Sister restaurant to Hakkasan (Hanway Place & Mayfair) serving flawless Peking duck and exquisite but expensive tasting menus in the City of London.
This is my third visit to HKK and I have to reiterate that it is simply the best Peking duck available in London, probably the country. It is simply hard to see how the beauty of the crispy skin (smoked in a cherry wood roasted oven), the succulent meat, beautifully light home made hoi sin sauce and carefully presented sesame pancakes (with the edges carefully cut away to guarantee perfect softness for all areas of the pancake) can be bettered. As we had nine venues to hit on this one day we could only stay for a snack in HKK and thankfully they were wonderfully understanding and allowed us to sit at the bar for a quick half duck. It is a little pricey for £46, however for the quality and the manner one is looked after here, I would pay this in my sleep. A truly lovely experience yet again here at HKK.
Food Grade: 90%
My second visit to HKK and this time to try the set menu lunch with a glass of wine for £38 pp at the bar and the botttom line here is that the food on this set menu is as good as it is on the tasting which I was delighted about. This is actually quite rare as most Michelin starred set menus customarily use cheaper cuts of meat and have smaller portion sizes, but thankfully, the signature cherry wood roasted Peking duck was on this set menu (and proved to be the same size portion as on the a la carte) and was clearly a no brainer to go for as I believe this is still the best Peking duck in London. The duck is dried at 3 degrees celsius for 48 hours to gain the maximum crispyness of skin with just the right balance of fat at the same time. I can’t stress enough how good the duck here is and Peking duck fans really should take note.
All the dim sum were beautifully done (vegetable and seafood) and the truffled, supreme soup with scampi and goji berry was delightful. The glass of Turkish red was also a nice addition to the duck and resembled a pinot noir but was chilled to soften the tannin. All desserts were nicely done and the prize went to the peanut parfait and lime sorbet with lemon and chocolate curd which was outstanding – such a mouth watering consistency and flavour. All of this with the jasmine tea to finish made a superb meal.
My only gripe here therefore is that it is not exactly the cheapest set menu in London and as the portion sizes seem to be quite modest in general for the price, I had to call in reinforcements of another portion of the duck from the a la carte to compensate (£16). But I was very pleased to learn that they will shortly (at time of writing) be revising the menu which should include a lobster and Peking duck promotional option on selected lunches and some new choices on their already revised tasting menu which has been changed to 12 courses as opposed to 15 (for a better overall and less prolongued menu).
Another great occasion here and frankly my next visit may have to simply be going with the whole duck for the asking price to share with another and that will be fine!
Food grade: 90%
It is a special experience if you are still talking about something months after and beyond and I certainly was with this Chinese food. The drawbacks are mainly its address of being in a rather odd and derelict / drab part of London but inside, is another world. The star of this establishment is without doubt the cherrywood-roasted Peking duck which is dissected in full view of everyone in the centre of the restaurant for each table that gets one such is the special nature of the dish. All of the other dishes were creative and there were a few genuine moments of delight with the barbequed fish and dim sum. It is fairly on the expensive side and it was a shame the highlight Peking duck was a very small portion per person however, as a tasting journey it is without doubt the most elegant and sublime Chinese meal I think that is available in London. Now that the tasting menu is done I would be happy to go back and order 3 portions of the duck at £16 each, purely to maximise those Peking explosions. Well worth it – and don’t forget your wallet.
Food Grade: 90%
Location (Click google logo for directions)