The Hakkasan Group launched HKK London in late 2012 at Broadgate West in the City behind Liverpool Street station, exclusively offering a 15-course tasting menu (as well as a vegetarian option) for £95, along with an 8-course menu at lunch for £48.
The décor at HKK London is more calm and relaxed than at Hakkasan, with less of a feel of the need to be the scene or the latest ‘hot’ restaurant, but more of a serious restaurant for executive chef Tong Chee Hwee to highlight his most inventive dishes to an eager audience.
I loved the restaurant at first glance – on entering you see a cool bar area where I could happily sit for hours enjoying the inventive cocktail list. However, this night was all about the food, so Frances and I went straight to our table for the impending feast.
The menu at HKK London takes you on a tour of some of Hakkasan’s best bits but with a more delicate and refined take, particularly with the intricate presentation and more attentive service.
Although we did feel that 15 courses took a little too long towards the end, we were served a menu of exceptionally high quality ingredients, cooked with real thought and attention to detail, and you could see the desire and pride in both kitchen and wait staff.
This was perfectly demonstrated by the use of a centre island (pictured above) as a show piece for the cherry wood-roasted Peking duck served with sesame pancakes, which was utterly delicious.
We opted for the matching drinks pairing, which, interestingly, does not stick only to wine – a cocktail for perusing the menu is followed by dry sherry, sake and wine.
A big highlight of the dishes was the dim sum trilogy (Gai-lan, shimeji mushroom and lily bulb in XO sauce) – exquisite! Other highlights included a fillet of monkfish served with a Louis Roederer sauce, and wagyu beef braised for two and a half hours and smoked with jasmine tea.
Desserts, of which there were two, were enjoyable, and were followed by a large selection of petit fours, but it’s the savoury courses where HKK London really shines. HKK presents Chinese and Cantonese food at its finest, bringing an innovative approach to the London dining scene.
HKK London, like neighbouring Chrysan, offers a very different experience from the Hakkasan we know, but, trust me, it’s one you’ll want to experience.
HKK caters for 48 guests in the restaurants and also features a 10 person private dining room (pictured above).
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