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Hakkasan comes to the City - we test drive HKKWhat can you tell me about HKK?

HKK, a small Cantonese restaurant comes from the Hakkasan Group of Chinese fine dining restaurants and has opened adjacent to Chrysan. Chef Tong Chee Hwee, who won a Michelin star for the original Hanway Place branch of Hakkasan as well as being Executive Chef for the group in general, is at the helm of a state-of-the-art kitchen with a custom-made, glass wood-fired duck oven.

Where is it?

It’s a tricky one to find, the best way to locate it is find 89 Worship Street and look across the road. You’ll see the restaurant on the ground floor of a big grey building with windows running all the way along the front, the inconspicuous entrance is in the middle.

Who's it suitable for?

Those who don’t like choice or making decisions. The menu, inspired by Chinese banqueting tradition, will offer an ever-evolving tasting menu but no a la carte. HKK is a suited and booted kind of hang out, if you’ve got your skinny jeans, Dr Martens and tie-dye tee on, this is the wrong part of East London for you.

Where should we meet for a drink first?

It’s probably easier to tell you where not to go to, we’re looking at you Queen of Hoxton. There’s a huge variety of pre-dinner drinks, Beard to Tail, Hawksmoor at Spitalfields, The Drift, Sushisamba and Ninetyeight are all just five or so minutes walk away while Worship Street Whistling Shop is just a stone's throw away down the road.

Where should we sit?

Take our advice, get there before your friends or you'll pay for it. Early bird catches the best view by sitting on the outer booth seats facing in to the kitchen island in the middle, you'll see the chef preparing food right before your very eyes and can observe all the other guests and what they’re eating.

What should we order?

The 15 course menu is changed regularly. The chef will recommend alternative dishes if you have an allergy or dislike a certain food, but this menu is the only menu. Of the 15 courses we tried on the night there were certainly some stand out dishes, I don’t want to give too much away as each course is a surprise until it is placed before you. Let’s just say the jellyfish is extraordinary in flavour and texture, the whole lobster claw is divine (don’t worry about picking up the shell to suck the sweet meat out, a finger bowl is offered afterwards to clean up) the Wagyu beef is better than expected after being smoked with jasmine tea but just you wait until you see the chef emerge from the kitchen and make his way to the centre of the restaurant, then you know you're on to a good thing, a crispy-Peking-duck-carved-before-your-very-eyes kind of thing.

And what about drinks?

Do as we did and get the drinks to match, wine flights are so last year, HKK offers an excellent selection including red, white and sweet wine, sake and cocktails to compliment the courses. In true Hakkasan style there’s a huge wine list, try the Chardonnay unlike any Chardonnay we've tried before. The 2009 Block 3 from The Lane Vineyard in Australia has spent longer in the barrel creating a smooth and creamy wine that fits perfectly with the Asian flavours. 

And how much will this set me back?

15 courses at dinner will set you back £95 while an eight course lunch is £48. To have drinks to match you pay £40 for seven different drinks while bottles of wine start from £29 and go up to a magnificent £4000+ (yes really) cocktails are £11.50.

Overall thoughts?

Almost 10 years since Hakkasan on Hanway Place was awarded its Michelin star, I think little sister HKK is striving for much of the same and so it should. The unique dishes were meticulously constructed with bold flavours and ingredients that I have never tried before, cooking techniques were bought up to date with distinctive twists and presentation, as always with this group, was assiduous with a modern flair. Just like the great attention to detail with the food, the waiting staff were exact and attentive without being overbearing while the theatre of the dining experience is set off with the kitchen bought right in front of your eyes. No longer do you have to be part of a rich exclusive club with rights to a chefs table, at HKK it’s the norm to see Chef Tong work his magic right before you.

HKK is at Broadgate West Worship Street London EC2A 2DQ

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Prices were correct at time of writing. Hot Dinners were invited to eat at HKK.

 

Follow Rebecca Brett on twitter at @hungrybecs and on her blog The Becs Diet

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