the flabby skin always disappoints. Even when I ask, if the skin is crisp and am invariably informed yes, it never is. The skin at Hakkasan is perfection and it puts other restaurants to shame.

The chilean sea bass with Chinese honey was another standout. The fish is cooked firm but tender with skill to avoid the overly soft preparations at other establishments. The miso cod at Nobu, for all its fame, was not prepared as skillfully as this honey fish at Hakkasan. The fish is laquered with a wafer thin crust of honey that is indescribably complex, herbaceous and floral. The flavor is not immediately enticing, it's challenging to the palate and satisfies like a piece of fine chocolate. The dish is topped with battered crisp mushrooms and offers a pleasing parallel texture structure of crisp and soft.

We ordered the vegetarian dim sum platter and the steamed (meat) dim sum platter. The vegetable dim sum platter has vibrant contrasts of textures, crisp, crunchy with soft, rich. Herbs are used generously and pungently. The skin of the crystal dumpling is beautifully translucent. The skill in the preparation of the dim sum is by far among the best of the East and West coast. It puts Koi Palace to shame. Is it the best dim sum I've ever had? No, but certainly respectable and in NY, only rivaled by Chinatown Brasserie.

As a side note, the chili dipping sauce is searingly spicy, thankfully so.

The stir fry pepper beef was well prepared, the protein was of unquestionable quality, lacking gristle and uniformly tender. The sear was exceptional, the high heat wok sear that is undefinable but whispers of how it was prepared. Overall the dish was well received but acknowledged as unexceptionally creative, nor was the quality of the ingredients as elevated above the competition, such as the duck. Good steak is not hard to find.

The three style mushroom was a gorgeous array of fresh, plump, firm mushrooms complimented by a rich sauce and the luxurious fat of macadamian nuts.

The Hakka noodle is a master class in stir-frying, the noodles also had that breath of wok sear, but was censured for being delicately portioned.

No one wanted to pay for rice.

The desserts were excellent. The pastry chef should be proud as clearly the skill demonstrated shows pride in execution and technique.

The apple tarte tatin is head and shoulders above Artisanal and gives Balthazar a run for its money.

The chocolate "bar" is vastly superior to the version at Eleven Madison Park in flavor, texture and presentation with elegant gold ombre and rich pure flavor complimented by the sensation of the accompanying "snow"

The desserts would acquit themselves admirably in 3-4 star kitchens across the city, regardless of cuisine.

Total bill, including tax and tip was $288 for 5 adults.

While Hakkasan is undoubtedly an expensive restaurant and my members of my party experienced sticker shock, after all was said and done, Hakkasan was no where near the most expensive restaurant we've dined at in NYC. Not even the most expensive Chinese restaurant. My family has dined at EMP, Daniel, Bouley, Le Bernadin, Del Posto, etc. etc. Hakkasan was less expensive than all of the above. Full disclosure, the portions at Hakkasan are delicate, but not excessively so. Shared plates compare to the portions of tasting menus and there are few upscale restaurants where we truly leave full. BUT there is a definite perception of Hakkasan being expensive, because the entrees are higher in price than your typical Chinese restaurant in NY. What Hakkasan attempts is the super luxury category of EMPs, Bouley's etc. There is no direct comparison to other Chinese restaurants. No other Chinese restaurant in NYC aspires to be on that level.

In my opinion, Hakkasan has been judged unfairly, partially, and ignorantly by both people who have dined at the restaurant and worse by those who haven't. The skill level at Hakkasan puts it squarely at the top of the Chinese restaurant scene in New York. Comparison to current food media darlings Mission Chinese and Red Farm are as laughable as comparing Per Se to Balthazar. I enjoy both, and welcome the broadening tapestry of Chinese food in NYC but the difference in skill is palpable. The quality of ingredients at Hakkasan is unquestionable. The price is high, but unless ordering the "treasures" dishes with caviar, abalone, etc. not more so than other comparable restaurants. And most surprisingly, the desserts are better than restaurants that are FAMOUS for their pastry chefs. To award Hakkasan one star out of four or no stars a la Platt is ignorant and ridiculous. Negative hype has overwhelmed this restaurant and is revolting in character. The food is expensive, no doubt, and so is rent in NYC, especially for a restaurant of its size, near Times Square. However, this restaurant is no more Ruby Foo than Marea is Olive Garden. While it misses the mark on ambiance and hits off notes with service, it has been overly penalized and excoriated for not being perfect, probably in part because it serves high end Chinese cuisine.

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  1. Wow. This review has me salivating... Pipa duck is as fav of mine and it's rare to find a good rendition.

    3 Replies
    1. re: FattyDumplin

      The duck is truly exceptional, be aware it is not a whole duck. But at $39 it was the same price or LESS expensive and similar in protein quantity than the duck I had at Mas Farmhouse or Daniel just to name a few, furthermore, the skin of the duck at Mas and Daniel was so far inferior I would have gladly paid more for the pipa duck at Hakkasan. I will try to post pictures tonight.

      1. re: Pookipichu

        Wow. I usually do sushi meals now when I go back to NYC because it's so lacking in hte Bay Area, but I just may have to try Hakkasan. Especially since you said this puts Koi Palace to shame, given my love for that place. If you like crisp skin, I have to say that hte Koi Palace roast sucking pig is a brilliant version.

        1. re: FattyDumplin

          Koi Palace is my go to place in the Bay Area with good reason and I don't want to give the opinion that Hakkasan's dim sum is universally amazing. There are things that Koi does just as well but it's the overall level of execution that feel is higher and barring the music, I like the space at Hakkasan better. I agree with Cheeryvisage that the soup dumplings are nothing to wax poetic about. There were also dim sum at Chinatown Brasserie that were more visually stunning and creative. Hakkasan's strong point is the quality of the ingredients and a general high level of skill in preparation.

    2. Thank you for your most excellent review!

      I've been enjoying Hakkasan's wonderful dim sum at brunch and now that Chinatown Brasserie has closed, it is the only dim sum place I visit. I've been holding back from going to Hakkasan for dinner due to the mixed reviews. But your review (along with ScoopG's in the other thread) has assured me that I should give them a try at dinner time.

      22 Replies
      1. re: Cheeryvisage

        The loss of Chinatown Brasserie is devastating. It was my favorite dim sum restaurant in NYC and Red Farm does not compare in my opinion. I will miss their taro swans, char siu bao, Peking duck, lotus wrapped sticky rice and suckling pig.

        PS - I have little doubt that Hakkasan, despite its high quality of food, will close, when I dined there, the restaurant was practically empty except for a handful of tables of overtly wealthy individuals. We were the only table of ordinary income people celebrating an occasion, which I remember reading in an article, is actually the lifeblood of most high end restaurants. For every Saudi prince dining at EMP, there are hundreds of ordinary people who have saved up for a special night out. As large as the space is, the restaurant must be bleeding money every day. So enjoy the restaurant while we still have it.

        1. re: Cheeryvisage

          What are the prices like for the dim sum brunch?...I can't find a dedicated brunch or dim sum menu online. Their site just lists some dim sum platters in the Small Eats section of the A La Carte menu.

          1. re: Silverjay

            The dim sum items mostly range from $8 to $15+, with the majority priced at $10. Each dim sum item comes with 3 pieces.

            I always order their steamed items. The only dim sum dish there I don't recommend is the Shanghai Siuw Long Buns (aka soup dumplings). You can get better versions in Chinatown.

            1. re: Cheeryvisage

              Cool. Thanks for the info and the recs.

          2. re: Cheeryvisage

            Remember cheeryvisage, there were more negative comments about Hakkasan on your original thread from hounds who had not eaten there, than those who had!

            1. re: scoopG

              I know, right?! I'm glad Pookipichu started a new thread. The other one was getting unwieldy.

              1. re: Cheeryvisage

                Like I said previously, I fully enjoyed Hakkasan both for lunch (dim sum, thanks to your information!) and dinner. :)

                As you said, it is the only dim sum place that I go to as well, now that Chinatown Brasserie is closed.

                I trust Wells and Platt more when they discuss western cuisine, but definitely not when they talk about Asian foods.

                1. re: kosmose7

                  The level of discourse on Chinese food is low at best (not directed at you Kosmose7 but generally speaking). Especially in New York. I went to Hakkasan, with trepidation due to the highly negative reviews. But almost every higher priced Chinese restaurant in New York has had scathing reviews from chowhounders, from Shun Lee, Mr. K, Chinatown Brasserie, etc.

                  If the successful, elegant and very expensive Wing Lei was transplanted to New York, I have no doubt, it also would also receive negative reviews.

                  Hakkasan is not faultless but perhaps there is more fault in the people reviewing than the restaurant. From pricing, to execution of food, there is such contradiction of measure. It's ok to serve $14 bread pudding (stale bread and milk) at Blue Ribbon or $14 for mashed avocadoes at Rosa Mexicano, or $20 for risotto (rice and cheese) at Babbo, $7 for a little bit of uni at 15 East, $13 for pancakes at Clinton St. (flour and milk) any organ meat dish at any expensive French restaurant... these restaurants are packed with people clamoring to pay.

                  Could Hakkasan be less expensive? Sure. If the space was more modest, even halved it would still be large, but overhead would be much lower. The restaurant is a miscalculation of market and it would have been better served by creating a more intimate space that highlights the food like Annisa. Then the restaurant would feel less empty, creating more buzz, or at least reducing the feeling of desolation. But even with the current pricing scheme (barring the absurd treasures) it is not more expensive than other fine restaurants and the skill level at Hakkasan, from my sampling of dishes, is very high. The degree of skill required to stir fry properly or prepare duck vastly exceeds that of mashing avocados or cooking pasta al dente.

                  I appreciate quality of ingredients and skill of preparation, regardless of cuisine. I've paid through the teeth for pizza at DiFara's or risotto at EMP, even though sometimes such things are not a good value, I take into consideration, the cost of running a business, marketing, rents, ingredients, skill, etc. Obviously others do as well.. just not so much when the cuisine is Chinese food.

                  It seems any Chinese restaurant that doesn't have razor thin margins has terrible food? Huge markups are acceptable for any other cuisine? Do you cook? Do you know how much it costs to make pancakes? I will not see eye to eye with some of the commenters on Hakkasan because the dissonance and hypocrisy is outrageous. It's perfectly reasonable not to dislike Hakkasan or feel it personally is not a good value proposition but such opinions should be taken in context when value and quality are not calculated in the same fashion as non-Chinese restaurants. Meaning if you are paying $29 with rhapsody for rigatoni at Marea.. whatever.

                  1. re: Pookipichu

                    This issue was also beaten to death on the old Hakkasan thread.

