Hakkasan opened in London and very soon got their first Michelin star. Shanghai followed suit and they got their star as well.
Housed in the historical Bund 18 building, Hakkasan Shanghai is a stunning example of the brand’s striking design, alluring cuisine and exceptional mixology and sommelier skills, set against Shanghai’s most iconic view. Hakkasan Shanghai offers three different dining spaces.
The Ling Ling Lounge, which sits in front of Shanghai’s impressive skyline, offers diners a relaxed lounge setting for cocktails or dinner. The main dining area, known as the “Cage”, is beautifully defined by latticed woodwork that creates an intimate inner dining space. And finally, in deference to Shanghai’s dining culture, there are five luxurious private dining rooms set around the periphery of the restaurant.
The menu, devised by Michelin-starred chef Tong Chee Hwee, 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. Dishes such as cod with Champagne and Chinese honey, crispy duck salad and jasmine tea smoked Wagyu tenderloin have been artfully adapted to the palate of the resident clientele.
四式点心拼 Luxurious dim sum platter
Two pieces each of bird’s nest dumpling, lobster dumpling with caviar, abalone seafood dumpling, and har gau with foie gras. The rice skin was made of the Teochew style of clear rice skin so you can see the filling through the transparent skin. The bird’s nest dumpling was an open-faced scallop dumpling with a teaspoonful of bird’s nest on top. The lobster dumpling was wrapped like a money back. Abalone seafood dumpling was dabbled with tobiko roe and transparent. The har gau with foie gras was psychedelic orange in colour.
I am sorry to say, I wasn’t impressed with this dim sum sampler. They came up cold, and the skin was chewy. While flavourful, one cannot forgive the fact that they came up cold.
魚子酱片皮鸭 Crispy duck with imperial caviar
First course was served with pancakes and baby cucumber, with a second course with a choice of XO sauce, black bean sauce or ginger and spring onion. This is a modern take on the classic Peking Duck. Instead of getting the whole duck, you get 8 equal rectangular pieces that were nicely stacked on a pancake skin with the usual condiment of leek, cucumber strip, and hoisin sauce. The highlight was the scoop of caviar on the crispy skin. Very well presented as you can see in the picture, and delicious at each bite size mouthful.
Just like the traditional Peking duck, the rest of the duck meat were used in a second course that would be presented later. 8 pieces do not make a whole duck, one may argue, What they lack in quantity, they make up with quality.
片皮鸭二吃蒙古酱 Second course with a choice of XO sauce.
In the second course of the 魚子酱片皮鸭 Crispy duck with imperial caviar, the duck was battered and deep fried to form an inviting crust. It was so much better than the traditional serving using chopped duck meat and stir-fried and served on lettuce cups. I wasn’t sure of the sauce, it tasted like Maggi Garlic Chilli Sauce.
香槟汁焗黑鳕鱼 Roasted silver cod with Champagne and honey
I would say this was the highlight of the evening. A well pan-fried piece of Norwegian cod with champagne foam sauce served on a bed of sautéed vegetables that included lily bulbs, sweet snaps, wood fungus and bak choy drizzled with a savoury-sweet (not teriyaki) soy sauce. On the foam was crisped conpoy that added texture and more taste to the foam. Really enjoyed the delicate balance and simple tastiness of the dish.
梅菜酱四季豆 Preserved vegetables with string beans
This is as home cooked as it can be. I would say that is the ultimate compliment for a Michelin-chef. Just like the Pixar movie, Gustav was reminded of his mom’s cooking with Renee’s ratatouille. I was reminded of my family’s string beans with har bi hiam.
Five Spice Caramel Apple, green apple purée, ginger ice cream, Royal Tokaji
A visual treat and delicious ending to a wonderful evening. The server poured lighted Hungarian Royal Tokaji, a sweet aperitif, over the caramelised apple slices that have been deck like a kitkat. The fire burned away the alcohol, leaving a sweet, smoky liquor taste to the apple strudel. The ginger ice cream balanced the sweetness of this dessert and cleared the palate nicely afterwards. We cleaned the plate promptly.
Only Downside – The Service
I understood why they were only one star, the food was as good as their London shop and more adventurous. The ambiance was top notch, with a beautiful Pudong view. However the service was not as good as some of the Michelin, the service staff was stretched to the max because of the crowd. The Ling Ling side was almost empty, but those waiters over there would not lift a finger to help their overworked colleagues. The star was given in 2018, but it was promptly lost a year later.
Bund 18, 5/F, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
Tel : +86 21 6321 5888
Date Visited : Jun 2018
Shanghai Michelin Guide 1 Star 2018, Plates 2019-2021