REVIEW

Hakkasan

Although Hakkasan, the high-end international Chinese chain, is regrettably located in Times Square, the restaurant seems to fit right in with the oversized garishness of the neighborhood.  In fairness, the cavernous, 11,000 square foot interior has been subdivided with carved Chinese screens into intimate dining nooks, splashed with color and pulsing to a soundtrack of thumping club music.  The dim light that filters through the tangle of dark English oak latticework and seeming miles of Carrera marble makes for a formidable design. The original Hakkasan, in the basement of an obscure alley in London’s West End, was designed by Christian Liaigre; the subsequent restaurants have been designed by some of his then colleagues, in this case Gilles & Boissier of Paris. 

Although there is some variability in the cuisine, Hakkkasan is arguably NYC’s finest Chinese restaurant, particularly when one considers that Buddakan is really more properly characterized as pan-Asian.  The cuisine is best described as Westernized, modern Cantonese.  There is very fine dim sum (morel crystal dumplings, prawn and Chinese chive dumplings) as well as probably the best duck dishes in the city (crispy duck salad, pipa duck, black truffle roasted duck).   An elegant 60-foot bar of frosted blue glass serves outstanding cocktails if you can find your way out of the catacomb maze of chambers.  

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INFORMATION

Midtown West
311 W. 43rd St.
New York (nr. Eighth Ave.)
212-776-1818
Mon-Tues, 11:30 am – 11:00 pm; Wed-Sat, 11:30 am – 12:00 am; Sun, 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
    Ho Chee Boon, Chef
    Gilles & Boissier, Designer

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