                    1. re: Pookipichu

                      Yeah, I know what you mean. As a Korean who have lived in Hong Kong for ten years, I really miss fine dining Chinese cuisine and fine dining Japanese, which don't seem to be popular in New York. Even Kyo Ya, which is so much praised here, is not quite in the same league as those fine dining Japanese restaurants found in Seoul, Singapore, or Hong Kong, not to mention Tokyo.

                      1. re: Pookipichu

                        I totally agree., we love Hakkasan . When in Miami, we done there at least 3 times in the 2months we are there. It is my granddaughters favorite restaurant in Miami Beachsince it's opening I'm New York, we have been there once for dinner and once for a dim sum brunch with our 3 granddaughters. We are going back for dinner this Saturday evening and we are looking forward to the experience.
                        The dim sum is un-rivaled, delicate and so flavorful .
                        Yes it is true, the prices are high and at those prices the portions should be larger.
                        Our worst objection is the ultra loud disco thumping . Cannot call it music. We have asked them to turn it down. I have heard many people with the same complaint.
                        We have even mentioned it on open table.
                        At the Sunday brunch, they play a very soothing background music. Sort of like massage music.
                        I do hope they survive....

                  2. re: scoopG

                    I ate there, and it was unredeemably awful in every way. New thread or not, it's on my tell-all-to-avoid list

                    1. re: Simon

                      Irredeemably awful in every way? You must have had a magically bad experience. I feel sorry for you. With such ill fortune, it's good that you never return there.

                      1. re: Pookipichu

                        not magically bad, just in line with all the other bad reports: super-high prices in a Vegasy atmosphere, w/ servers who don't know anything about the food and food that's, to quote Pete Wells, as "interesting as a box of paper clips"...my review is on the older thread...

                        I'm glad you enjoyed your dinner there, but your positive review of the place is an extreme outlier: while others have praised the dimsum brunch, the reviews of dinner there have been overwhelmingly negative...as evidenced by the older, more complete thread...

                        1. re: Simon

                          I listen with respect to people's opinions and I mean no disrespect to one of the reviewers in the previous thread, but for instance, he/she commented on disliking the stewed nature of a dish that is by nature stewed. That's like commenting how awful the coq au vin is at Daniel because it has a wine-like flavor. I especially take issue with the absurd hyperbole of Adam Platt's review and my estimation of him with regard to Chinese cuisine is less than negligible. It is not about Hakkasan being perfect, nor is it my favorite restaurant, it's about assessing the restaurant fairly.

                          1. re: Pookipichu

                            i didn't find any hyperbole in Platt's review: i thought his "Ruby Foo's for rich people" line as well as his descriptions of very bland mediocre food to be entirely fair and accurate...and i've eaten high-end Chinese food in HK, Shanghai (where i lived), Vancouver, and elsewhere...

                            the fact that chowhounds are even bothering to discuss the pros/cons of this chain restaurant is, if anything, overly generous to the restaurant...

                            1. re: Simon

                              disagree . The food is not mediocre. It's very good.

                              Totally disagree with wha you said.

                              1. re: newportt2004

                                I think the main problem is that some people have decided they don't like Hakkasan before they've been to it. Makes it ever so easy to not like it after they've been as well.

                                Adam Platt's review was ridiculous. Hakkasan is a serious restaurant and no more like Ruby Foo's than EMP is like Serendipity.

                                But I don't expect people to be impartial when it comes to expensive Chinese restaurants. The very same people who will over pay for food with any number of other cuisines.

                                1. re: Pookipichu

                                  So by saying "makes it ever so easy to not like it after they've been as well", you're saying the chowhounds who hated this restaurant can't judge a restaurant themselves...that if they disagree with you that they must be joining a bandwagon and not have any ability to judge a place impartially...

                                  That's very insulting to the board...as well as, imo, a bit implausible, given that every major critic like Wells and Platt and Reichl has commented on how bad a restaurant it is -- and most of those media reviews came out after many chowhounds like myself had "taken one for the team"...

                                  I'm done with this thread: because i fear it will detract from the original, very thorough 250+ comment thread which describes the many cons (clueless service, tiny portions, Vegas-like atmosphere, uninteresting food) and occassional pros (a tasty dimsum brunch) in detail...

                                  1. re: Simon

                                    Perhaps insulting but also perhaps nonetheless true..... I can point out inconsistencies and partiality, I too am tired though, minds are made up.

                                    You can retreat to a thread that coexists peacefully and reinforces your viewpoint. I do not need a sounding board or echo chamber to see the hypocrisy of various critics and posters.

                                    How Hill Country can get two stars while Hakkasan gets one or the Dutch receives 2 stars while Hakkasan receives none.... Hakkasan expensive? Chicken parm at OLIVE GARDEN in Times Square is over $20. A small bowl of sugar snap peas cost $14 at Union Square Cafe, a banana split is $22 at Serendipity, I could go on and on. The worst value, tiniest portions I've ever experienced was at Fatty Cue, where a tiny cup of CUCUMBERS with some sesame oil was $5, two small lamb ribs for $12, oh but no NYTimes mention of price or portion size there...

                                  2. re: Pookipichu

                                    Correct, it isn't your 1 from column A and 2 from column B Chinese restaurant.

                  3. Thanks Pookipichu for your very detailed and thoughtful review.

                    1. How many were in your party?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: scoopG

                        5 adults, it came to about $58 a person versus our dinner at EMP which was $1188, $237 a person. Of course somehow Hakkasan is exorbitantly expensive *rolls eyes*

                      2. Yes, thanks for your balanced and thoughtful review. Funny that we rarely the terms "overpriced French" or "overpriced Italian" food. It's what I call culinary racism.

                        4 Replies
                          1. re: huiray

                            I don't think that seven year old chestnut is valid today. Ruth Reichl is yet another Eurocentric gastronomer who does not understand fine Chinese dining. According to the 2010 Census data, the Asian population in NYC grew by 32% since the 2000 Census and Asians are now close to 13% of the NYC population. Seven neighborhoods here are now majority Asian, compared to only two in 2000.

                            According to the Central Bank of China, since 1990 over 18,000 elite level party cadres and government officials have managed to purloin $120 billion out of the country - that's an average of $7 million per filcher. These are modest estimates and do not include the wealthy rank and file regular Zhous. Bo Guagua needs someplace to mad chill.

                            1. re: scoopG

                              Maybe not as widely applicable now but I suspect the effects and mindset still linger in the larger populace.

                              Do you have data showing how much of that money flowed into NYC rather than to Vancouver/GTO/SGV etc - insofar as North America is concerned? What is the economic and professional level of the people recently flowing into NYC (rather than NJ or CT) who are raising the Chinese population in NYC, d'you or anyone else here know?

                              1. re: huiray

                                NYC figures are from the Asian American Federation here out of NY. I'd have to dig to see what they have culled from the 2010 Census figures regarding the west coast. Also it is worth noting that the Central Bank of China figures did not include the amount of money that has left China from the wealthier emigrants who have departed.

                                It has been established by scholars like Peter Kwong, Dusanka Miscevic (Hunter College) and Min Zhou (UCLA) that the well-heeled Chinese immigrants flock to the American ethnoburbs while the indigent ones head to the urban Chinatowns.

                        1. Pookipichu, did the pipa duck and Chilean sea bass w/ honey have to be ordered in advance? Thanks!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: barleywino

                            Neither had to be ordered in advance.

                          2. Had another great brunch at Hakkasan recently. The Prawn and Pak Choi Dumpling was supremely delicious.

                            They seemed to have relaxed the "no photo" rule. Pictures of the meal below:


                            2 Replies
                              1. Thank goodness they relaxed the no photos rule. But when I went to the one in London, they had the no doggy bag rule too. Do you know if they've relaxed that one as well?

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: bdachow

                                  I don't think the no doggy bag rule ever existed for Hakkasan NY.

                                  1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                    Thanks CV! I didn't know if the no doggie bag rule in London was specific to the restaurant or the country.

                                    1. re: bdachow

                                      actually i forgot about this, do they enforce this rule at all now? (i was planning on going to try it and review it soon)

                                      this whole no photo thing is so silly to me

                                      1. re: Lau

                                        Just went to the one in Miami and they didn't say anything about my friends taking pics. Not sure if they're just more relaxed?

                                        1. re: bdachow

                                          They don't restrict photography anymore, that was in the first month they opened and it was inconsistently enforced.

                                          As irritating as that policy was, I'm much more glad they lowered the volume on the music. They've made many changes, including lowering prices as well.

                                2. I was looking into making a dinner reservation at Hakkasan and stumbled upon their Facebook. Looks like they're participating in Restaurant Week for lunch and dinner. For some reason, they're not listed on the official RW website.

                                  Menu here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/hakkas...

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                    Yes! One of the best deals for RW. :)

                                    < Lunch > $24.07

                                    * You have a choice of appetizer:
                                    1) steamed dimsum
                                    2) fried dimsum
                                    3) green salad with asparagus

                                    * choice of entree:
                                    1) stir fry black pepper rib-eye beef with merlot
                                    2) spicy prawn with lily bulb with almond
                                    3) steamed red snapper with chili sauce
                                    4) french beans with minced pork and preserved olive leaf
                                    5) four style vegetable stir fry in sweet szechuan sauce

                                    * dessert: macarons


                                    < Dinner > $35

                                    * choice of appetizer:
                                    1) steamed dimsum
                                    2) fried dimsum
                                    3) stir fry mushroom lettuce wrap
                                    4) salt and pepper squid

                                    * choice of entree:
                                    1) spicy prawn with lily bulb with almond
                                    2) sanpei chicken claypot with thai sweet basil
                                    3) stir fry beef tenderloin in sha cha sauce with ginger and chinese celery
                                    4) sweet and sour pork tenderloin with pomegranate
                                    5) szechuan mabo tofu with minced beef
                                    6) stir fry sugar snap, cloud ear and water chestnut
                                    7) three style mushroom stir fry with macadamia nut gai lan and waterchestnut

                                    * choice of dessert:
                                    1) peanut butter parfait, raspberry jelly, banana & passion fruit sorbet
                                    2) apple tation. green apple sorbet
                                    3) dark chocolate ganache, chocolate dacquoise, white tea & cherry sorbet

                                    1. re: kosmose7

                                      Looks totally delicious, thanks for sharing the photos.

