Hakkasan Mayfair is split over two floors, the ground floor able to seat around sixty guests and the larger basement around 150 people. The various booths were separated with an unobtrusive sheer screen, menus were via a QR code, the staff wore masks and there was one-way foot traffic in the restaurant as part of the precautions against Covid-19.
Today we began with a selection of four different dim sum. Wild mushrooms in a beetroot flavoured dumpling were different and enjoyable, but I preferred the classics. King crab with peppercorn sauce had plenty of sweet crab flavour, lifted by the bite of the pepper. Shui mai was in this case made with halibut, and had very good texture and flavour. My favourite was har gau, here made with classy langoustine instead of the traditional prawn (15/20 average). Morel spring rolls had very delicate pastry without even a hint of greasiness, and the morel flavour came through well. The edamame beans alongside the rolls were also unusually tender and enjoyable (15/20).
Spicy prawns with almonds and a sauce of moong beans were large, plump prawns that were precisely cooked. Many prawns in restaurants these days these days are sad affairs, often coming with a whiff of chlorine they pick up from the farming process, but none of that here. These prawns were sweet and generously sized, accurately cooked and enhanced by the gently spicy curry sauce in which they rested (15/20).
Singapore noodles were of an exceptionally high standard, a world apart from the clumsy vermicelli with beansprouts that often turns up in high street versions of this dish. Here the noodles were thin and delicate, with a few shreds of peppers and a gentle hint of spice (16/20). Bak choi were delicate and very accurately cooked, flavoured with garlic and a little ginger (15/20).
Service was a slick as ever here, and the bill came to £71 with just jasmine tea and mineral water to drink. It was lovely to be back in Hakkasan after the long lockdown, and this meal showed why the restaurant still very much sets the standard for sophisticated Chinese food in London.