Hakkasan has been among one of the top restaurants on my “want-to-visit” list every since they opened in London in 2001. It is during my recent trip to Shanghai that I eventually got introduced to the “Chinoise Chic” experience of the Michelin-starred chain.
Located on the fifth floor of the illustrious Bund 18 building, Hakkasan Shanghai is a high-end restaurant that offers a distinctive culinary experience where modern Cantonese cuisine, world-class mixology and dramatic design converge.
Since it opened in 2014, it has gotten many glowing reviews and has been included in the Diners’ Club World’s 50 best restaurants selection.
The stunning interior space includes three dining areas. The main “cage” dining room is decorated with latticed woodwork and leather banquettes that create an intimate inner dining space. The Ling Ling Lounge offers hypnotizing views on the Shanghai skyline and Huangpu river. Also, there are five private dining areas set around the periphery of the restaurant. Finally, the restaurant also has a bar area that serves cutting edged cocktails.
Hakkasan is very popular among business people, expats and wealthy customers. It is a place to impress your dates and guests. The dark lightning, eclectic sounds, modern decor and sensual vibe do all create a glamorous and upscale atmosphere.
The menu is crafted by Michelin-starred chef Ho Chee Boon. The menu is extensive and offers high-end Cantonese cuisine made of fresh ingredients. Dishes are exquisite and elegant. Their signature dim sums are a no miss.
We started the night at Hakkasan with a signature cocktail which we had at the main bar. The views on Shanghai skyline were spectacular but the mixology show that the bartender was offering to us was also impressive. It felt like magical chemistry.
As main dish, we shared sweet and sour pork, black truffle roast duck, golden fried rice with egg yolk and a mix of veggies including stir-fried lotus roots, asparagus and lily bulb. The duck was scrumptious. The pork was tender. The veggies were wonderfully cooked and I enjoyed the crunchy texture.
Finally, we shared the lemon pot and the chocolate sphere for dessert. I really loved the presentation of both dishes. They both tasted great. However, I had a small preference for the lemon pot which was out of this world. I loved the sumptuous mixture of lemon curd, lemon mousse and meringue. When you get all the components in one spoon, you get to taste the soft and crunchy textures.
Overall, dining at Hakkasan is a magical experience. It is not just another fine dining restaurant, Hakkasan takes its guests through another multi-sensorial experience.