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Sep 8, 2013 12:10 PM

Hakkasan Miami. Very good even by LA standards.

Not expecting much obviously but the dim sum and food was surprisingly good here.

First and foremost you just have to disregard the pricing. It's at 3-6x markup. Except for the pork and preserved egg congee which was $8 for a massive bowl that serves 4-5. At $8, I had expected a shot sized portion.

By the strictest LA criteria, the wrapper is a bit too soft on the shrimp dumplings and shrimp and chive dumplings. The wrapper on the crystal jade dumplings had a nice chew to it and was very good. The filling for all of them had the nice crunch and fresh shrimp filling you find at top tier dim sum places in LA. Fried rice and congee both had very good textures respectively.

Wanted to try the snow crab XLB and squid ink, shrimp, chive chung fun but they were out or so authentic it was on the menu merely for show and they tell people they are out.

At dinner, the sanpei chicken in clay pot, lobster noodles, and sa cha sea bass were all very good.

Service on both occasions was shockingly good and professional.

A pleasant surprise if one ignores pricing. Complaining about pricing at Hakkasan is probably like complaining about humidity in Miami.

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  1. Thank you for this review. As we all know, LA is the sine qua non of dim sum, and your in-depth discussion is very refreshing.

    1. True! Eating well in Miami is a privilege, hardly a right. Our inexpensive options are not what they are elsewhere. It's a shame.

      10 Replies
      1. re: taiga

        I ate here a couple weeks ago at the bar

        I ordered Mango Duck. This arrived within an inexplicable <5 minutes. The duck was tender and decent in flavor but slightly tepid. mango was ripe and bountiful. Tasty 6/10

        A portion of pork ribs arrived just as quickly and was much too cool- this tasted much worse and was a boring dish 3/10

        Dim Sum platter was enjoyable, though it was served inedibly and dangerously hot 6/10

        The dim sum was served at about at the same time as the ribs, so that I now had 3 dishes in front of me. Why?

        My server asked me how I liked everything, I told her it was fine and voiced my temperature concerns. She offered to reheat the ribs... I declined. I also made sure to tell her that everything was coming out quickly and I didn't need my final dish, a stir fried Berkshire pork entree, for a while. She simply smiled?

        The pork and my hot and sour soup were then served concurrently and both intensely hot. The pork was manageable and a delicious dish 7.5/10

        At this point I spoke to another server at the bar and explained how the duck was cool, the ribs cold, and other dishes way too hot to eat and served in a rush. I told him I didn't see why the dishes couldn't be served more slowely since several of them needed a full 5-10 minutes to cool appreciably anyway. I also questioned how the duck and ribs could have possibly been composed in that short a time frame and still been so cold.

        The server then admitted to me that both the ribs and the duck were in fact already cooked and reheated and assembled into dishes when they were ordered. I would like to point out that these were $20+ appetizers. The rush and other temperature issues were not explained, which is fair since they were inexplicable. Regardless the look on my
        face when I was told I'm paying for pre-prepared food surely said all. The server apologized and took back the ribs.


        Decent food regardless



        1. re: Beefcakeexpress

          I enjoyed the dim sum, but not all the dishes were good and there were definitely temperature issues. When we got the bill, I noticed that the hot and sour soup that was already ridiculously priced at $14 showed up as $16. The server graciously took the whole thing off the bill.

          1. re: shanefink

            Yeah dimsum was good. Burning my mouth on the inside of the first piece definitely didn't contribute positively to my eating experience

          2. re: Beefcakeexpress

            You're surprised to learn that roast duck for a salad and smoked ribs are prepared in advance and not made from scratch the moment a customer orders them? Do you understand how long you would be waiting if those things were made from scratch?

            Also: dim sum is supposed to be hot.

            1. re: Frodnesor

              Food is not supposed to burn one's mouth when served, let alone after sitting for 3 minutes

              Ribs should not be served cold ever.

              If you find pre-prepared duck breast to be an acceptable thing then we have different standards for dining and our philosophy on food. The dish was merely a sliced duck breast on sauce with a slice of mango fitted between each slice. I've had much more complex freshly composed dishes served in a reasonable time frame, generally after appetizers. Of course these were at fine dining restaurants.

              1. re: Beefcakeexpress

                Here is the recipe for the Hakkasan mango duck:


                The duck cooks for at least 30 minutes and then is allowed to rest. It's not remotely plausible that it could be prepared from scratch the moment a customer orders it.

                I'm also pretty accustomed to Chinese roasted and BBQd meats being served close to room temperature.

                1. re: Frodnesor

                  Thanks for the link. For my preferences I guess I ordered the wrong dish then. For my money I prefer to wait for my duck and enjoy later in the meal if I must. I don't know a lot about Chinese food specifically. I've had plenty of duck dishes served around room temperature and no complaints. This one was just definitely sitting around way too long. Tepid is the word. Unacceptable.