                                  2. What did your party have to drink? It cost us for 2 at least 250.00. I don't know how it could cost 188.90 for 5.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Raisel

                                      We don't drink alcohol. It makes us tipsy, which I guess is the point for some, but for my family, we like to stay stone cold sober. :)

                                      1. re: Pookipichu

                                        We enjoy a wine to compliment the food........and, a little tipsy isn't so bad either ;-)

                                        1. re: Raisel

                                          We have nothing against other people drinking alcohol, but everyone in my family turns bright red and gets very tipsy easily so it's not for us :)

                                          1. re: Pookipichu

                                            Well, it is cocktail hour and my husband and I are enjoying a glass of wine on our lovely deck in Tuxedo Park.
                                            We are starting our dinner with home made gazpacho and our entree is Cornish hen marinated and grilled on the BBQ.
                                            Looking forward to our dinner Saturday evening at Hakkasan and enjoying a bottle of Conundrum wine.....YUMMO...;-)1

                                    2. Don't know how it cost you 288.00 for 5 people. It cost us 250.00 for 2. Did you have any wine or drinks with your dinner?

                                      1. I had a wonderful meal here recently. Ordered

                                        steamed dim sum platter -- really well executed; thin skins; served piping hot
                                        foie gras shrimp toast -- probably the dud of the bunch; the shrimp toast was well done but the foie gras didn't add anything to the taste; wouldn't order it again
                                        pipa duck -- probably the stunner of the evening; price of it also went down from $39 to $32
                                        honey lacquered sablefish -- delicious; a bit on the sweet side; huge portion
                                        Hakka noodle -- really nice wok hay; wish I had a wok burner at home
                                        stir-fry of mushrooms, macadamia nuts, gai lan, lily bulbs, water chestnut -- crunchy, rich and light
                                        Strawberry and champagne -- panna cotta with strawberries, rhubarb sorbet, champagne foam -- I could eat this again and again; on par with desserts from the Bar Room at the Modern (one of my favorite places for dessert)

                                        The music was a bit odd for this type of restaurant. The restaurant is emptier earlier during the night but filled up after 8P. There were more servers than patrons at one point -- which probably led to about 8 different people refilling our wine glasses. I stopped drinking after 1/4 glass -- I had to tell 8 different people that I didn't want any more wine. Service is well intentioned and friendly. I didn't ask many questions so I can't say as to whether the staff really knows their stuff.

                                        Perhaps people wouldn't balk at the prices so much if Hakkasan had some sort of tasting menu of composed plates. I know this isn't the way Chinese people generally eat, but many people expect composed plates at "fancy" restaurants. However I wonder if execution would suffer with those types of composed plates as many wok-fried items taste best as soon as it is prepared.

                                        I enjoyed my dinner and look forward to trying it for dim sum one of these days. I just hope it will still be there!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                          Glad you had a good meal. It's crazy how good their pastry chef is and the pipa duck is absolute duck lover bliss.

                                        2. I'm very happy to see Hakkasan NY receiving a Michelin Star.

                                          I have since returned to Hakkasan for dinner and have had the Pipa Duck twice. Pookipichu, you're absolutely right that this dish is phenomenal. Had the restaurant added pancakes, scallion, and cucumber as accompaniments to the dish, this would have become my favorite peking duck in the city. Standalone, I still consider the Pipa Duck dish to be one of my, if not the number one, favorite duck preparations in recent memory.

                                          I also agree with you that the desserts at Hakkasan are very strong.

                                          I will be trying that fish dish next. Thanks again for your report. Hakkasan remains one of the top choices on my regular restaurant rotation for lunch, brunch, AND dinner!

                                          In terms of price point, now that I've eaten at Hakkasan numerous times, I'd say expect to pay around $50-60 per person before drinks, tax, and tip. Again, this is not out of line for NYC dining for this caliber of food. The lunch prix fixe, however, is a bargain at $29 for 3 courses which includes rice and a side of delicious bok choy.

                                          Photos of the restaurant dishes from my meals, for anyone interested: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheeryvi...

                                          23 Replies
                                          1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                            Looks good.

                                            Just a by-the-way throwaway comment - one might joke that they are superstitious. :-) Siu mai - and har gow, at least in HK - are traditionally served in fours, not threes (there's a running semi-joke on the China & SE Asia board about the number of pieces served at dim sum places depending on where it is - see, e.g. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/822517 where it started). But, as you know, "four" is a close homonym for "death"/"dying" in Chinese/Cantonese. Hakkasan appears to be one of those places that serves their dim sum in threes, except for those combination baskets. :-)

                                            1. re: huiray

                                              Haha, that's very interesting. I also like to avoid serving 4 of anything myself, though I have no qualms about flipping the fish in a fish dish. :P

                                            2. re: Cheeryvisage

                                              Serious question - Do you think that a restaurant of Hakkasan's ambition and price range was aiming for a single star?

                                              I think they dreamed of 3 but would have been happy with 2. I'll bet they're disappointed with 1.

                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                Let me put it this way.

                                                Two of my favorite restaurants in the city, The Modern and Jungsik, have 1 Michelin star. I don't think Hakkasan needs to feel disappointed when it shares the same rank as The Modern and Jungsik.

                                                However, Cafe China and Lan Sheng on the other hand... I think the Michelin made a mistake giving them a star. While I like both, I don't think those two belong on the Michelin star list at all. But that's another discussion altogether.

                                                1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                                  At Hakkasan's price point I think they were hoping for more than a single star. Just my opinion of course.

                                                  I've thought Lan Sheng deserved a star for the last 3 years. I don’t do “Bests” but if someone put a gun to my head I’d name this the best Sichuan restaurant in the city. I've already linked to the extensive LS thread.

                                                  I agree with you about Cafe China. Wells got it wrong when he gave it 2 stars. Michelin would have been justified adding it to the Bib Gourmande list but it certainly doesn't deserve a star.

                                                  There's a randomness with how Michelin rates Asian restaurants. Over the years they've gotten a little better but it's still bumpy.

                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                    I thought the original London location of Hakkasan holds one Michelin star? Wouldn't it be kind of crazy for them to expect their New York location to get more than one?

                                                    In terms of price points, yes, there are a few extraordinary price outliers on their menu. I think people got too hung up over those dishes that were probably meant to attract a certain clientele that wanted to impress and show off in the most extravagant fashion possible. Given what I know about a lot of the ultra rich Asians, I think those outliers are intended to attract them. But 90% of the menu is not out of line and like I said, it comes to around $50-60 per person food only (unless you have a big appetite I guess). This is not an unreasonable price for dinner in New York City.

                                                    1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                                      Funny, from all the reviews I read here and elsewhere, i was assuming it was a $100+ meal, but $50 - 60 sounds pretty reasonable for a high-end Chinese place. Well definitely have to add to my list when I am back in town. That duck continues to sound amazing.

                                                      1. re: FattyDumplin

                                                        A typical dinner for two I'd have at Hakkasan is something like:

                                                        Hakka Steamed Dim Sum Platter - $24
                                                        Pipa Duck - $32
                                                        Chilean Sea Bass with Chinese Honey - $37
                                                        Rice - $3.50
                                                        Dessert - $15 (sometimes I skip and just get another savory)

                                                        Total: $111.50

                                                        Just to give you an idea. :)

                                                        1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                                          Mind you, I'd have that just for myself, though. :-) [and I might still be hungry - but that's just my gluttonous appetite]

                                                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                              Water. I don't drink alcohol because I'm hypersensitive to it.

                                                              1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                                                Sorry to hear that. I've got some friends who suffer from the same malady.

                                                                I think the point needs to be made, though, that couples who have a couple of glasses of wine will wind up spending at least $50 more. (The lowest price per glass is $10 but many are much higher.)


                                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                  With all due respect, the same could be said of any high end restaurant. I was at Craft and paid $8 for a non-alcoholic juice (I don't drink alcohol). The bill was over $100 per person based on app. entree and dessert with 1 non-alcoholic drink each. Much more than per person cost at Hakkasan when I ate there, yet I don't hear people moaning about how "Craft is so expensive for American food".....

                                                          1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                                            The problem is that the Michelin stars in NYC are all screwed up.

                                                            In European cities, one-stars still tend to be among the most expensive restaurants in town. They're the equivalent of the lower New York Times three-stars (and maybe the very very best New York Times two-stars). Michelin two-stars are the equivalent of the upper New York Times three-stars. Michelin three-stars are the equivalent of New York Times four-stars.

                                                            So by the traditional European standards, one Michelin star would be a realistic ambition for Hakkasan -- just what the London original got.

                                                            It's only cuz the NYC Michelin ratings are so screwy that you'd think Hakkasan wanted more.

                                                    2. re: Cheeryvisage

                                                      I'm glad you enjoyed the duck, I think it's pretty phenomenal. I think it's clear by now that Pete Wells and other critics were unfair in their reviews of Hakkasan, overly critical of price and food. Not that that will convince any of the critics or make them eat crow, but for the people who enjoy high end Chinese, we'll continue to enjoy Hakkasan.

                                                      It still amazes me how so much focus was put on Hakkasan's price when every time I dine at a non-Chinese, high end restaurant, the meals invariably wind up costing more or the same. I ate at Seasonal, and while everything was quite delicious, the streudel was only good compared to the excellent apple tarte tatin at Hakkasan and the ingredients inexpensive relative to price. $29 for a very thinly pounded veal cutlet, nearly the same price as an immaculately prepared pipa duck. Don't even get me started on the chicken at Nomad..... not that it's not good, but let's be fair across cuisines if we're going to talk about restaurant pricing.

                                                      1. re: Pookipichu

                                                        Hey, Pookipichu, I am interested in trying out Hakkasan with my dining buddy before I move to the midwest next month. Can you let me know how the service is there? After reading your comments, I am very curious to try the food. But I want to know if they rush you through your meal because I like to take my time to order the food and enjoy a nice conversation. Since its not a low price meal, I want to make sure my experience is pleasant. Thanks in advance.

                                                        1. re: bearmi

                                                          Hi Bearmi, my experience with service is that they are friendly, solicitous, not overly formal and not all that knowledgeable about Chinese cuisine. You will most definitely not feel rushed as the restaurant will probably be nearly empty (unfairly so or otherwise). The music however can be a bit loud and the choice of music... is questionable. But I think overall, conversation can be had and they will not rush you out.

                                                          1. re: Pookipichu

                                                            Thank you! I hate being rushed to order and rushed to finish my meal so that's a consideration for me (need to have my stress level capped!). Sounds like the Pipa Duck is a good dish to order, in addition to their dim sums. I will try my best to check out Hakkasan before I move! Thanks again!

                                                            1. re: bearmi

                                                              Just to share my experience in more detail. After my family finished our meal, we lingered looking at family photos my sister had brought and we we talked for quite a while (catching up and such). We were never rushed in any way. Hope you have a great meal.

                                                              1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                Thanks. Cant wait to go! Did you order any of their soups? How about any of the spicy dishes? I will definitely get Dim Sum but my friend likes spicy food so I wanted to mix it up a bit.

