Hakkasan Mayfair is a vast place split over two levels, seating 250 at any one time. On a busy evening they may do 700 covers, and they have a roster of fifty chefs to cater for these considerable numbers, day in and day out. With such a scale you might expect the odd slip, but over several meals here I have yet to experience a “bad day” that even very grand restaurants seem to have all too often.
This was a lunch and so we had mostly dim sum, though you can order anything from the a la carte at lunch. There were tasting menus at £60, £90 and £120, and a £38 three course menu available at lunch as well as in the early and late evening. Har gau, the classic pleated and steamed prawn dumpling was available here in two forms. The classic version was lovely, the coating thin and the prawn inside precisely cooked (15/20). Langoustine har gau was similar, and although I would always back a langoustine over a prawn in a French restaurant, presumably here they have to use very small ones to fit in the dumpling, so there was not really much in it for me between these two (also 15/20).
A prawn dumpling with Chinese chives was also excellent (15/20). Baked morel puffs were pleasant, but didn’t have enough morel flavour for me, though the pastry was good (13/20). Soft shell crab was deep-fried and was very good, entirely avoiding the greasiness that so often afflicts this dish in Chinese restaurants (14/20). Gai lan was terrific, the broccoli stems carefully selected and precisely cooked (16/20). I was particularly taken by the prawn cheung fun, made with a wide rice noodle called shahe fen, traditionally with a soy sauce poured over it. Often this dish can be a soggy mess, but here the noodles had superb texture and the filling was excellent too, the light soy sauce lifting the flavour of the prawns (16/20).
Service was very slick. The bill came to £69 a head with just jasmine tea to drink. If you shared some modest wine then you could probably eat here for £85 each (just about). It would certainly be possible to spend a lot more if you went for a tasting menu and indulged on the wine list. This is certainly not a cheap outing, but the standard of food here is very high and as consistent as any kitchen I can think of.