I go regularly, because, for a Chinese restaurant that doesn't look like a canteen, there really aren't many options other than Hakkasan. There may be those claiming places like Min Jiang or even China Tang but the food is sub par at those, China Tang isn't bad food but it's not what would be considered restaurant food in Hong Kong, I digress. Just because Hakkasan is the only option, doesn't mean they can let standards slip. Today I was given "late afternoon menu" even though I was dining at 2.45pm and they claim they are open until 3.30pm for lunch. I went for dim sum, but ended up having the taste of Hakkasan menu, which is supposed to offer good value for money (3 cocktails + this =110 pounds for one... good value?) the dim sum platter in the taste of Hakkasan menu has become monotonous, venison puff didn't have enough black pepper, salad with "vegetarian abalone"?? I've eaten abalone in Singapore, and it's close to a mushroom but this salad was a cherry tomato, sliters of carrots and some cress in soy sauce... so what was meant to be the vegetarian abalone in this? the tomato? And on to the steamed, I do like their chive crab dumpling but the har gaw is standard and bulging, and the siu mai is tastless. For main I had crispy prawns, tasted like a takeaway salt and pepper prawns... cost at a takeaway around 4 pounds. the pak choi was a little over cooked, and the sauce was bland. I used two bowls of chili oil to eat it. Desert was macaroons which were decent enough. So, let's add this up at prices of other Chinese restaurants, 3 steamed dim sum (£4), 1 Char Siu Sao made with Venison (not available as one piece anywhere else and not with venison but let's divide the price of a normal portion, £1) and I will not attribute a cost to a single cherry tomato, some cress and ends of carrot. On to mains salt and pepper prawns (£6) steamed rice (£3) Pak choi (half portion £3), 4 macaroons (£4) - £21, Hakkasan charge 35 I think except the portions are smaller and other than the chive dumpling, Hakkasan versions are worse, not better. I did ask for the main menu, but they refused. There are some dishes worth their money on the main menu, but taste of Hakkasan should be named taste of Royal China at 2x the price, or better yet, taste of Green Cottage at 4x the price. 11 pounds for cocktails that contain barley any alcohol are of course a scam. Somehow if you ask them to make a standard margarita, it has quite a kick, but avoid the cocktail menu (which I did not today). I don't normally even consider the price of restaurants, but when the food is worse than places 1\5 the cost, what can I do? As I say some dishes are very good, like the duck salad, crab black pepper, sea bass, turbot, lamb chop, etc etc but my God the taste of Hakkasan needs work or needs to go!
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