After some careful thought, I recently decided to complete the trifecta and visit a third location of Hakkasan. My fiancée Meg wanted to try a new place for her birthday, and I know that she loves nice trendy Asian restaurants, so I booked us a table. Meg was originally skeptical, but I assured her that the Miami location had great food and drinks and that the Vegas club was also a well known spot. Thus, we went out to the NYC location of this Cantonese restaurant and had a great time.
To start, the service was fantastic. The hostesses were all super friendly and did not make us wait to buy drinks like other similar places do. Our waitress was very attentive but also didn’t push us to leave early. I could not believe it but the service at this place was almost flawless.
The ambiance was also very nice. You enter the restaurant through a cool dark hallway and there is a smell of incense in the air. There were a few different rooms with dividers in between and a nice looking colorful bar. The bathrooms were also great, which is a good way to judge a place sometimes.
We began the meal with some great specialty cocktails. I got the Hakka, which is their signature drink. It contained vodka, sake, coconut juice, passion fruit juice, and lychee. It tasted amazing. It was very sweet and the passion fruit actually overpowered the coconut flavor. It was a decently strong drink, but you could not tell because the taste of the liquor was masked.
Meg ended up getting an Elderberry vodka cocktail, and I got a lychee martini as my second. Both drinks were delicious and had great flavor. They were a little sweet but not as overpowering as the Hakka.
For appetizers, we started out with duck spring rolls. There was one for each of us. The spring rolls were delicious. They were crispy on the outside and filled with tasty shredded duck on the inside. The duck was thin almost like the meat in a Philly cheesesteak. The spring rolls came with a good hoisin sauce for dipping.
Being that the app was small, we also got the dim sum platter. This was also very tasty. The dim sum consisted of four seafood dumplings for each person. There was one with prawns, one with scallops topped with caviar, one with crabmeat, and one I was unsure of but seemed to be a veggie dumpling. The three seafood dumplings all were a decent size and had a good amount of fresh meat in them. The consistency of the dumplings was great and held together well. The best part was that they gave us sweet chili sauce, spicy peppers with oil, and soy sauce. The fourth dumpling we had was not as good but I will certainly take three out of four.
For dinner, I got the Chilean Sea Bass stir-fry and Meg got the Duck wok with XO sauce. My Chilean Sea Bass was absolutely fantastic. The fish was so fresh and moist and was made in a peanut glaze sauce. The glaze was very good and had a touch of sweetness to it. It reminded me of a typical miso glaze but actually better. The flavor was perfect and the fish was mixed with veggies and hot peppers. The Sea Bass was delicious and came with a satisfying amount of meat.
Meg’s duck dish looked pretty solid as well, and I was able to sneak a small piece from her even though it was her bday. She really enjoyed the dish, but I thought that the duck was cooked too much in the wok. The sauce was also pretty sweet too because it was cooked with Remy Martin XO cognac. It was a solid dish but not one of my favorites. In addition to our two meals, we also split chicken fried rice, which was a la carte. This was good too, but I felt that it needed a bit more soy sauce.
For dessert, we got a fresh summer plate with berries, sorbet, and a jelly mold. It tasted pretty good, and the best part was that it came with a candle and a Happy Birthday sign. We were both surprised when the waitress came out to sing but apparently, people do read the special request note on an open table reservation.
Overall, it was a great experience and both of us left there happy. I highly recommend and would totally go back another time. Meg told me at the end of the dinner that if I blog about Hakkasan to please give them a 4.9 out of 5.0. She knows that I never give anybody a 5, so this is the best I could give.