17 Bruton St, London W1J 6QB, United Kingdom near Green Park Station
No, it’s not 10 Downing Street, but 17 Bruton Street (Yes, that plush area apparently) where this sleek, modern, clubbish Cantonese restaurant, Hakkasan is located at. Ironic it may seem but this is where most Singapore Cantonese restaurants could not surpass. Not even restaurants like Yan Ting or Mitzo, as they could in my opinion only be at most on par with Hakkasan. It is that good.
Deprived of good Cantonese food for a few days already after so many days at the different meeting areas, I have been shuttling between Yauatcha and Hakkasan to bring the bosses and I thought the standard of the former has dipped a little when I visited a few days back while the latter felt more posh with its less gaudy interior, so Hakkasan it was for us!
Feeling upbeat already when we stepped in, we were brimming with happiness literally the moment the food kept swarming in as the bosses loved every single drop of sauce and every morsel of dim sum. Starting off with the luscious scallop siu mai topped with prawn roe, that just whetted everybody’s appetite. Freshness is a given here but rather the balance in taste and that thin yellow bag there is packed generously with crunchy prawns that would put a smile to even the most picky gourmet.
Jasmine tea leaves smoked pork ribs. I remembered I was floored by this awesome dish when I first tasted it a few years back and nothing less was felt this time round as these tender meat has been thoroughly permeated with the jasmine leaves fragrance while a light smokiness has been tightly locked in each piece. Full of flavours, already visibly so from the radiant colours, both the bosses were impressed.
Truffle Roast Duck. This was a smashing hit! Priced at a whopping £35 ($70) for half a roast, we were initially unsure if we should get this to rape our wallets but the boss urged for it and I was glad we did. Initially worried that the overpowering truffle sauce might mask that fragrant fats there, it was actually a huge compliment as it coats every piece with a thick umami body. And, you get real truffles on top of the duck too! A decadent plate here indeed!
Even details in seemingly humble dishes like the char siu mui choi cheung fen are paid very close attention to. The well-glazed slithery rice skin is one that I have not had any better in Singapore and the tightly packed fluffy char siu in it together with the mui choi makes it into a lip-smacking savoury!
Fried duck leg topped with a decadent truffle each. This too was impeccable, with no greasy lips stained.
And the flavourful cod fish dim sum that has been perfectly steamed to a moist, creamy consistency that is beautifully cut through by the lightly spiced pepper sauce. Yummy!
Having a very happy tummy after the savouries, we know dessert has to be settled here. And Hakkasan does not do traditional Cantonese desserts in case you are wondering if Yang Zhi Gan Lu or Avocado puree should be ordered. Rather, French influenced ones are served which I will highly recommend. This Chocolate Bomb was mind blowing with the thick creamy peanut butter praline ice cream contained within. The condiments by the side was a mash of refreshing pomegranate and nuts that have been made extremely fun with the hidden popping candy sauce!
Pear tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream and pear sauce. A more traditional French dessert here, this was perfect as the thin slices of poached pear would melt in your mouth, further lifted by that clever pear sauce. Natural sweetness tasted and with that smooth vanilla ice cream feeling excellent, we gave our approval to it.
All three desserts that we got and despite without an individual photo, we were also smitten by the macaroons with its chewy crust and adequately sweet fillings. I love the coconut one most and that green one is made from South East Asian pride, Pandan.
It was only a weekday lunch, and this restaurant is already packed with businessmen. What I love about here is the boldness of the chefs, which also extends to those from the pastry section as everything doesn’t seem contrived at all while the chefs are still able to assemble all the elements into brilliant dishes! Definitely worthy of that bright star.
And I thought I had to take a selfie in that marble toilet!
Verdict: An excellent restaurant. 5/5