Shanghai | Hakkasan, Bund 18
Hakkasan is an award-wining Chinese restaurant based in London, which offers modern Cantonese cuisine, world-class mixology and dramatic design in 12 locations worldwide. Hakkasan Shanghai is the newest restaurant, locates in the heritage Bund 18, where some other famous restaurants such as Mr & Mrs Bund housed. Hakkasan is also awarded as No.46 of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2015. This was my second visit at Hakkasan. (Click here to view my previous visit)
Visited: May.31.2015 (Dinner)
Address: Bund 18, 5/F, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Shanghai 200002
Tel: 021 6321 5888
Came for: Crispy duck with Superior caviar 鱼子酱片皮鸭
There are servel different dining spaces in Hakkasan: The Ling Ling Lounge sits in front of Shanghai’s impressive skyline, offers diners a relaxed lounge setting for cocktails or dinner. The main dining area “Cage”, which is decored with traditional woodwork that creates an intimate inner dining space. There are also five luxurious private dining rooms set around the periphery of the restaurant.
餐厅就餐区分为几个不同的主题：你可以在景观区的Ling Ling Lounge同时享受着美酒和美丽的浦东天际线。主餐厅用餐区是以“鸟笼”为主题，用传统的中式木雕和现代化的灯光来营造中西合璧的效果。除此之外，餐厅还包含了五间奢华的私人包厢。
The menu at Hakkasan is similar to most of its sister restaurants, which is devised by Michelin-starred chef Tong Chee Hwee, who has a strong Chinese identity which is underpinned by authenticity rather than traditionalism and uses locally sourced ingredients to create Hakkasan’s renowned signature dishes.
Start with two glasses of signature cocktails. The Pink Mojito, made ofmint, 1800 Reposado tequila, lime and cranberry juice, is a great choice for people who prefers something more refreshing and less sweetened one. The peach purée and prosecco has a lower alchohol content, while the taste is quite normal.
我们试了两款鸡尾酒，Pink Mojito和Bellini。Pink Mojito是比较清新少糖的一款，不同于一般的mojito的就是它加入了蔓越莓汁，所以带一点自然的酸酸甜甜的味道。酒精度比较低的Bellini的桃子味非常诱人，但是整体来说缺乏创意一些。
The Green salad with asparagus, dried cherry tomatoes, lemongrass vinaigrette is a very healthy plate of greens. The baby sprouts were nicely seasoned, the asparagus were fresh. The overall taste is quite average and nothing very special, anyway a healthy starter.
The grilled pork neck was juicy and succulent, the meat was well-cooked with honey sauce. The flavor reminds me of Cantonese char siew.
The crispy duck with superior caviar is the dish i came for. The entire dish was served in two ways, the first way is with pancakes and baby cucumber, and a second course with a choice of XO sauce, black bean sauce or ginger and spring onion. It is quite pricy for 8 slices of Peking duck, but the caviar no doubt lifted up the level. The duck skin was crispy, the duck meat was quite lean. While the rice flour is a bit too thick for my liking. Hopefully the entire combination is balanced well.
We picked the wok-fried duck with XO sauce as a second course. The diced duck was well-fried with XO sauce, it was very tender and flavorful.
Another siganture starter at Hakkasan is the dim sum platter, which consists of scallop siew mai, har gau, chive dumpling and roast duck mushroom dumlings. Each order comes with 2 pieces of each dim sum. The skin of har gau (shrimp dumpling) is a bit thick, but the shrimp inside was bouncy and umami. While the skin of all other pieces was thin, the fillings were flavor. We enjoyed both the original taste as well as serving with spicy sauce.
Vegetarians? No worries. The vegetarian dim sum platter is another top pick. Among morel crystal dumpling, steamed dumpling with autumn truffle, truffle pumpkin puff and cheese croquettes, we enjoyed the cute truffle pumpkin puff the most, for its crunchy skin and flavor fillings. I personally quite disappointing with the two with crystal skin, wht skin was too thick and the fillings were bland.
The cirspy duck salad was presented similarly with the previous asparagus salad, both topped with young sprouts. But there were large portion of cirspy duck underneath the sprouts. The duck has a really crispy skin, the meat was very tender and flavorful. The pomelo, pine nut and shallot enhanced a nice balance to the entire dish. Recommend.
Move on to the main courses. We picked the crispy prawn with dried chilli and cashew nuts from the seafood menu. The portion was quite small for this price, only 6-7 prawns were served in each order. The taste is similar to the tradtional Chinese 'Kong Pau Chicken'. The prawns were tender and crispy, but nothing special on the taste side.
We attempted to order the cod with champagne and Chinese honey at first, but we was told the dish might be a bit heavy. Thus we ordered the grilled chilean seabass instead. The seabass fillet was quite thick, but tastes a bit dry. It was not that flavorful as i imagined. We enjoyed the deep-fried mushrooms more.
Compare to the previous two main dishes, wht slow-cooked Wagyu beed (M9) was a much more pleasant one. The wagyu was quite lean, it was cooked well and well-keeps its own flavor. It paired well with the in-house made soya and spring onion sauce. One thing i felt disappointing about this course was the mushroom and onion base of the dish, which was same as the previous pork neck appetizer.
It is very hard to pick one grain dish among all 8 choices on the menu, as none of them sounds really appealing to us. We finally chose braised E-Fu noodle with abalone gravy. What we expected was the chewy or al dante noodles with creamy and flavorful abalone sauce, but then the noodle came to our table, we felt very disappointing. The noodle looks very oily and dry, the gravy was not heavy enough, it tastes indeed bland and dry.
Finally, the dessert part. Two of us had the ever-popular chocolate sphere, served with oranges and salted chocolate sauce. The first sphere perfectly melted as the server poured the hot chocolate onto the top, it looks so indulgence but so good. While the second sphere 'failed'. The entire dessert was high in chocolate flavor but was quite heavy, we only fished half of each order.
We also tried the five spice caramel apple cake, with green apple purée and ginger ice cream. The server topped some caramel on top of the cake and 'burnt' it. It looks quite amazing, however, non of us enjoyed it. It taste like over-sweetened jelly candy.
The only dessert we enjoyed the most was the lemon pot, which consists of lemon in different textures: lemon curd, lemon mousse and leon meringue. The lemon mousse was rich and creamy, quite high in lemon flavor and was not too sweet. The lemon curd is sweeter but balanced the sourness from the lemon mousse.
The second visit at Hakkasan Shanghai was not that pleasant neither. None of the dishes were surprsingly good, even for the famous duck with caviar, the taste was just 'above average'. I don't really recommend Hakkasan if you are looking for really delicious Chinese food in Shanghai, but f you really want to eat at Hakkasan, some dishes you can try such as the crispy duck salad, dim sum platter (non-vegetarian), slow-cooked wagyu and lemon pot. The service is good and worth the 10% service fee. The ambiance at Bund 18 is no doubt good as well, the view from the window tables was amazingly good. We found the dishes were over-priced. As a pure Chinese, Idon't really want to re-visit Hakkasan if i have to pay by myself. There are definitely better Chinese restaurant with more ressonable prices.