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May 3, 2013 10:57 PM

Lunch at HKK

Has anyone been? I'm visiting from New York City and am a big fan of Chinese food. We have a Hakkasan in NYC, but it's been generally panned by critics here. Seems like the reviews for HKK have been pretty good. Don't have access to The Times review by Giles Coren. Did he like it?

I only have 3.5 days in London. One of my lunches is at Fat Duck. I considered St. John's but I hear Fergus Henderson is recently no longer involved with the restaurant.

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  1. Andy Lynes (food critic) very much enjoyed the Peking Duck. At £95 a person plus 13% service charge, it should be pretty good!

    4 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1

      Ha, lunch 8-course is "only" £48 plus service, although I just saw that they offer the full 15-course menu at lunch as well.

      1. re: deepfry7

        I could never eat 15 courses, so I guess I'm saved from eating that. I'm not sure I could even manage 8 courses these days. I'll save this one for a special occasion.

      2. re: zuriga1

        Are the prices for each menu listed somewhere? I had a look on the website but it was irritatingly unhelpful. I'd quite like to know what kind of financial beast to prepare for, before braving the arena.

        From what I've gathered so far, there's an 8 and a 15 course. Are both offered at lunch and dinner? And then there's also an a la carte? As well as a 5 course Peking Duck menu? So confusing!

        1. re: flaymzofice

          I think it's on the HKK website. Just open the pdf's.

          Lunch 8-course is £48 plus service; lunch or dinner 15-course is £95 a person.

          I'm most likely going to opt for the 15-course for lunch. Going with the YOLO mentality for my trip!

      3. I don't think Fergus is involved in the St. John Hotel anymore but still is with the original and Bread & Wine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Paprikaboy

          Yup, Paprikaboy is right - Fergus is still with the other St John's in Smithfield and Spitalfields. He's only sold off his share in the Leicester St/Chinatown outlet.

        2. HKK - excellent food. Exquisitely cooked but at heart traditional combinations. Portions a bit small. NB even the 15 course they keep service humming along so it won't take as long as you think.

          I wouldn't bother reffing anything by Giles Coren - he rarely talks about the food in his restaurant "reviews".

          3 Replies
          1. re: Jon Tseng

            Thanks for the insight, Jon. Can you share more details about the dishes you had? Am curious as I'd been meaning to try this place one day.

            1. re: klyeoh

              Yea, would love to hear Jon's report as well. Also, did you go with the 8 or 15-course meal?

              1. re: deepfry7

                Hi, well we went I think Feb time. Dinner tasting we pretty much identical to the one listed here:

                As I mentioned, at its heart its quite traditional combinations. Yes they have occasionally luxury ingredients (bresse chicken, champagne sauce etc) but this is very much the kind of stuff you would get in a restaurant in a five star HK hotel. Interesting comparison with Bo London across the way which tries to push things in a much more avant-garde direction.

                Portion sizes are small - you probably won't be stuffed even with the full tasting (pop across to My Old Place the other side of Bishopsgate if you need to and fill up on lamb skewers after). Service was very prompt - dishes came in quick succession (still about two hours) which is good.

                Food was really excellent. The Peking duck was absolutely awesome (although they don't give you enough! tried to badger them for a bit more but no dice). Unusually the meat was also extremely moist - usually in a Peking duck the breast gets blasted into submission in order to get the skin right.

                The other standout dish as the pumpkin luffa tofu - really excellent and not the sort of dish you get over here often. Wagyu beef was also excellent, melting tender for all the obvious reasons.

                Only dud was (surprisingly for a Hakkasan place) the dim sum trilogy - the sichuan dumpling a little to aggressively spiced and the truffle har gau simply tasted of truffle oil (yawn).

                But otherwise real top-notch contemporary Chinese haute. (I note the irony that high end hotel restaurants in Asia have taken many of the tasting menu trappings from michelin-type places in Europe. Now HKK is effectively reimporting the style back to the West


                Note that at lunchtime they are not just doing the tasting menu format. They are also offering alc options including a 5-course Peking duck menu. I suspect this will come up against the issue of not giving you enough to fill you up, but would at least allow you to have a crack at the duck on a budget.

                Hope that's useful!