8 Hanway Place
London W1T 1HF
The Victims: Hans, Emma, David, Renee, Cheryl, Matt, Jason
Date of Last Visit: Monday, March 21
Yes, I've heard how fantabulous Hakkasan is. And I've wanted to visit forever. And this was the perfect opportunity to do so. I was stressed though because David informed us that Hakkasan informed us that we'd be sitting in the lounge and not the restaurant. This didn't seem fair and I had visions of cocktail tables and little peanuts and umbrellas in our glasses.
Have no fear! We were fine. Super fine. The lounge was no different, that I could tell, from the restaurant. Then again, I arrived late, so I missed the grand entrance. But Hakkasan scored points with me immediately because as I stepped out of my Black Cab with my empty Diet 7-Up, the doorman said, "Would you like me to take that?" just as I was considering squirreling the can away in my purse.
So I arrived just in time for starters. We had many. I loved the duck spring rolls, but that should be no surprise to my regulars because I love duck. I also loved the night time dim sum. And the spare ribs. David must have placed the order, because the assortment was perfect. My glass of wine, however, was 15 GBP. This is ridiculous. Then again, it was also my fault because I wanted something spicy and I went for the Shiraz. (No worries, I downgraded to the best value for my 2nd glass.) I felt somewhat vindicated by the 8.50 cocktails, as three of those were more than my two glasses of wine.
What else? My entree. Surprise…Duck! Szechuan duck. I don't know which part of Szechuan it was, but it must have been close to Guangzhou, becuase I didn't taste any Szechuan. But it was delicious nonetheless. So was Cheryl's soft shell crab. I didn't try any other entrees, but there were a lot of empty plates, which is a good sign.
Dessert…I skipped. But I tried a bit of the rose something or other cream. It was nice, but not the "Taste of Heaven" that Matt made it out to be. My espresso was super bitter. (Note to self: Do not order espresso in Chinese restaurant.)
The music…fantastic!!! With three exclamation points. It was like the Regent (now the Four Seasons) Sydney all over again, but with less St. Germain. The sad part was when Renee asked the DJ for his recs and he suggested The Best of Hotel Costes and The Best of The Buddha Bar and well, when you're suggesting Best of, what do you know?
The Verdict: This is a tough one. I love the vibe. On a Monday night at 8 pm, they were packed. I also loved the bathroom, although I pity the girl who has to open and close that mysterious blue door all night long. My food was good, but honestly, I've had better Chinese before. Then again, I do think I was Chinese in a past life, so I am a bad benchmark. I would go. And I would go again. But perhaps not with such a large group.