Hakkasan Miami. Very good even by LA standards.
- Porthos Sep 8, 2013 12:10 PM
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.