Tag Archives: Hakkasan San Francisco

Chinese Food Goes Ultra Glam at Hakkasan in San Francisco

Pipa duck at Hakkasan in San Francisco.

Pipa duck at Hakkasan in San Francisco.

As a child growing up in San Francisco, I remember many a time accompanying my Dad to a Chinatown joint, where he’d order a plate of fluffy steamed rice topped with an ample portion of cleaver-chopped roasted duck for all of $5.

It was cheap, filling and satisfying.

I couldn’t help but flash back to that no-frills dish when I had a far more luxurious version recently at Hakkasan in San Francisco, when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant.

Oh sure, you can have roast duck with rice here. But it’ll set you back $40.

Yes, that plate of duck alone — 12 slices of gorgeous mahogany skin each covering a sliver of meat resting on a smear of hoisin sauce —  is $36.

Nope, this is definitely not my late-Dad’s duck rice plate. Nor his kind of Chinese restaurant. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.

It’s just that for most of us accustomed to mom-and-pop neighborhood Chinese food at moderate prices, Hakkasan’s steep tab can be a shock.

But should it be? After all, so many of us are willing to shell out hundreds of dollars per person for a tasting menu at all manner of Western restaurants. So should we blanch when a Chinese restaurant dares enter that realm of cost?

A private dining room.

A private dining room.

The soaring wine room as seen through the artsy wood divider.

The soaring, illuminated wine room as seen through the artsy wood divider.

Hakkasan does offer up luxuriousness to the max. With outposts in Dubai, Miami and Las Vegas, Hakkasan is as glitzy as you can imagine.

It’s located in the iconic One Kearny building off Market St. Walk through the door to find a host at a stark, blue-purple illuminated counter who will instruct you to take the elevator up to the second floor to the restaurant. The aroma of incense is already noticeable and assaults even more when the elevator opens up to the restaurant.

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Hakkasan To Open in San Francisco, Fugu Sake For Those Who Dare & More

Creative dim sum offerings at the soon-to-open Hakkasan in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Hakkasan To Open Its Doors Dec. 3

A splashy new, modern Chinese restaurant will debut Dec. 3 in downtown San Francisco.

Hakkasan — with branches already up and running or under construction in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, London, the Middle East and India — will encompass a 170-seat, 10,000-square-foot space on the second floor of the One Kearny building in San Francisco.

Known for its eye-popping prices and gilded interiors, Hakkasan tapped the Parisian design firm, Gilles & Boissier, to create a dramatic V-shaped bar to play off the building’s wedge-shaped design. Look for stone, glass, steel, dark-stained oak, Calcutta marble, colored mirrors, silks and embroidered leather to customize the look.

The restaurant, which will be open daily, will offer Cantonese-style dim sum, as well as an extensive wine and sake list.

Look for beautifully composed dishes like crispy duck salad with pomelo and pine nuts from Executive Chef Ho Chee Boon. (Photo courtesy of Hakkasan)

Executive Chef Ho Chee Boon, who has worked at the original Hakkasan in London, will be crafting dishes inspired by San Francisco’s dedication to organic ingredients. Look for “Jasmine Tea Smoked Short Ribs,” “Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly with Aged Vinegar,” and “Prawn and Pak Choi Dumplings.”

Ame Serves Up Fugu — In Sake

Yes, fugu, the prized Japanese fish that can be lethal in the wrong hands, will be served up at Ame in San Francisco in an unusual sake.

It looks innocent enough, doesn't it? (Photo courtesy of Ame restauarnt)

The restaurant, in the St. Regis Hotel, has taken the fins from the fish, roasted them, then steeped them in sake. The result is a drink that’s unique, rich and complex.

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