Hakkasan serves authentic Chinese dishes served with a contemporary twist.
We were really confused by this place, but maybe that's our fault. Expecting some "authentic" Hakka cuisine but instead found, hidden in some industrial area in the middle of nowhere, some restaurant worthy of being in Yaletown or some fancier part of town.
Yes, that's right, this is pretty nice, "modern" decor here and yes, you could bring a date here. It's not your usual Chinese place, and in fact, that's the problem. Erase from your mind that this is a Chinese restaurant before you go in. There. You'll feel better.
There's a lot of "combo" style dishes and a la carte. Now get ready. Expect to easily go over $20 a person for a Chinese restaurant. Yes, you heard me, well over $20. We picked the cheapest sampler at $22 / person.
Blown away by the first dish, which is a "triple" appetizer with soup, some baked whelk and jellyfish/imitation sharkfin salad. Presented in cool "western" style. Food was very good, but the big hit was the unexpected presentation. That sort of set the mood and left the older generation at ease, who previously had been extremely grumpy about the pricing. The rest of the sampler (and I believe this may change at the chef's whim) was very tasty and well done. I don't recall any MSG thirst, it was not too oily or salty. Very nice.
Now, for $22/person, you will defnitely not go hungry. Having recently been to Milestone's and Earl's, I'll say I'd rather have the meal here, since the prices are quite up there at those other places too.
Service was great and absolutely exceptional for a Chinese place.
So that's the thing here. Don't think of it as a cheapy Chinese restaurant. Just pretend you're dining in some hip new place downtown and you'll be fine. The decor is to match, the prices are inexpensive in comparison and the service and food are there as well.
Our only gripe is that if you're ordering the combo/set meals, the ENTIRE table has to order it, which pissed me off a bit. (Understandable after the meal once we figured out how they serve, so it would totally mess with the pacing).
I wish them luck. It's a horrible location and a tough sell, but it's good food and good service.
Contemporary Chinese Cuisine? what does that mean? Its hard to grasp until you get here. I really cannot describe the idea...its FAR from your typical Chinese seafood restaurant, yet its still authentic unlike PF Chang's, and not pretentious without substance like Also.
All the dishes I had in my tasting menu was excellent. Its so nice to enjoy Chinese food that is prepared so delicately, and with the utmost attention to detail.
If you enjoy multi course meals, in a westernized structure, with quality ingredients...then the food here is for you.
Service here is excellent as well. The servers were always there at the right time...it felt more like Le Crocodile than a chinese restaurant in terms of service. All dishes were introduced with their respective ingredients, and all beverages were always kept topped up. It also helps that a couple of cute girls work here as well :)
The restaurant itself is in a bit awkward place, but it only adds to the ambiance...being a restaurant that strays from the norm, I can see why their location strays from the strip mall that is No3rd.
Don't think of what it is, just show up, be hungry, enjoy the great service and a nice bottle of wine and I'm sure you will leave happy.
I have heard from people that this is one of the best Asian contemporary cuisines available in the Lower Mainland area. And it did not disappoint.
We ordered the 8 dish tasting menu at $40 per person. The flavor of each dish was excellent.
Service was excellent. Plates were changed quickly and there were two waitresses that attended to our table. They were courteous and helpful and exceeded my expectations.
For people who eat just Chinese food, they may find this pricy, but for the type of cuisine that you are eating, it is fairly reasonable.
Decor of the place from the outside seemed nothing special, but inside the restaurant it was very cozy and chic.
Ended up having a great time and would go again soon.
Really awkward to get to, but totally worth the trip in the end. It's a beautiful place (as you may be able to see from the website) and the food is amazing. Great Chinese food, awesome list of teas, try everything!
It may seem strange when you step in and there's only one or two other tables in the restaurant, but then, depending when you go, it generally fills up. I've gone on a Saturday for lunch, and a weeknight for dinner, and both times it was empty at first, but filled up later. So go a little later for the atmosphere, I guess.
You won't expect to find this gem in the Richmond warehouse area. I appreciate the chefs putting their creative mind in their delicious dishes. Their lunch menu (about $10) is reasonable for a house soup and main course. Dinner menu is a bit pricey but for the tasteful creations and excellent service, it's money well spent. Interior is simple and modern. It's a good place to hang out with friends and family.
We took our friend there for her 40th b-day tonight. The place is smaller then I thought and not too fancy. The 3 of us ordered the $38 tasting menu of the month. It came with a good size toss salad with 2 small pieces of smoked salmon,bit of shark fin and jelly fish with a special salad sauce, which is quite good. Next, came the soup, another good size soup, double boiled, has watercress and pork in it, very tasty soup. The next dish was half a lobster which was very flavorful. They also bought a small bucket of plastic gloves for you to wear to eat the lobster with, which we didn't use. Just weird eating food with gloves. Better to just give hot towel to wipe our hands after. The last dish was Kobe beef, small cubes,(very tender and mouthwatering)with Jasmine rice. Dessert was stuffed green bean fried sesame dumplings, which was just ok. The waitress recommend another dessert which was sticky rice with some other paste in it, $4 for that was not worth it and not good but one of friend liked it. Overall the dishes were great value for $38 each person(regular price was $68). The ambiance was medicore, could be a bit more classier to match their food. Service was prompt and friendly. We enjoyed our food so much, we'll be going back next week(another friend's b-day) to try their other set menu which is completely different for $39. Can't wait.