                  That being said it was still a tasty dish as most were. I enjoyed the experience on the whole. The scene at the bar was very cool and the restaurant decor was awesome. The stir fried pork was very good.

                  Service was fine. The server who took back my ribs was more helpful than my bartender who seemed extremely rushed. Nice guy. Had a long discussion with him about Jiu Jitsu and our experiences.

                  The dim sum really was quite good once it cooled down. I'd have rated it a good bit higher if I hadn't burnt the roof of my mouth on it. Hah

                  I wouldn't recommend it as a foodie spot due to the price point and inconsistency I experienced. However I'll be back at the bar one of these days

                2. re: Beefcakeexpress

                  As Frod pointed out, dim sum is often served hot enough to burn if you are not careful. Doesn't matter if it is NYC or LA or SF. My friends and I have all repeatedly burned ourselves on the first piece (ow, hot!) and then immediately burn ourselves again 5 seconds later on the second piece (ow, hot!).

                  Those with more patience and less gluttony usually wait 5 minutes or so for it to cool down which firms up the outside wrapper which is actually ideal.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    I mean, let me know the day you dine at a 2 or 3 Michelin star restaurant and they serve you food that is too hot to eat without even warning you. Maybe that's the norm or part of the preparation with dim sum, but as far as traditional fine dining goes it's obscene. Anyway I definitely enjoy my gluttony, but I did let the dim sum rest a while following the initial burn

              2. re: Beefcakeexpress

                At least the microwave is working well.

            2. Returned today for dim sum. Again the shrimp har gow and scallop dumplings were very good. This time they had the king crab XLB. These were excellent. Freshly made, good filling with good amount of juice. This is actually better than the vast majority of XLBs in LA. Would get this over and over again. Impressive.

              Scallop and cilantro cheung fun were okay. Hand pulled noodles with mushrooms were also good. Duck rolls where just spring rolls filled with lots if duck meat. Pork and shrimp shiu mai were also decent.

              Can't miss items here would be: king crab XLB, scallop dumplings, and the shrimp har gow.

              BYO is $30 per bottle and 2 bottle max.

              1. Hakkasan update.

                This place has been on my rotation since my last report. Price aside the quality is still excellent. The shimp and snap pea dumplings are probably superior to LA's best and on the level of HK quality. The wrapper is elegant and thin but chewy and doesn't break. Very impressive.

                The king crab xiao long bao is no more and has been replaced by the scallop/pork XLB. The quality on this item has declined the most and I would avoid it.

                The shrimp dumplings, shrimp and snap pea dumplings, and scallop dumplings are all top notch though.

                You can hear the Cantonese chefs yelling loudly in the back. Pricy but legit.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Porthos

                  Where were you sitting? I've never even seen a hint of the kitchen much less heard it.

                  Website is confusing as to when & how they're offering dim sum these days. They don't even show daytime hours, but they have "Dim Sum Prix Fixe" and "Yum Cha Prix Fixe" menus for Saturday and Sunday lunch. Were they also doing a la carte dim sum?

                  1. re: Frodnesor

                    Sitting by back. Where the wait staff was folding napkins.

                    They have both prix fixe and a la carte. I always go with the latter. Available both Saturday and Sundays.

                2. Does Hakkasan have Jin Deui/sesame ball and lo bak go/turnip cake on the dim sum menu?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: prima

                    I have not been in some time but their current online menus only list a prix fixe weekend dim sum menu which include about a half dozen dim sum items total. (Neither of the items you ask about are included). During weekdays they are only open for dinner and only have a couple of dim sum "platters" with an assortment of dumplings and the like. Don't know if the situation on the ground is any different.

                    It's unfortunate - because they do make some exceptionally good dim sum, even though it is astonishingly pricey - but the Miami Hakkasan really is not a dim sum restaurant. It's particularly disappointing to me because the dim sum we had at Hakkasan in London (this was a long time ago, before they started expanding around the globe) was some of the best I've had anywhere.

                    1. re: Frodnesor

                      Thanks for your comments, Frodnesor. My DC is especially fond of jin deui and lo bak go, so I think we will dine elsewhere when we visit Miami Beach. ;)

                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        but the Miami Hakkasan really is not a dim sum restaurant.

                        Not true. On the weekends during lunch only they have 2.5 pages of dim sum. I count 13 types of dumplings, 12 panfried or fried items, 6 BBQ items, 5 types of cheung fun, 3 types of congee, and several noodles, rice, and wok fried items. No turnip cake or sesame balls. No steamed or boiled tripe. No sticky rice in lotus leaves or chicken feet or steamed bean curd rolls.

                        The dumpling selection is really more varied and higher quality than most traditional dim sum restaurants.

                        Skip the prix fixe menu. And yes, it is 3x the cost of a traditional dim sum restaurant.

                        The pan fried shrimp and chive dumpling below is more delicate than the traditional version and tastier too.

                        1. re: Porthos

                          Wow - I wonder why they don't post that menu on the website. My last lunch visit - which was some time ago - they were only doing prix fixe.