Chef Tong holds 11 years experience at Hakkasan, first as the Head Chef of the original restaurant at Hanway Place, gaining its Michelin star in 2003 which it has held ever since. Hakkasan is now a global brand, stretching from Mayfair to Mubai to Miami.
Chef Tong is in charge of the latest Hakkasan venture, HKK (Hakka Kitchen), offering an evolution of Chinese banqueting where you are offered set tasting dishes. You are limited to a 15 course menu (£95) or a vegetarian alternative (£85), while lunchtime offers the option of an 8 course menu for £48 (£42 vegetarian). The wine list had around 120 choices, ranging in price from £39 to £4,074.
Chef Tong’s philosophy is based on taking the best available produce, using traditional recipes and techniques, and combining these with a modern twist and vitality to create unique, complex dishes that tell China’s story.
On entry, the restaurant is minimalist, elegant and chic. It has an East-meets-West, serene ambiance with a slight air of luxury and opulence. This is so much more than going out for a meal, it is a full dining event where you take a journey through the eating adventure enjoying each aspect of the whole experience. The staff are there to meet your every demand, having all been on a training course before being released into the dining room, they are knowledgeable, friendly and attentive.
Each course is meticulously presented and beautifully executed; the dishes are truly bespoke works of art. The timing of each course is perfect and the attention to detail is unbelievable in both the quality of food and the service.
Highlights include the Peking duck, roasted for 1 hour and 20 minutes with cherry wood, before being ceremoniously carved by a chef for all to see at the large central serving station. The meat is deliciously tender with a subtle sweetness, while the skin is perfectly crispy, served as is traditional with crystallised white sugar and home-made duck sauce. The trio of dim sum is also exquisite, steamed truffle har-gau wi was a slight refinement on the traditional version, using truffle sauce to supplement the prawn and bamboo shoot, the sichuan dumpling was superbly delicate, and the turnip puff was beautifully cooked.
Other highlights are the wagyu beef, the gai lan, the lobster, and the fillet of monkfish. Even the deserts, usually a weak point in a Chinese restaurant, not this time. The lychee tapioca with passion fruit ciboust and jam is gorgeous, while the pineapple fritter with salted lime jelly and vanilla ice cream is a true revelation of tastes. It wouldn’t be out of place in a French fine dining establishment but with distinct Asian flavours.
The balance of flavours work brilliantly, the combination of ingredients is impressive, and the cooking technique is faultless.
This is bespoke Cantonese fine dining at its best. A modern flair with imagination and creativity whilst still retaining its traditional essence. HKK has certainly set the bench mark for Chinese restaurants in London, and around the globe, and the standards are high. Very high.
|Broadgate West, 88 Worship Street, London, EC2A 2BE.||Transport Liverpool Street tube/rail or Old Street tube|
|Telephone: +44 020 3535 1888|| Opening Hours Monday – Friday: 12pm – 2:30pm; 6pm – 9:45pm
Saturday: 6pm – 9:45pm
|Price per head: Lunch menus from £28.50 per person, dinner tasting menus £48 and £95 per person||Website|