It’s incredibly inconspicuous – on arrival the bouncers and clip board clad woman make you feel convinced that you’re about to join an expensive club queue but after looking at them a few times they said in hushed tones “Hakkasan?” and look at you quizzically to which I nodded uncontrollably and didn’t dare say another word in case anyone would notice us disappearing through the dark door and down the corridor to what looks like the most exclusive club on the prestigious Berkeley Square.
They have a seriously slick operation going on – large dark doors that you didn’t realise even existed are opened from nowhere, you don’t know who opened them but suddenly you’re in another world surrounded by numerous staff and guests wondering around this bustling restaurant. You’re asked for your name, whisked off downstairs where you’re shown down to the bar, however without you even knowing it (because you’ve practically already got your drink in hand) the member of staff has told their colleague your whole life story and they write a full blown description of what you look like and where you’re going so that any staff member can identify you. Someone completely new finds you straight away and shuffles you through to your dimly lit table and the woman at the desk knows exactly that – where you are, how far through your meal you are and basically when the hell you’re going to leave your seat so they can sell it for the fourth time that night!
The food was divine, every good word I’ve ever heard about this place was well and truly confirmed when I took the first bite into the bulging duck spring rolls (4 for £8 seemed fair) and again when I delved into the sticky organic pork ribs – if I wanted a look in edgeways there was no way I was using chop sticks for this!
Main course consisted of spicy king prawns in yellow bean sauce and a mouth watering beef stir fry in a slightly peculiar dry vermicelli noodle basket, but was definitely the better dish. When ordering I was getting ever more anxious that we were going to be left feeling ravenous so added a side of egg fried rice and stir fried baby broccoli with crispy seaweed and pine nuts in for good measure – we were stuffed but it was well worth it!
About to leave and finishing off the dregs of our slightly over priced and not all that nice wine, our lovely waitress came over and politely asked whether we’d mind leaving soon as the next guests had arrived…..it was 11.15pm….only a restaurant like this has covers willing to wait until this time to sample their delights!
The whole Hakkasan experience from start to finish was a real treat and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves (and is happy to fork out that little bit more for) top quality nosh!
- Go at least half an hour before your table as you might get a seat just as your table is called
- Order a Raspberry Mojito – it’s incredible
- Have the sticky organic pork ribs they’re sensational and made every table next to us order them too
- Order wine off the quick bar menu rather than flicking through a complicated novel of grapes you’ve never even heard of
- Book in advance!
- Order a Passion fruit Bellini – it’s disgusting
- Cover your prawn crackers in the chilli dip it’s not the sweet sickly one we all love it’s mouth on fire type!
- Drink your finger bowl (it’s for cleaning not cleansing)
By Victoria Gibbs