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Oct 17, 2013 09:30 PM

Dim Sum At Hakkasan Beverly Hills (and New York)

Since I had dim sum lunch at both the Hakkasan locations in New York and Beverly Hills within a three week period, I thought that would be a good opportunity to put forth some combined thoughts. Hakkasan serves far and away the best dim sum in New York, Manhattan or otherwise. The reason is simple. While we here in Los Angeles have been able to experience the new wave of more delicate, innovative dim sum (think Sea Harbour et al) for a dozen years now, that trend largely bypassed New York until Hakkasan's opening last year. Quality of the two locations is identical, with the one overlapping item I ate at the two locations (shrimp ball with sesame seed coating) having the same taste, aside from the fact that the New York version had a foie gras filling and cost a lot more. Other items sampled in Beverly Hills were truffle bean curd rolls, bamboo pith carrot dumpling, XO scallop dumpling, duck rolls, dry scallop dumpling, Shanghai vegetable dumpling and the seabass daikon roll. Everything was quite good, particularly the bamboo pith dumpling. Wrappers were all excellent. One minus for the Beverly Hills location is that they do not have the pumpkin rolls which ipsedixit and I considered the best item in New York in our separate visits, nor do they have the combination dim sum platter. A slight minus is the similar taste of a couple of the items that shouldn't be similar.

Comparatively I would rate Hakkasan a bit below Sea Harbour, Elite, Lunasia and King Hua, but which still puts it in the top 10 in the US. Of course, there's the elephant in the room so I'll address it now. Today's lunch for 2 totaled $110 including tip. A comparable meal at Sea Harbour might be $45, a typical dim sum meal at Ocean Star maybe $25. So while the quality is there at Hakkasan, the value isn't. Or not until gasoline hits $20 a gallon.

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  1. Thank you for the comparison. Sounds like the Miami branch is a clear step down. No XO scallop dumpling, no dry scallop dumpling, no bamboo pithc dumpling, no truffle bean curd rolls.

    When you say pumpkin "rolls" and seabass daikon "roll" do you mean cheung fun? If so, Miami branch doesn't have any of those either. They do have a squid ink and chive prawn cheung fun that sounded good but they were out. Will be back in a few weeks right at open to see if it's available or if it's just a false lure.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Porthos

      Not a rice noodle roll, but rather a pastry like exterior and your choice of duck or seafood inside.

      1. re: Chandavkl


        Almost (stress "almost") like a miniature popover.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Miami branch has a duck roll, a crispy beef puff, and a crispy pumpkin dumpling.

          Which of these would you guess is the version you guys are talking about?

          1. re: Porthos

            Probably the crispy pumpkin dumpling.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Crispy pumpkin dumpling. Is this the pumpkin roll you're talking about? Still trying to find these at the Miami one. If not, then the Miami branch just doesn't have them. No bean curd rolls here either.

                1. re: Porthos

                  Those look great! Available lunch and dinner?

      2. Odd that there no pumpkin puffs here in LA.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Ips -

          Unless you count me after eating too much pumpkin pie.

          Okay, after the rim shot - ba dump bump - may I say I've HEARD of pumpkin dumplings in LA, I just haven't tried them yet.

          1. re: happybaker

            The puffs aren't really like dumplings.

            As I posted above, they're kind of like a pastry popover with pumpkin. Good shit.

            (And, yeah, love the joke!)

            1. re: ipsedixit

              "they're kind of like a pastry popover with pumpkin"

              Must. Have.


              I guess I have to go to New York.

        2. Wow, good dim sum at Hakkasan!?!

          I always assumed they were similar to Buddha Bar, Mr. Chow type joint.

          Will have to check it out. Any Hakka style dishes/dim sum :)?

          5 Replies
          1. re: Sgee

            They have something called Hakka noodles, but I suspect that's a take off on the restaurant's name as opposed to representing Hakka cuisine. These days you have to take a close look at these new upscale places. Chi Lin was passable, though I ultimately concluded that Tasty Garden was better at a third of the price so why would I want to go back? I'll be curious to see where some of these other planned upscale Chinese restos fall on the spectrum.

            1. re: Chandavkl

              There's no real Hakka cuisine going on at Hakkasan.

              Do people really go to Chi Lin for the food? At any price?

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Hmm. Maybe that's why Yujean Kang left Chi Lin.

            2. re: Sgee

              The London and New York locations do have a Michelin star each, if that's anything. Although I don't think I'd rush to try the place despite working nearby.

              1. re: chrishei

                I don't trust michelin stars outside of europe to be honest

            3. Finally made it to Hakkasan. The dim sum was good. In general all the dishes were good, but not fantastic. Ribs were a personal favorite. Service was good, drinks were small and expensive. Of Chi Lin, Mr. Chow and Hakkasan, Hakkasan is probably the best, but not dying to run back.