Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
For a “classy” night out, these “noisy”, “nightclub-style” operations (the seeds of what’s now a global brand) have a huge reputation, with their “clever Chinese/pan-Asian” cuisine and “theatrical” Bond-lair styling. “Eye-popping” bills and “up-itself” service have always been hazards here, but accusations that they are “over-hyped and ridiculously over-priced” grew this year.
“Dark”, “seductive” and “very sexy” styling – “like a nightclub” (and with “loud” noise levels to match) – provide a “funky” backdrop to a meal at these “dramatic” venues (the cradle of what’s a growing global franchise). Though “not cheap”, the Chinese cuisine’s “top notch” too, especially the “superbly original” dim sum.
These “dark and brooding” nightclub-style haunts “elevate westernised Chinese food to a new level” – despite their crowds, noise, “snotty” service and “out-of-this-world” prices, they are the bedrock for what’s now a growing global brand; “to avoid a second mortgage, check out the extraordinary dim sum at lunchtime”.
“Oligarchs and their leggy girlfriends” party at the newer Mayfair branch of these dimly-lit “beautiful-people” haunts; regular folk, though, appear to be finding them ever less attractive – even if the Chinese cooking is “decent”, prices seem ever-more “ferocious”, and service is sometimes “spectacularly bad”.
Hakkasan Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Continues to provide excellent and innovative Chinese based cuisine. Lunchtime set menu including cocktail at £38 is pretty good value for this quality of establshiment!"
"Once weâ€™d become accustomed to the darkness of the dining room, it was possible to discern the care with which it has been laid out and decorated to hint cleverly at the style of cuisine and to make diners feel comfortable from every point of view. The front of house staff, surprisingly all non-Asian, were very professional and constantly on hand when needed. The Taste of Hakkasan menu looked very good value and we started with one of their special house cocktails, a concoction comprising Belvedere vodka, Akashi-tai sake, lychee juice, lime, coconut and passion fruit which were mixed so as to produce a marvellously creamy, fruity introduction to the meal. The â€œsmall eatsâ€ to start were an impressive crispy pomelo spiced duck salad with pine nuts and shallots, and amazingly light chicken and prawn dumplings boosted but not overwhelmed by chilli and vinegar. We both chose the spicy prawn main, which was a colourful riot of tastes to accompany the gigantic curried prawns, including asparagus, almonds, lily bulbs, spring onion, and water chestnut - a beautifully and cleverly designed combination of textures as well. Our dessert was a perfect light variation on lemon tart with a sablÃ© base for the sesame meringue, fresh lemon sorbet, white and black sesame seeds, candied lemon and white chocolate disks - a great way to end the meal. Altogether a very satisfyingly unpretentious and high quality dining experience."
"Good, but still very expensive!"
"The Dim Sum menu seems to have improved, and must be one of the best value lunches in london."
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lunch noon - 3.15 pm, Sat 4.15 pm, Sun 4.45 pm dinner 5.30 pm - 11.15 pm, Fri-Sat 12.15 pm
Last orders: Sun-Wed 11pm, Thu-Sat midnight