                                                                1. re: bearmi

                                                                  Alright, I want to write a quick summary. My dining buddy and I ordered dim sum platter and vegetarian dim sum platter, both very good. The dumplings were above average in size compared to Chinatown Brasserie and Red Farm. The only dimsum I didn't like that much was the vegrtarian lotus roll. It was a little too big and bland for me! We also ordered spicy seafood fried rice. Surprisingly, it had curry flavor (with shrimp and scallops and some okra) and I thought it was interesting but just ok (rice was a bit firm. It almost tasted like a Biriyani without raisins!). The Hakka stir fried noodle was delicious with good smoky wok flavor. And the black pepper beef too (I think it was rib eye and the texture was very tender with all the fat and cartilage trimmed) In addition to that, we got Pipa Duck, which was nice and crispy as many of you have mentioned. Lastly, and my least favorite, we ordered a Hakka treasure in black bean sauce. I was getting very full by then so I only ate the stuffed eggplant and the stuffed pepper (it was a red hot Jalapeno!!) But not the tofu. Filling was the same for all three, which was chopped shrimp. Anyway, overall we liked the food and we will consider going back again. Total for 2 people including 2 beers and 1 Hakkasan cocktail was $225 + tip.

                                                    3. This is a tiny point, but the name Hakkasan reminds me too much of a good brand of Sake from Niigata, Japan, called Hakkaisan.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                        I think the name is derived from "Hakka" (which refers to the Hakka people) and "san", the Japanese suffix for mister. :)

                                                        1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                                          You're right, Cheeryvisage - when Hakkasan's founder, Alan Yau, visited Singapore a few years ago, he told the Straits Times food columnist during an interview that he playfully combined the word "Hakka" (he was of Hakka descent) and the Japanese honorific "-san" (because he admired Japanese designs - think Wagamama, his first restaurant) to beget the name of his London restaurant.

                                                        2. re: Tripeler

                                                          LOL, I thought the exact same thing when I first learned about it. I've also heard people pronounce it without the chiisai tsu ( はっか) so it sounds like "haka-san", like "graveyard keeper" (墓さん) or (はかさん) in Japanese. I don't even know if that is a word though. Lol.

                                                        3. OK, some juicy bits for both sides - Andy Roddick's [ETA: Oops, it's Andy MURRAY] bill at Hakkasan. (He reportedly had only a $6 lemon soda)

                                                          [For convenience here's a relevant link: http://www.hakkasan.com/newyork/menus...]

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: huiray

                                                            It's Andy Murrray, after winning the US Open :)

                                                            1. re: kyph0515

                                                              Whoops, thanks. Corrected my post.

                                                            2. re: huiray

                                                              What an interesting choice for celebrating his first grand slam win, he must really like Chinese food lol. I'm glad that some people are ignoring the critics....

                                                            3. The original London Hakkasan, which I last visited in January, served the best dim sum my group had ever had. It is just phenomenal. I went to the Miami Beach one a month later, and we were all disappointed, we would never recommend it nor return. I'll be in NYC next week and, though it's midtown location makes me suspicious, I'm really hoping it's closer to the London experience than Miami's. Any comments?

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: DagnyTaggart

                                                                With the closing of Chinatown Brasserie, Hakkasan serves the best high end dim sum in NYC. The dim sum can be quite good at Red Farm (Joe Ng's new restaurant) but Red Farm's dim sum is not quite at the level of the former Chinatown Brasserie.

                                                                1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                  Only went to Red Farm 1 time but many times at Chinatown Brasserie. Glad to know that you and Cherry V liked Chinatown Brasserie. When I was at Red Farm, I thought my Dim Sum were cute and good tasting but the Long Life Noodle with Crab was extremely salty. I couldn't even finish it. Also I hated the communal table! I am anti social and thats a death sentence for me automatically!!

                                                                2. re: DagnyTaggart

                                                                  Yes, Hakkasan currently serves the best dim sum in New York City.

                                                                3. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/din...

                                                                  Dimsum mention in the NYT. Still think Hakkasan should be 3 stars based on their system.....

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                    Out of 1,150 words in that article exactly 44 were devoted to Hakkasan.

                                                                  2. I found out yesterday why the desserts at Hakkasan are so good. The executive pastry chef is the talented Rory Macdonald, the former executive pastry chef of Tocqueville where I had the pleasure of having his wonderful desserts. Now I know why the chocolate bar at Hakkasan was more beautiful and well executed than the one I had at EMP.

                                                                    1. I've been to Hakkasan multiple times now and my assessment is still that same, that Ruth Reichl, Adam Platt and Pete Wells were biased in their reviews and could not be more inaccurate in their assessments. Is there any other Michelin starred restaurant that received a goose egg from Platt?

                                                                      The food at Hakkasan was actually better, pre-Michelin star, when the restaurant was empty. My recent meals have all been in a packed restaurant. There has also been a dramatic increase in Chinese clientele.

                                                                      The music has been toned down, volume lowered. Thankfully. It's now possible to have a conversation without straining over loud techno music.

                                                                      The dim sum is still stellar, the gorgeous texture of their skin and the skill in preparation is evident.

                                                                      Prices have been reduced since my first visit on items, for example, their phenomenal Pipa duck and Peking duck. Now prices are less expensive than the duck at Wing Lei, LV and Shang Palace, Paris while being on the same level of execution, if not a touch better.

                                                                      Their yuzu and cassis macarons are top notch.

                                                                      The san bei ji is an interesting contemporary take on a classic dish, the chicken is prepared with traditional Chinese velveting but they include chili peppers to give it a lingering heat. Possibly the softest, most luscious chicken you could have in san bei ji.

                                                                      Waitstaff is now more knowledgeable about the food but that's improved from a baseline of zero. Service is still not a strength, not because of attitude or unfriendliness, but the service is disorganized. (E.g. not knowing if drinks or food had been delivered).

                                                                      All in all, I'm very happy that Hakkasan is thriving. Especially with the closure of Chinatown Brasserie and Red Farm being no replacement, since high-end dim sum and Peking duck were my staples at CB. Hakkasan is even better, while CB's entrees were hit and miss, Hakkasan's entrees are uniformly better and worthy of its Michelin star.

                                                                      19 Replies
                                                                        1. re: ellenost

                                                                          Isn't it a British duck with an exceptional rump?

                                                                          1. re: foodiemom10583

                                                                            I love duck, and I am interested in how this dish is prepared. Is it duck breast or the whole duck? What is the flavor? Any vegetables/noodles/rice?

                                                                          2. re: ellenost


                                                                            "Pi Pa Duck derives its name from the Chinese musical instrument, the Pipa -  a pear-shaped traditional Chinese guitar with 4-5 strings and a crooked neck. The duck is usually spread out like the Pipa, air dried, seasoned with the chef's secret recipe and deep fried."

                                                                              1. re: kathryn

                                                                                What accompaniments is the Pipa duck served with at Hakkasan?

                                                                                1. re: sweet100s

                                                                                  The pipa duck is not served with anything, only the duck meat and skin.

                                                                                  1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                    Thanks - that's what it seemed from the pictures.

                                                                                    Why would people order the Pipa Duck instead of the Peking Duck?

                                                                                    It seems so spartan when it's minus the yummy pancakes, scallions, hoisin, etc...

                                                                                    1. re: sweet100s

                                                                                      Do they even regularly serve the Peking Duck? I don't see it on their online menu and seem to recall that it ran $288, including fancy accompaniments.

                                                                                      1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                        The menu has changed since the restaurant opened, the Peking duck is now offered without caviar (thankfully) and the price is $88.

                                                                                      2. re: sweet100s

                                                                                        The pipa duck is a different preparation, it's not just the duck from the Peking duck minus pancakes. Both are delicious. Also the pipa duck is much less expensive.

                                                                                    2. re: sweet100s

                                                                                      The pipa duck is served with pickled ginger.

                                                                                  2. re: ellenost

                                                                                    kathryn explained it, its kind of interesting that they have that dish bc its not very common especially in the US.

                                                                                    i wrote about new kim tuong in chinatown, which serves it although from what people are writing im sure its much better here

                                                                                    1. re: Lau

                                                                                      I also find it interesting at Hakkasan is also in London, the Middle East, and India, as well as other US cities. And not all the locations serve pipa duck.

                                                                                      1. re: kathryn

                                                                                        oh the menus aren't universal?

                                                                                        my gf ate at the one in london and thought it was pretty good, she wants to go...its harder to get a res now though i just checked opentable and nothing was really open for dim sum on sunday

                                                                                        1. re: Lau

                                                                                          I didn't see Pipa Duck on the India menus or either London menus on the site, just now.

                                                                                      2. re: Lau

                                                                                        This belongs on the Outer Boroughs, but several places in Flushing have pipa duck, strangely enough two Sino-Malaysian places on 40th to name a couple.

                                                                                  3. nice review, i somehow never saw this before...this place is very high on my list of places to try

                                                                                    as has been discussed ad nauseum it would be nice for NY to have an upscale chinese restaurant similar to hong kong (or any major chinese city for that matter), which is something most people in the US are completely unfamiliar with

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Lau

                                                                                      > it would be nice for NY to have an upscale chinese restaurant similar to hong kong
                                                                                      + 1!!!!!
                                                                                      I LOVE upscale Chinese cuisine!
                                                                                      It is so subtle and healthy, and at the same time it reflects seasonality (just like Japanese kaiseki), but somehow I can not find any in New York.... (weep)

                                                                                      1. re: kosmose7

                                                                                        agreed, my own view is that upscale chinese in particular upscale cantonese is at least on par with (or better than) any other of the world's heralded high end cuisine (japanese, french, italian, whatever). i'm clearly biased b/c i prefer asian food generally much more than western food, but it's def one of my favorite foods along with japanese (chinese and japanese are my favorite foods)

                                                                                        it's sort of unfortunate that in the US i think b/c of what is offered here there is this idea that chinese food is tasty food, but its just very cheap food, which is a total fallacy

                                                                                        1. re: kosmose7

                                                                                          u also reminded me that im not sure why i havent reviewed a bunch of high end places in HK, probably the highest end places ive reviewed in HK are The Manor and Fu Sing, which are sort of high end but not really

                                                                                          im going to make that a point next time I go back to HK to do that

                                                                                      2. btw what are your absolute favorite "must order" dishes here besides the pipa duck?

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Lau

                                                                                          I haven't tried enough of the dishes to give a full rundown, budget constraints :)

                                                                                          I really love the Chilean sea bass with honey. The honey has a very complex flavor and it changes on your palate.

                                                                                          The Peking duck is stellar and I started ordering it as soon as there was an option w/o caviar.

                                                                                          The spicy prawn is succulent and tender and the spices are aromatic.

                                                                                          The dim sum is a must. I prefer the steamed platter but their fried pumpkin puff is addictive and deliciously crisp.

