Tuesday 4 November 2008

Hakkasan restaurant, Hanway Place, Hanway Street, central London

Haunt of the rich and the beautiful, Hakkasan is a sassy Chinese restaurant tucked away in a large basement in a backstreet near Tottenham Court Road tube station. Nod to the bouncer, make your way down the stairs and past the small squad of cloakroom attendants. You'll be directed to a table in the dark dining room, which is divided up by black wooden screens decorated with striking geometric fretwork patterns, neatly framing the many glamorous patrons. The drinks menu includes unusual and enticing cocktails, novel Asian beers and an extensive selection of top-notch wines. If you don't want to burn too much cash, eat dim sum, which is smartly presented and generally delicious. Highlights include the juicy slices of lamb, the light and crispy prawn dumplings, served with seaweed, and the very succulent seabass. Among the deserts is a melt-in-the mouth cheesecake, luscious balls of ice cream and zesty fruit sorbets. Besides the high prices, Hakkasan's only weakness is the sometimes sporadic and curt service by the army of attractive young staff. 8/10