We've now been to Hakkasan about 4 times - twice for lunch and twice for dinner, and I have to say I am impressed each time I go. It's a little hard to find, but well worth trying. It really is a non-traditional Chinese restaurant, and they execute VERY well. The decor is clean and simple, white walls, tables are nicely spaced. The service is pretty flawless too ... from making reservations to arriving and tableside, it's very friendly, not intrusive and they go out of their way to make you feel welcome. I'm actually quite picky on service in restaurants and Hakkasan is one of the best I've been to recently.
On to the food where this place really shines. We've done the tasting menu (seasonal) twice now and have been absolutely blown away by the quality and creativity. It certainly doesn't hurt that it's 8 course for $40!! An eclectic mix of dishes, some traditional Chinese, others with a western twist but very few that weren't a hit. The Quail in young coconut still stands out in my mind as probably the best soups I've ever had, and the specialty garlic sauce they pair with seafood (had it once with spot prawn, once with lobster) is unbelievably good. The curried whelk is a house specialty and another that really stands out - my wife swears they put something addictive in there. At lunch there is an eel with tofu over rice that is fantastic.
All in all one of our current favourite restaurants, I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for Asian inspired cuisine that has a modern take. For the money you can't beat it.
Cuisine: We initially ordered the spicy green beans, chicken with curry sauce, and tofu. The waitress returned shortly thereafter to indicate that problems in the kitchen meant they could not offer several dishes: the beans and chicken dish were not available. Apparently stir-frying was not possible. It is difficult to imagine a Chinese restaurant operating without the ability to stir-fry.
We were not told this at the outset. Management should have ensured that our server was aware of this when the restaurant opened this morning. We overheard her mentioning to another table that the problem occurred the day before. We ended up ordering seasonal greens with abalone sauce and Korean shortribs after learning that seemingly no poultry or seafood dishes were available.
The food arrived relatively promptly. The tofu was accompanied by broccoli that was less than room temperature. The tofu was fine. The ribs were fatty and the greens were okay. Despite the flowery prose on the website, there was little in the way of maximized visual appeal. Presentation was vey plain.
Ambience: The website promises far more gracious circumstances than actually exist. The table was not quite arborite but close to it in quality. The smell of bleach was in the air. I do not fault the restaurant for the views of the light industrial area in which it is located.
Service: Tea refills were very prompt. Fresh plates were offered, as were wet towels.
Value: The seasonal greens were $13. The tofu was $13. The shortribs were $17. One of us is a very experienced consumer of Chinese cuisine. He considered the dishes were overpriced when compared to dishes available at other restaurants of comparable quality, especially given the smaller portions. The 10% discount for ordering before 12:30 did little to soften the sting. The promise of a Chinese dining experience brought to a "whole new level" is grossly misleading to the extent it suggests a high-quality dining experience. The claim to being "contemporary" cuisine is perhaps defensible on the basis that such a label is often associated with high-end restaurants which serve small portions at large prices.
Excellent food! We had the tasting menu. All the dishes were very well made, we especially like the pan seared foie gras and the shark fin chicken soup. Service is great, very friendly. Price is on the high side but well worth the trip. Its location is away from the Richmond city centre. But even then, it was quite crowded when we went there.
Hidden in a local North Richmond Industrial Park is a wonderful food experience. Working close by I have had numerous occasions to try lunch and dinner.
Staff is great willing to explain the cuisine to person not familiar with the foods on the menu. It has a nice atmosphere but it is the food you come for ...try the soup so flavourful, and the dinner specials or tasting menus if your are not sure .. A great experience I'll go by myself, take clients or friends I've never been disappointed. check out the menu on the web they have pictures...
As someone who has been exposed to Chinese delicacies all over Asia and around the world since an early age, inevitably, I have higher standards and expectations than the average person when dining at a Chinese restaurant. I made dinner reservations for six the day before, and was immediately introduced to their new seasonal tasting menus on the phone. The catch was that I had to pick one for my entire party by the end of the phone call, which I reluctantly did. Since I have never eaten at Hakkasan before, I made a conservative choice and opted for the $42/person offering. To give you an idea, their seasonal tasting menus (7 or more dishes) ranged from $39 to $98 per head, after the 50% promotional discount. Their signature menus can go upwards of $168/person, as their website later reveals. To be fair, their more expensive menus does include such exquisite items as abalone, shark's fin, foie gras, etc..., but I will touch on value later.