                                                                                          Every dish I've had, has been good to excellent.

                                                                                          PS - The no photography rule was eliminated soon after opening. I was walking around the restaurant photographing my parents being goofy as well as the food. Every time I've eaten there I've photographed my food. And I've had doggy bags on more than one occasion. They were kind enough to wrap up macarons we hadn't finished as well as food.

                                                                                          1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                            great thanks for the tips

                                                                                            ill go here a few times and then write it up...sounds great

                                                                                          2. re: Lau

                                                                                            One of my faves from London and just had in Miami again is the tofu claypot with aubergine and mushrooms. The tofu is absolutely divine, nice and creamy interior with the deep fried skin on it, braised with the aubergine, not too mushy and the nice firmness of the mushrooms. Drooling just thinking about it. I could just eat that and a bowl of rice to sop up the juices. Yummo!

                                                                                          3. I have never been to Hakkasan. Shortly after it got slammed my most of the major critics in NYC, I spoke to a famous Asian chef-restaurateur who was very upset about the treatment Hakkasan had received.

                                                                                            He raved, particularly, about two dishes. One was the duck. The other, and this he talked about at great length, was the fried rice, which he said was the best he had ever had in North America (he has traveled extensively in the Far East). He laughed about often ordering the most expensive and the least expensive dish on the menu. Have any Chowhounds tried the "plain" fried rice?

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                                                              I haven't tried the fried rice but I've tried the fried noodle and understand why it would be appreciated. There is a subtle, smokey caramelized flavor that is characteristic of high heat wok frying. A light and deft touch is used to blast the food with searing heat.

                                                                                              I don't think critics will ever apologize for their lemming like bashing of Hakkasan, has there ever been a critic to backtrack or admit fault in a review...

                                                                                              I'm just glad I tried it despite the "death watch" and horrid reviews, because despite not being a perfect restaurant, the food is better at Hakkasan than, for example, Cafe Boulud, Nobu and Craft, three three star restaurants with stellar Zagat ratings. It will be interesting to see how Hakkasan's Zagat's ratings play out.

                                                                                            2. Because I plan on going to Hakkasan today, I searched old threads on this place. Pookipichu, here's a belated thank you for an in depth, and "to the point" review. Many points have been brought up in the thread. I think like many Asian foods, Westerners underrate the gourmet aspect of Asian cooking. Because har gau maybe $4 or so at Chinese restaurants in Manhattan, Queens or Bklyn, people feel it's a rip off at 3 times the price. However, unlike some places that will avoid the dishes that most dim sum eaters desire, in an effort to "be fancy" Hakkasan seems to offer "favorites" but prepares them perfectly. ( i can't wait to try as many things as possible).
                                                                                              I think Japanese restaurants have managed to get past the "Asian food shouldn't be expensive" thing in NYC. Korean or Korean inspired food is making some headway with places like Jung Sik. Filipino food has tried with Maharlika, but that wasn't really getting it to a gourmet level just a more expensive level. Vietnamese , I guess Indochine to a degree. Cambodian I have not seen at a high level, nor have I seen gourmet Malaysian food here. So I welcome high end Chinese food. I look forward to my lunch today. I think I'll get dim sum and order the pipa duck.
                                                                                              Thanks again for the review.

                                                                                              23 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                                It's a frustrating circumstance, I've had numerous people quip that "real" Chinese food is not expensive or when people experience high end Chinese food, they assume it's French or Japanese "influenced". Japanese restaurateurs have done a remarkable job of marketing their cuisine where huge markups and small portions are not questioned.

                                                                                                Even friends and family who should know better will make comments about the price of Hakkasan but won't bat an eye at exorbitant markups in Western or Japanese restaurants. I was treated for my birthday to 15 East and ordered a bowl of soba noodles. There were about as many noodles as a half packet of the ubiquitous plastic-wrapped ramen packages. With shrimp and a sprinkling of mushrooms it was $28. The noodles were broken, the portion equal to a few spoons, all in all, it was carelessly prepared and sad.

                                                                                                I hope you enjoy Hakkasan and save room for dessert, the desserts are stellar.

                                                                                                1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                  Yay, I finally got to Hakkasan. I expected a high price, so there was no sticker shock and I even sprung for $28 parking.
                                                                                                  The greeting was nice and I ended up going as a solo diner.
                                                                                                  The room is quite impressive and you surely get the feeling you are in a high end restaurant. The "Classical Beauty" tea from Taipei was excellent, but I wish the tea were free, oh well.
                                                                                                  I was advised by the staff to stick to dim sum since i was alone because the other dishes would be too big. I really wanted to try the Pipa Duck. The waiter said to come with 4 people as the Peking Duck is amazing.
                                                                                                  --- The Crispy Bean Curd Prawn Cheung Fun ( photo attached) was a perfectly prepared tasty, fresh delicious dish
                                                                                                  ----The chicken abalone shumai, was not too good The piece of abalone on it , fell right off. Which left me with a mediocre shumai with an off taste. At $32, I think there were much better choices for $10
                                                                                                  -----The truffle and roasted duck buns , were steamed buns, they tasted good. They were pretty sweet, but I happen to like sweet. My only negative thought on this dish , was the filling was so very hot and the bun was just warm, that I wondered if it had been microwaved ( any thoughts on this are welcomed)
                                                                                                  ------The sticky rice in lotus leaf with chicken and dried scallop (lo may gai). Were two pieces per order, on the small side. The taste was very good. The rice was not the usual stickiness. It was a more refined dish than usual. But I prefer the usual with sausage, bigger chunks of chicken , sometimes dried shrimp and really sticky rice. The dish tasted good , so i was not disappointed. I wanted to try at least one "regular" dim sum dish.
                                                                                                  -----The Chilean Sea Bass Daikon roll with black bean sauce was delicious, perhaps the best dish. I was skeptical because it didn't sound Chinese, but it was a great dish ( photo attached)
                                                                                                  -----I listened to pookipichu and saved room for dessert.
                                                                                                  For dessert I had the Coconut Pudding with caramelized pineapple and coconut sorbet and lime financier. It was a fantastic dessert. I'm glad I saved room for it. Well, I didn't really save room for it, I was already stuffed. I ate like an animal.
                                                                                                  My bill was $153 after tax and tip. A respectable bill at that.
                                                                                                  As Pookipichu said, it is less expensive than other places of high quality food.
                                                                                                  Although I had some issues with certain dishes, I can understand why this place is considered the best dim sum in NYC. I really want to try their larger dishes. I am also happy about the location , because the theatre district needs more high quality restaurants. By the way, the music was fine, it was Brazilian jazz.
                                                                                                  Even though I agree that this is the best dim sum, I could not make it my regular dim sum place. Not because of the price but because I like to have congee ( jun, zhou), chicken feet, tripe, turnip cake, little spare ribs, egg custard and more. So I would have to keep Hakkasan for my once a month spot or for special occasions.
                                                                                                  I'm glad I got to try it today

                                                                                                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                                    Glad you enjoyed it - thanks for the update!

                                                                                                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                                      Beautiful photos, they are seriously making me hungry.

                                                                                                      1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                        Thanks for the inspiration . I'm so stuffed, no dinner tonite.

                                                                                                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                                          You should've tried the fried puffs. It's the best thing on the dim sum menu. Everything else is mediocre.

                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                Without being very precise, you appear to say contradictory things about Hakkasan NY on different boards.

                                                                                                              2. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                I think ipsedixit means mediocre compared to some of the dim sum places in the Los Angeles area, not mediocre on an absolute basis. If Hakkasan in Beverly Hills is comparable to Hakkasan in Manhattan, I'd probably rank it #5 in the Los Angeles area. But since you pay more than double at Hakkasan, it's not worth it.

                                                                                                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                  Let me just set this straight so that scoopG doesn't have his panties all bunched up.

                                                                                                                  I think overall Hakkasan has the best dim sum in Manhattan (if one disregards the price point, which sometimes cannot be realistic, I admit). The best dim sum items, in my opinion at Hakkasan, are the puffs (either seafood or the duck/pumpkin). The rest of the dim sum selections from the shu-mai to the various "dumpling" offerings are, at best, passable. The har gou can be tough and rubbery; in fact, many of the items in their steamed dim sum tray fall prey to that symptom. But for how delicate and fey they are in appearance, they would compare comparably to the rest of the stuff one finds in Chinatown -- no better, no worse.

                                                                                                                  Outside of dim sum, Hakkassan does many things well (again, if you ignore the prices). The pork belly claypot, sea bass, the duck (pipa, or the various Peking iterations) are stand-outs. I would avoid the noodle dishes, as they remind me in a very bad way of the stuff Crustacean (in LA) puts out. But overall, the food is enjoyable and there are some standouts that are both inventive and well-executed.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                    Yeah, the pumpkin puffs were the best thing on the menu. Strangely, the cheapest, too, I believe.

                                                                                                          1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                                            Gosh, am I alone to find $153 for one diner of dimsum, some/much of which was "mediocre" is an awful lot? What did you drink, besides the tea?

                                                                                                            1. re: swannee

                                                                                                              yah i was going to say im not sure how u spent $153 for one person, i think last time i ate there with 4 people we might have spent $50 per person max?

                                                                                                              1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                Correction: $137.14 was spent($112.14 plus $25 tip). Which is not far off from $153.I had no drink other than the tea which I think was $8. When I wanted more they wanted to charge me for a refill, but they ended up giving me more. I had 6 dishes which included a dessert. I attached pictures of all but the steamed buns. The most expensive dish was the Chicken and abalone shumai.
                                                                                                                Two people could have easily shared what I ate. I overrate because I wanted to try many things. Best dishes were the CrunchyPrawn Cheung Fun, and the Seabass Roll. Most expensive dish was the Abalone Chicken shumai $32. Questionable dish was the duck truffle steamed dumplings, because filling was so hot, was it microwaved?
                                                                                                                The 2 best dishes were excellent. perfectly done. Ipsedixit says to avoid noodle dishes, but these two rice noodle dishes were excellent. I will listen to Ipsedixit and I will try the puffs next time. I eat a lot. My sushi bills are through the roof. Double what the menu lists as the omakase price.

                                                                                                                1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                                                  ok so it sounds like ure generally a big eater then...wow 2x the omakase price!! that has to be a good like 24-30 pieces depending on the place

                                                                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                    Depends on if you count the sashimi pieces first. Which is what I normally do. 20 pieces might be usual. That's why Blue Ribbon is a great deal. I get so many more pieces of good quality sushi at half the price. But in all fairness, at Hakkasan I ate more than I should have. I even almost ordered the Pipa duck, but they stopped me. When I eat with my girlfriend we share dishes and I eat so much less. When I eat alone I eat for two.

