Monday, 28 December 2015

Restaurant review: HKK, London EC2

This place is as muscular as Phillip Marlowe chaining a pack of Camels and polishing off a quart of brandy on a hangover.

It is a dark, glossy, high spec, high stakes kind of a place. A restaurant dreamt up for the exclusive use of power lunchers and power brokers.

Part of the Hakkasan empire, this edge of City outpost deals in a pricey but impressive Chinese tasting menu.

A party of us entertained clients in the private dining room, with its Bladerunner-blue tinged window looking on to the kitchen. The service was flawless and the beverage pairing (including cocktails, hot and cold sake, and teas, as well as wines) was inventive and lent a good deal of pomp to the proceedings.


The courses of note were many, including picture perfect dim sum, the pork belly mantou (a dirtier slider you would not find in Dirty Bones), Wagyu beef in king sanpei sauce, and a piquant little five spice pumpkin cake.


But the real pull here is the roasted cherry wood Peking duck, a theatrical spectacle of knife skills and meticulous plating up in two ways – an addictive little pancake as well as a chunk of the breast meat. The duck is deeply flavoursome and moist, glazed to an incredible colour and handled with all the reverence of the Kray twin’s Mum.

Whilst the food is exquisite, I challenge you to get through a meal here without thinking you’ve seen the Mark Hanna character from Wolf of Wall Street, leading his table of guests in a resounding, chest-thumping Money Chant.

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