The restaurant is located in an industrial part of town, but quite easy to spot thanks to the dullness of its surroundings. Surprisingly, the place was quite packed considering it's a weeknight and we are in the middle of nowhere. The ambience is very nice; chic and modern yet unpretentious and traditional at the same time. All of a sudden you forget that cars were getting their oil changed just hours ago next door.
Now, having prepared myself by reading the reviews here beforehand (as I always do), I knew what I was getting at Hakkasan - a modern take on authentic Chinese cruisine. I give them full credit for sticking to the theme, but clearly the food was spotty in the taste department. Some outstanding (Hakka chicken; garlic lobster), some very averge (soup; pork with rice; steamed egg) and others just downright awful (appetizer trio; braised tiny abalone; kobe steak cubes; creme brulee). For your information, the steamed egg and kobe steak were a la carte items we added on top of the tasting menu items. To complicate matters, half the table were served uncooked lobster, but what troubled me the most was the fact that they served all hot items on cold plates. The manager came to apologize and the rest of the table got their cooked lobster, on cold plates.
The food came at a slower and less-than-optimal pace, with some long gaps in between dishes. However, the service was attentive and friendly; definitely much better than your typical Chinese restaurant. As for value, I can rate it based on my particular experience. For about $70 per person, which includes the 7-course tasting menu, 2 a la carte items and a bottle of mediocre BC white, I would say it is decent value for its quantity but not quality. For a similar price, you can find a 3, 4 or even 5-course meal on 4th Ave or elsewhere and recieve better quality and tasting food on most occasions. Heck, you can even dine at top Chinese restaurants and eat excellent, tasty abalone, shark's fin soup with crab meat, and crispy pigeon all without paying a penny more. That said, a 7-course meal is a lot of food and variety at $42 per person, and value points should go up if you know what to order and what to avoid.
Hakkasan breathes new air into the very traditional world of Chinese cruisine through presentation and style rather than fusion of substance. Not without flaws, it can still be impressive at times even for my picky Chinese palate (yum Hakka chicken), but there is definitely room for improvement. They should begin by refining the menu, and start serving with warm plates, at the very least. Perhaps I will try their signature menu next time, which might do the restaurant and its chefs better justice, but only when a discount is available to justify the cost and mitigate the risk of a bad meal. To those of you still reading, Hakkasan is worth trying out.
My brother read the good reviews and heard from a friend that this place is supposed to be pretty decent. There were 4 of us there for my Mother's birthday. The service was fine - the hostess and waitress were very friendly.
Decor is fairly sparse - but neat and clean. I felt that they were trying to make it a higher class, trendy restaurant.
Unfortunately they fell flat with the food. Tiny portions, bland, fairly tasteless food and very expensive for what it was.
We got the 5 course meal for $29 per person. If I made the same food at home, I could have made all (except the bland lobster which we would have been just as happy without) for all 4 of us for under $10. (But I wouldn't because my food would probably taste better) This is what it consisted of:
Appetizer meal - all pretty bland. : 1 small (palm sized) green salad, 1 meat ball (covered in some kind of tomato/spice flavored sauce - tasted like premade meatballs you can get at superstore) 1 small piece of cantelope with whatever that bacon type meat that is commonly used on appetizers - sorry I forget the name at the moment.) and 1 tiny little pastry cup (about 1 1/2 times my thumb nail size (I have small woman hands) containing a single baby shrimp with some kind of dressing.
Soup - a double boiled soup - I think she said it was beef and papaya with snow fungus - it was a bit salty but the best thing that we ate. I think it was supposed to be salty so no real complaints there.
Half a lobster with garlic. Sounds great - but the lobster was pretty mushy/rubbery. I haven't had lots of lobster, but never had it like that. It tasted really bland - the garlic sauce/covering didn't seem to actually give the lobster much flavor - and I LOVE garlic.
Then we had a choice of a rice dish with a salty chicken, a beef or pork. Everyone else got the beef (which wasn't bad - but not really that good either), and I got the chicken just to try it - and basically got bones with a tiny amount of meat and skin (so really mostly rice)
Dessert was a pretty typical mango pudding. I've had worse, it just doesn't seem like something to make a fuss over.
We had a bottle of inexpensive white wine (Liebfraumilch) and a couple of beers to go with dinner. For $175 (including taxes) We expected to have something tasty not bland, something a little different or special. Each dish was a let down and definitely not worth it. If portions are small but really unique, tasty enjoyable, $29 would be fine. In this case even the Keg would've been less expensive and we'd have been full at the end.
My brother lived and traveled in Asia, and I've also traveled there (China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan) and enjoy the food. We were hoping to introduce our parents to some of the food we like and hoped that because it has a western twist it would be more enjoyable for them than throwing a bunch of odd looking dishes at them. Too bad that wasn't the case.