                                                                                                                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                                                      ah ok if u add some sashimi that's not as crazy (although still alot of food! haha)

                                                                                                                      i think the pipa duck is great, i prefer it slightly to the peking duck, but both are good

                                                                                                                  2. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                                                    I've commented that the noodle dishes I've had at Hakkasan have been quite good. Delicately prepared with intense, high heat wok breath.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                      Pookipuchu: I agree with you. What you said, influenced me on ordering those and ordering the dessert. Ipsedixit commented to avoid the noodle dishes. I disagree.

                                                                                                                    2. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                                                      My grandma would love you. She would always say, eat, eat eat!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                        hahahaha I'd like your grandmother too!

                                                                                                          2. A fine review! You've sold me. (I just hope the thumping, bumping bass music is gone by the time I get there)

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: arepo

                                                                                                              I think the music doesn't get loud until after 7pm. I'm an early eater so I'm not very sure. When they first opened it was thumping all the time, which drove me bonkers. I like quiet restaurants.

                                                                                                              Hope you have a wonderful time!

                                                                                                              Some photos from restaurant week. Everything was delicious. The dessert was adorable and well composed. Pistachio, chocolate and fresh cherry.

                                                                                                              1. re: arepo

                                                                                                                the music is mellow in the afternoon

                                                                                                              2. Another Christmas Eve at Hakkasan. This year they have special items for the holiday, tiger prawns with spicy curry, king crab, ribeye with tangerine peel, tofu with seafood steamed in lotus leaf.

                                                                                                                We had salt & pepper squid, jasmine tea smoked ribs, steamed dim sum platter, guilin quail, hot and sour soup, chilean sea bass with Chinese honey, the tofu with seafood steamed in lotus leaf, tiger prawns in spicy curry with pineapple, chicken and crispy fish fried rice, noodles with roast duck, coconut panna cotta, pistachio with cherry, and chocolate orange.

                                                                                                                Favorite dish was the tofu with seafood. The tofu was silky, full of flavor and scallops were perfectly cooked, lovely lotus leaf flavor throughout.

                                                                                                                The desserts are just stunning, all beautiful, favorite dessert was the coconut, really, really delicious and a must for coconut lovers. The orange slice on the chocolate orange is lovely. Hakkasan has some of the best desserts in NYC.

                                                                                                                1. Just ate dinner at Hakkasan for the first time tonight. Pipa duck was outstanding, as promised--but even better were the snap pea shoots sautéed in oyster sauce which we ordered as a casual side dish. Lemon chicken was fairly good, I thought. Lots of attentive service. I wasn't paying, but if I go back I'll stick to the cheaper items to limit the damage to my wallet. No quibbles with the food, though.

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: crinkle11

                                                                                                                    I'm glad you had a good experience. Did you try any of the desserts? The coconut panna cotta was truly fantastic.

                                                                                                                    I had my first "bad" item out of everything I've tried at Hakkasan. I ordered the grilled lamb chop with xo sauce. The grilled lamb chop had no sear and was covered in an overly sweet, sauce. It would have been a great dish if they had seared the lamb properly and been more judicious with the sauce and made it less sweet, or had the sauce as a dipping sauce instead of smothering the lamb. Everything else we had was great though (Peking duck, fried rice with crispy fish and chicken, pea shoot with garlic, panna cotta)

                                                                                                                    1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                      I am going back tonight believe it or not! I can't get that pipa duck out of my head. No I did not have dessert--I get full easily which is why Hakkasan doesn't break the bank for me. Thanks for warning about the lamb. The pea shoots are outrageously good.

                                                                                                                      1. re: crinkle11

                                                                                                                        Save room for dessert (if you like sweets)! The coconut panna cotta, chocolate orange, sesame cremeux, fruit platter are my favorite. :)

                                                                                                                  2. Interesting to see this post now.....I just had NYE dinner at Hakasan in Las Vegas. It was a 8 course meal and was part of a contest I won. The food was quite good. I never knew there was a NY location. Dinner without drinks for NYE was about 150 pp which I thought was not bad (considering it was NYE and it was a tourist trap). I will say, there wasnt much food even after 8 courses. I Each course was 2-3 bites max. The drinks were about 18-22 each so that was what must have blown the budget for my host. We had a private room and it was lovely. I cannot justify eating there though unless someone else is paying as I did not find it outstanding.

                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: davisesq212

                                                                                                                      I haven't eaten at the Hakkasan in Las Vegas so I can't really comment :) Hopefully the one in NY is better.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                        The Hakasan in Las Vegas wasnt bad...it just wasnt worth it. I had chinese food in Brooklyn today that was about 30 bucks for 3 people. It was a feast. It was far and above much more tasty than the food at Hakasan.

                                                                                                                        1. re: davisesq212

                                                                                                                          Please tell us where in Brooklyn. Hard to compare your experience in Las Vegas since you mention no dishes.


                                                                                                                          1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                            Winly on Ave U.

                                                                                                                            I am just comparing the taste not the exact entrees.

                                                                                                                            I did have lobster in black bean sauce yesterday at Winly. 1 lobster was 14.95. It was incredible. I had a curried lobster in Las Vegas's Hakasan. It was good but I would not order it if I went again. The lobster in black bean sauce though at Winly was beyond fantastic. We also had roast pork pan fried noodles. Unreal. Did not have that dish in Las Vegas but in Brooklyn, it is my 'go to' dish because it is just that good. I think that dish is about 9 dollars. We also had chicken and corn soup for the table. Its always perfect. In Las Vegas we had a pumpkin soup. To me, it was good. Would order again but definitely not an asian soup. We had so much soup at the restaurant but still, we brought close to a quart home. It was about 6 dollars. Thus, I am not comparing my meal dish to dish but rather taste and price.

                                                                                                                            1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                              My auntie was visiting from Shanghai with my cousins and we had a fairly large group at Hakkasan last week.

                                                                                                                              We ordered:

                                                                                                                              steamed dimsum
                                                                                                                              shanghai dimsum
                                                                                                                              salt and pepper squid
                                                                                                                              duck salad
                                                                                                                              jasmine smoked ribs
                                                                                                                              curry soft shell crab

                                                                                                                              Peking duck

                                                                                                                              Chilean sea bass with Chinese honey
                                                                                                                              spicy prawn
                                                                                                                              seafood toban
                                                                                                                              sanbei chicken
                                                                                                                              braised pork belly
                                                                                                                              black pepper rib-eye
                                                                                                                              sugar pea shoot with garlic

                                                                                                                              fried rice with crispy fish and chicken

                                                                                                                              fruit platter
                                                                                                                              coconut panna cotta

                                                                                                                              There was a new dessert
                                                                                                                              black sesame tong yuan in yuzu soup that was amazing. There were sour yuzu pearls mixed in with the sesame filling inside the tong yuan.

                                                                                                                              The worst dish was the rib eye because there was too much sauce and the steak lost the texture of the sear, the excess of sauce made it gloopy. It still wasn't "bad". Just my standards are higher because of price and I was underwhelmed. It was actually better the first time I ordered it (the first and only other time)

                                                                                                                              The best dish was the Peking duck. You will not find a better iteration in the outer boroughs or in Manhattan.

                                                                                                                              Braised pork belly was something I hadn't had before and it was really delicious.

                                                                                                                              Softshell crab I've tried before, was not my favorite (it's tasty but I like it crisper, it's very juicy though.) but several people in the group love softshell crab so it was ordered.

                                                                                                                              The Shanghai pan-fried dumplings are delicious but not very much better than pan fried dumplings at Nan Xiang. Very consistent and pretty presentation, only get if you are craving pan-fried dumplings.

                                                                                                                              Duck salad was delicious but perhaps a tiny bit redundant with the Peking duck.

                                                                                                                              Salt and pepper squid was devoured.

                                                                                                                              Sanbei chicken, Chilean sea bass with Chinese honey were both hits.

                                                                                                                              The dessert fruit platter was devoured. My auntie loves rambutan and was delighted with the fruit platter.

                                                                                                                              Bottom line for me is the best dishes at Hakkasan are a quality that I wouldn't be able to match in the outer boroughs or elsewhere in Manhattan, I really wouldn't go to Hakkasan or bring my family there if there was a less expensive and equally delicious and refined option.

                                                                                                                              I would pit their Peking duck against any duck dish from any other restaurant in Manhattan. I have not had a duck dish better, regardless of cuisine.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                What did the bill come to, and how many were you?

                                                                                                                                1. re: swannee

                                                                                                                                  8 people, I'm not sure what the bill was because my auntie snatched the check, eagle style kung fu claw.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                            As someone who travels to Vegas a lot for work, I can safely say most Vegas branches arent as good as the original or locations in Tokyo, NY, and Paris and play on the "safe" side in terms of what they serve. They're more about the scene than anything else.

                                                                                                                        2. Ok one more dish to add to the do not order list. The veal short ribs with kumquats. The flavor is excellent, the citrus notes of the kumquat are clear, exceptionally fragrant and well-balanced, but the meat is unforgivably chewy. The ribs are served thinly cut, flanken style when the meat would be more forgiving served English cut and braised. If the short ribs had been braised and served with the same flavors and sauce, the dish would be stellar, but sadly, the chewiness of the meat is unacceptable.

                                                                                                                          One more pet peeve, I've written to the restaurant multiple times now regarding the Peking duck, about servers taking the steamer basket lid and letting the pancakes cool down. And the food service sending out Peking duck with multiple other dishes. Peking duck should be served by itself before (or after) the other main courses so that you have time to make the wraps and enjoy them without the pancakes or other dishes cooling. Do not let them take your lid and make sure they are clear there should be pacing of the dishes.

                                                                                                                          1. Going to brunch there next Saturday (7/5) - going with my family (originally from Taiwan), should we focus on dim sum or order cooked dishes? No prices on the web - have the prices gone up/down/stayed the same?

                                                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                              It's so annoying when restaurants don't print prices on their menu online. The prices have stayed the same in the past year, they're actually lower than when the restaurant first opened.

                                                                                                                              The dim sum is very good but I wouldn't limit myself to dim sum.

                                                                                                                              I do not recommend:

                                                                                                                              Chicken and abalone shumai
                                                                                                                              Shanghai siew long bun

                                                                                                                              The other dim sum is pretty good, I personally enjoy:

                                                                                                                              Bamboo dumpling
                                                                                                                              Sticky rice in lotus leaf with chicken and dried scallop
                                                                                                                              Har gau
                                                                                                                              Prawn and pak choi dumpling
                                                                                                                              Morel crystal dumpling v
                                                                                                                              Chilean seabass daikon roll
                                                                                                                              in black bean sauce
                                                                                                                              Sesame prawn toast with foie gras
                                                                                                                              Roast duck pumpkin puff

                                                                                                                              The following dishes are very good, the pipa duck is standout:

                                                                                                                              Salt and pepper squid
                                                                                                                              Roasted silver cod
                                                                                                                              with Champagne and Chinese honey sauce

                                                                                                                              Grilled Chilean seabass with Chinese honey
                                                                                                                              fried shimeji mushrooms and gai lan

                                                                                                                              Spicy prawn
                                                                                                                              with lily bulb and almond

                                                                                                                              Crispy duck salad
                                                                                                                              with pomelo, pine nut and shallot

                                                                                                                              Pipa duck

                                                                                                                              Hakka pork belly claypot
                                                                                                                              with leek and cloud ear mushroom

                                                                                                                              Chicken and crispy fish fried rice

                                                                                                                              Save room for dessert. The desserts are really exceptional, flavorful, balanced and not too sweet. Definitely top tier in NYC.

                                                                                                                              The sesame chocolate dumplings are like tong yuan.
                                                                                                                              The mango pudding is fresh and light. The fruit platter is always a huge hit with my relatives.

                                                                                                                              I hope you and your family have a wonderful time, much of my family is from Taiwan (the other half from mainland).

                                                                                                                              1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                I will bring your list with me. How are the portions? I assume the dim sum are regular sized, but the regular dishes? We have 6 adults (3 men, 3 women).

                                                                                                                                1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                  The dim sum are normal size, the number of pieces varies depending on which you order.

                                                                                                                                  The regular dishes vary as well. The grilled seabass is usually 2" x 3" fillet (4-6oz)

                                                                                                                                  The crispy duck salad is a generous portion that could serve as an entree for someone eating salad.

                                                                                                                                  The pipa duck is flattened 4" x 6" rectangle of duck

                                                                                                                                  The fried rice is enough for 4 full small bowls or 6 bowls for taste.

                                                                                                                                  For six adults sharing:

                                                                                                                                  3-6 dim sum

                                                                                                                                  duck salad or salt and pepper squid

                                                                                                                                  pipa duck


                                                                                                                                  pork belly

                                                                                                                                  vegetable with garlic or ginger

                                                                                                                                  fried rice or noodle


                                                                                                                                  That would fill up most people.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                    that's a pretty detailed reply....thanks!

                                                                                                                                2. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                  I will use your list as a guide too in the future. haha.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                    My family tends to choose Chinese for celebratory events so we've eaten at Hakkasan a couple of times and I've gotten to try a sampling of the food. But there are things I haven't tried yet :P, other dishes I recommend on the dinner menu and some dishes that I don't.

                                                                                                                                    Some things like the pot stickers, are really good, but even a great pot sticker is hard to differentiate itself from the less expensive ones you can get at other Chinese restaurants, but then again, that could be said about a number of dishes across different cuisines.

                                                                                                                                    I was however surprised by how good their steamed vegetarian dim sum platter is. Hakkasan differentiates itself in the higher execution items like Peking duck or things you can't easily find at the middle tier Chinese restaurants, like the Chilean seabass with honey. Also, the desserts are just simply better than most restaurants and skew toward an Asian palate when it comes to sweetness.

                                                                                                                                3. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                  I would recommend the stir-fried bird's nest, and the fried quail with pancakes.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                    You would recommend some bird upchuck.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                      My guess is that it's a mixed stir fry presented in a bird's nest (usually fried taro or some such), rather than the actual swallow's nest (saliva) because that would be too expensive to have a meaningful stir fry, even for Hakkasan.

                                                                                                                                      I haven't been back in over a year, but from my recollection I would consider the individual dim sum dumplings to be large relative to traditional cantonese dim sum pieces.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                    So I actually wound up going to brunch at Hakkasan too.

                                                                                                                                    The restaurant was fairly quiet, music was subdued and the restaurant was pretty empty. Perhaps because it was so empty, the kitchen was turning out some of the best dim sum I've had there.

                                                                                                                                    Har gau - best rendition I've had in NY, thin wrappers, not gummy at all, excellent consistency, the shrimp was loose, soft with the slight springiness of being fresh.

                                                                                                                                    Scallop dumpling - nice presentation, also excellent wrapper but the flavor was dominated by soy.

                                                                                                                                    bamboo dumplings - these were lovely, they are a favorite of my father, they have wood ear mushroom in them which gives it some crunch and flavor. Really excellent.

                                                                                                                                    lotus wrapped sticky rice - was cooked perfectly as chicken was moist, very fragrant with lotus leaf, would have preferred the rice to be more sticky.

                                                                                                                                    scallop cheung fun - really excellent, scallop was plump, very fresh, subtle, cut in generous halves and the texture of the wrapper was spot on.

                                                                                                                                    I had the spicy seafood fried rice for the first time, it has okra in it which was skillfully prepared, i.e. not slimy.

                                                                                                                                    Pea shoots were excellent and tender, crisp.

                                                                                                                                    Desserts finished with dumplings in yuzu broth and the kalamansi chocolate ganache. They were both, lovely to look at, balanced in flavor, and judiciously light in sweetness. They never cease to impress me.

                                                                                                                                    The server was a very elegant lady from Hong Kong, Ailin, probably the first server I have encountered at Hakkasan who is knowledgeable about the food, She paced the meal, left steamer covers when appropriate. It was such a breath of fresh air and showed me what Hakkasan could be like with really great service. We got into a rather lively discussion about Chinese food in NY and she told me about her father's opinion of Chinese food in the US (not impressed), lol. She did say that he felt Hakkasan was the best Chinese restaurant he's eaten at in NYC. In any event, it was interesting to talk with someone who is passionate about Chinese food as she is looking to open her own Chinese restaurant in the future, one that is chef tasting only and seasonal.

                                                                                                                                    The underburdened kitchen, knowledgeable and competent service and quiet environment made for an excellent experience.

                                                                                                                                    I hope your family had a good experience, I know that coming from Taiwan will probably set the bar very high.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                        nice report...its been a while, been completely bogged down with other stuff, but i need to get back to writing and write up this place finally

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                        Good report. What was the bill and how many people were you?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: swannee

                                                                                                                                          Total bill (incl. tax and tip) was $127 for two. Totally stuffed but could not resist their desserts.

                                                                                                                                    1. Hakkasan's LA (Beverly Hills) branch recently ended its lunchtime service and only offers a dim sum sampler at night. It's alarming that Hakkasan NY also seems to be hurting at lunch.

                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                                        It's sad because despite naysayers, there is no other Chinese restaurant producing such consistently high quality food, if Hakkasan folds, the number of choices becomes bleak.

                                                                                                                                        My recent lunch at Nomad was $153 for two people, no desserts, just chicken, salad and pasta appetizer. Nomad was packed and the food was good but they forgot to put goat cheese on my salad and the chicken was on the verge of being too salty, my lunch at Hakkasan was better AND less expensive.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                          thinking of a small plate trek at lunchtime early this week. just curious if you've tried the foie gras prawn toast -- i'm a sucker for shrimp toast of pretty much all kinds, and that does sound excellent. is it?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: debinqueens

                                                                                                                                            I've had it and like it. It's very rich and the foie flavor is not as pronounced as I'd like.

                                                                                                                                            I prefer foie by itself because that's where I feel its qualities (texture, mouthfeel, flavor) really shine (a straightforward slab, not hidden in something else or frozen and shaved, etc.) , that's just a personal preference. As far as shrimp toast goes, it's very good but I haven't ordered it again because of that.

                                                                                                                                            PS - they are only open for lunch on weekends.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                              thanks for the reply...will ponder options. there seem to be plenty.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                            Hakkasan has never been packed the times I've been -- either for lunch or dinner, weekend, or weekday.

                                                                                                                                            Buddakan and Spice Market both seem to have more tables turned than Hakkasan, just based on anecdotal, eye witness accounts.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                              Spice Market and Buddakan, even Redfarm are proof that location matters. I know the area around Hakkasan has gotten better in the last decade, but I think most people dont want to be around Port Authority after 7pm on Friday or Sat.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Shirang

                                                                                                                                                I definitely agree that location matters, that being said, I personally find the location of Hakkasan pretty convenient, especially if I'm going to a show. It's easier for me to get to than SM, Buddakan or Redfarm (either location).

                                                                                                                                                In an ancillary note, the last time I was at Spice Market, the food was a far cry from when they opened. I had chicken skewers that tasted like the free meat samples people hand out at suburban malls. An atrocity of a fish dish, overcooked, weird chewy texture, and dessert consisted of a candy bar that looked like a turd covered in confetti and tasted like a Snicker's bar that had been sitting too long in someone's pocket.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                  Perhaps Spice Market should post your review on its walls.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: swannee

                                                                                                                                                    I don't think people really go to Spice Market for food.

                                                                                                                                        2. Some observations. Prices are about double that of other good Chinese restaurants. One can easily eat well for less than $100 per person. Most diners are Asians (probably Chinese). The decor and level of service match the price point. The food is generally excellent, but I'm not dying to go back. Bill for 5 adults and 2 toddlers, with 2 glasses of champagne for me with tax and tip was $380. In addition to loads of dim sum, we ordered the pipa duck, lobster, and Hakka noodles.

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the report back. PS - did you try any of the desserts?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                              Yes, we made sure to try the chocolate dumplings and pana cotta. I thought the chocolate dumplings were weird when mixed with yuzu ginger tea (but I'm not a dessert person and I don't even like tang yuan).

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                                                                                                                                Lol, understandable. Thanks again for your review, I think it's very helpful for people. I forget that not everyone likes Chinese desserts, i.e. tang yuan :)

                                                                                                                                                The tang yuan is definitely not something you see at many restaurants in NY, but I personally love Chinese desserts. Tang yuan, fong li, red bean/green bean soup, mochi, etc.

                                                                                                                                          2. I'm going to latch onto this existing thread just to ask about the evening noise levels at Hakkasan these days. Pookip says it was relatively quiet at brunch, but has anyone else been on a recent Saturday night, for example?
                                                                                                                                            I have the sense -given PP's posts and others'- that eating there is akin to sitting just off the dance floor at Studio54 in 1979 -is that still true?

                                                                                                                                            31 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                                                                                                                              its fine at dinner. those complaints only happened when the restaurant opened in the beginning when they seemed to be going for the vegas vibe with loud music etc, but that has all be fixed

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                                                Thanks for your prompt, helpful response, Lau; I'm wanting to pull out some NYC bells & whistles for a visitor, but I hate super-loud places. Hakkasan now sounds (!) like it might fit the bill.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                                                                                                                                  its a good restaurant, where is the visitor from?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                                                    The visitor's from Toronto, so no stranger to Chinese cuisine, but even Canadians are open to being impressed. Hard to do -yes- but possible; that's what I want.

                                                                                                                                                    EDIT: if you have some alternative suggestions that don't involve E.39th St., I'm open to them.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                                                                                                                                      hmm i dont know if you want to take them to chinese food then, Toronto's chinese food is far superior to NY

                                                                                                                                                      what kind of place do you want?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                                                        Have to check with her now; will revert!

                                                                                                                                                        (Hard to believe that superior Chinese cuisine in NYC can't match Toronto's -indeed, it might make for an interesting comparison, no?)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                                                                                                                                          There is excellent Chinese food in Toronto but Hakkasan is different from what they have from my experience (granted I haven't eaten in Toronto in over 5 years so things may have changed)

                                                                                                                                                          Between the food, desserts and decor, the restaurant acquits itself admirably and is the place I bring guests from China and Taiwan, which has Chinese food far outstripping Toronto.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                            This is a little off-stream, but I always wonder why the consensus is so strong, even among people I trust like Lau, that NY has weaker Chinese food than Toronto, LA, Vancouver, even San Francisco (where I for one, have never had a good Chinese meal). Even with the huge influx to SGV area in LA, NY continues to have (by far) the largest Chinese ethnic population in the Americas, at least in actual numbers (not, obviously, in percentage). Why should the Chinese food be so weak? When the population was almost entirely dirt-poor immigrants and their children I can understand--a situation similar to Italian food in the US before the 60's and 70's. But there is a large influx of new, much more affluent immigrants here (as in LA and the other communities). Why then hasn't it translated into better cuisine--at least as you see it?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: swannee

                                                                                                                                                              I don't know why the consensus is so strong. But I do believe there are some factors that come into play in coloring opinions.

                                                                                                                                                              There are only so many meals/dishes a single person can eat and only so many restaurants you can visit. People can have inconsistent experiences from meal to meal and you are going to have more experience with restaurants in the city you are based in. There are also personal biases since Chinese diaspora come from many different parts of China (and Taiwan/HK, etc.) We bring our personal tastes and preferences.

                                                                                                                                                              I tend to have a slightly different take on the comparative strengths of the major cities for Chinese food. I used to live in LA and was never overly impressed with Chinese food while I was living there. The best Chinese restaurant in the US for me was Dish of Salt in NY. There was NOTHING that I knew of in LA/SGV that was as elegant, beautiful, dramatic, serving highly refined, skillfully prepared food, with live music, chef's tasting. Similarly I found SF to be unimpressive although I think Koi Palace is great. Both markets do benefit from excellent produce and ingredients. SGV has a wealth of mid-tier options, but not high-end Chinese. SF < SGV.

                                                                                                                                                              If you like Cantonese food, Toronto and Vancouver both offer food (in general) that is a notch above NY. Vancouver in particular benefits from high quality of ingredients and very, very wealthy Chinese residents. Hakkasan is THE best Chinese restaurant in NYC overall but after it, the field is very, very weak. Whereas to call a city great for a particular cuisine, you should have a handful of restaurants that are excellent.

                                                                                                                                                              I do feel the quality of ingredients, freshness, does come into play, with the West coast having a leg up, but as I've said before, there are a few chefs with serious skill in NYC that are capable of producing world-class Chinese food that is as good or better than LA or SF.

                                                                                                                                                              Lastly, my impression is that the Chinese population on the West coast is more affluent than the East coast, and that they are more LIKELY to eat Chinese food as opposed to in NY where in my experience I see affluent Chinese people at Le Bernadin or EMP or wanting to eat food other than Chinese. Remember that the NY has the lowest proportion of Chinese of the cities you've mentioned and I find it to be the least Chinese friendly city of the ones listed. In my experience, people in the West coast and Vancouver/Toronto are less likely to have a pejorative view of Chinese people or food whereas I find there is a tendency in NY to unconsciously disparage Chinese culture and food or relegate it to "tasty" take-out/cheap eats fare.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                " ... as I've said before, there are a few chefs with serious skill in NYC that are capable of producing world-class Chinese food that is as good or better than LA or SF."

                                                                                                                                                                I'm unsure of your conclusion, PP; would you mind rephrasing that last sentence for me -with the understanding that I'm searching for a dinner in Manhattan, and not beyond?

                                                                                                                                                                EDIT: I think Chandavkl has answered my question post facto, although I'm relishing this debate.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Phil, sorry for confusion, I was replying to Swannee's question.

                                                                                                                                                                  In my experience, Hakkasan is the only Chinese restaurant in Manhattan that is consistently producing food of a high enough quality to be acceptable for guests I am bringing from China.

                                                                                                                                                                  There are or have been chefs at Shun Lee and Mr. K that have been very talented and apparently the chef at Radiance is as well (I have not eaten there). But Shun Lee and Mr. K are currently very mediocre.

                                                                                                                                                                  Outside of Manhattan, Pearl East in Long Island does a chef's tasting banquet that is excellent (their a la carte offerings are sub par).

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                  That's some strong statements you've made. My affluent Chinese friends both born in Shanghai , Taiwan, Hong Kong and ABC,love to eat Chinese food here and they also like Jean Georges etc. No one I know who is non Chinese thinks poorly of Chinese people nor of the food. I think your statement is very untrue.
                                                                                                                                                                  All that aside, I like to eat Chinese food in NYC and always look to find something different or new. Especially from a region I haven't had before.
                                                                                                                                                                  I like your posts , so hopefully you didn't take my comment as antagonistic.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                                                                                                    I don't take your comment antagonistically at all, when you disagree, I never feel you are trying to be mean or rude. Nor do I expect everyone to agree with me (politely or otherwise), we are all like blind people examining an elephant :) and all contributing something to the discussion.

                                                                                                                                                                    In my experience, I find people in N.Y. to be more negative toward Chinese people, food, culture. I can only speak to my experience but I've met many people like that and heard disparaging comments from people who do not know I am Chinese, etc. I have found this to be less the case in SF, LA, Vancouver, Toronto. It's a huge discussion and way off topic, all I can say is that I'm glad you and your friends are not like that and that you don't experience that.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                      the NY board has a lot of people who have a specific idea about what is "authentic" and i think alot of that equates to it has to be a dive, cheap etc. im not sure it what it stems from, maybe its bc chinatown was very accessible to alot NYers when they were young and so they equate their experience when they were young to "authentic". chinatown was not accessible to the vast majority of the US growing up

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                        My closest and best friends are Asian. ( including Chinese).
                                                                                                                                                                        I think if there are people that think badly of Chinese people , they are jerks. I love the food, the culture ( including martial arts) , the people. It is also interesting to see how the Chinese have influenced food all over Asia. I guess that means the food must be really good to have such an influence.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: swannee

                                                                                                                                                                    For complicated reasons, some of which have yet to be deciphered, there is a lack of innovation in New York Chinese food compared to places like the San Gabriel Valley, the suburbs of San Francisco, Richmond, BC and Richmond Hill/Markham Ontario. There was a touch of this in a recent thread on this board discussing Shandong beef rolls, a great innovative dish that is ubiquitous in LA, SF, Vancouver etc., and the discussion was whether even one restaurant in Manhattan or Flushing served that dish. Not to say that there isn't good innovative Chinese food in NY at places like Hakkasan, Red Farm, Decoy and XFF. But certainly on a community wide basis, New York is far, far behind the other cities mentioned.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Phil Ogelos

                                                                                                                                                              Hi Phil, as Lau stated, the noise levels have been moderated. I hate loud places so I can definitely relate. The restaurant is still not quiet but it's not the thump thump from the first few months, thankfully. From a scale of 1-10 splitting ear drums, I'd give it a 7.5 with 1 being Le Perigord and pin drop quiet, 10 being Breslin or Kin Shop where I'm screaming to be heard 1 foot away from me.

                                                                                                                                                              Stay away from the lamb chop and the veal short rib, those will not impress, probably their weakest dishes from my experience.

                                                                                                                                                              Duck is really the star at Hakkasan. The desserts are incredibly impressive, even the fruit plate is beautifully presented. The crispy chicken is unexpectedly good.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                i dont want to get into a big discussion about a topic that is probably over discussed on the board. Just from a pure food standpoint, the food is better (im from socal and i eat there all the time)

                                                                                                                                                                in theory i would assume that NY chinese food should be the best due to the large chinese population as you stated and its not bad by any means just not as good. My own theory as to why its generally inferior is bc the historical NY chinese population is very poor immigrants from taishan (toisan) and now fuzhou today. These people are / were dead broke, many are still very poor and high quality food is not their highest priority, making a living is their highest priority and that is a very hard living, working alot for minimal pay.

                                                                                                                                                                on the flip side, you do see a nice influx of northerns into flushing, which i think is high grading the options of food in NY for sure. While i think manhattan chinatown is dying, i generally think chinese food in NY is getting better

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                                                                  Agreed that this convo has veered way off topic, but I always welcome and respect your opinion on Chinese food (and Chandavki, Ipsedixit), not only because you all are from socal and have wider experience of Chinese food in socal, but because you share a passion for Chinese food. That being said, I eat a lot of Chinese food in NYC, as does ScoopG, FoodWhisperer and together we can paint a more complete picture.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                                                                    Lau, i think you nail this. the towns in Nor / So cal where the food is strong are comprised of high tech employees and import / export businesses with lots of disposable income and presumably more discerning taste buds. don't think that is really the case in NYC

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                                                                      I complimented your post a few minutes ago, Lau, but I criticised another recent poster at the same time, so the mods effaced it.
                                                                                                                                                                      The compliment still stands; I hope you can accept it from one with a second-rate, right-coast palate.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                                                                                                                                                          Phil, if you decide to go to HK, please report back with your thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                                                                                Lost in translation, ironically -I understood 'HK' as 'Hakkasan' (the NYC version.)
                                                                                                                                                                                So, no, I'm not going to Hong Kong -although I'm in the mood for that trip today.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                                                                                                                                                                  I wasn't referring to Hong Kong. In the context of the conversation, I thought that was pretty clear ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                  As for your right coast palate, I think it's best if you make your way to LA and SF and experience for yourself before you accept the opinions of others, whatever they may be.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                                                                                    It was Lau who confused the HK, not me.
                                                                                                                                                                                    As for the West Coast Asian cuisine, I've been there and done that.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                                                                                                                                                                      ah ok i hadn't heard hakkasan abbreviated as HK

                                                                                                                                                                                      back to your original though let us know what kind of place she wants? (got on a typical chowhound serious detour there)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phil Ogelos

                                                                                                                                                                                        I was replying to Lau regarding the HK and affirming that you understood my intention. :) I get lazy with typing. :)

                                                                                                                                                            3. would it be ok to bring kids for weekend brunch or lunch?

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                yah that would be totally fine, brunch is more mellow than dinner ive found