Hakkasan, Las Vegas

If you walk through the doors of a Hakkasan restaurant, anywhere in the world, you are guaranteed a great meal. The Hakkasan group of fine dining restaurants in London is renowned for serving the best Cantonese cuisine in the city. The branch in Las Vegas, however, is best known for its exclusive nightclub, but it was the food and service that made this place special for me.

We were greeted by a group of welcoming staff, who helped us navigate our way through the dimly-lit maze of tables. After a glass of fine Louis Roederer champagne we started looking through the extensive and luxurious menu. Though I recognised several dishes from the London eatery, there were a range of unique new recipes to try.

If you feel like something fun and fabulous, you are in Vegas after all, order one of the ‘Only in Vegas’ cocktails, more specifically the ‘Buddha’s Palm’ – a mix of Buffalo Trace bourbon, Velvet Falernum, yuzu juice, yuzu marmalade, black grapes, white balsamic vinegar, mint – it has a vibrant and exciting taste. The black grapes offer a particularly interesting flavour, a rare and unusual fruit that I had never tried before.

Our waiter highly recommended the signature Crispy duck salad with pomelo, pomegranate and pine nut, and I would agree it is a must. The neat stack of leaves and crispy duck meat was delicious enough, but the addition of the red jewel pomegranate and toasted pinenuts created an irresistible texture and balance of sweet and salty flavours. I also loved the Hakka steamed dim sum platter, a basket of beautifully made coloured dumplings, each filled with a different delicious delicacy of vegetables, fish or meat.

For main course we chose the Roasted chicken with satay sauce, Stir-fry black pepper beef ribeye with merlot, Pak choi with garlic sauce and Steamed jasmine rice. Portions are generous and the food is rich, but it is so tasty we couldn’t resist finishing the feast on our table. My favourite was the decadent Hakkasan classic stir-fry, high quality beef cooked in a sophisticated red wine sauce. The dish is artistically presented in a crispy rice shell, which you can eat if you’re still peckish. The roasted chicken is a simpler dish but equally well executed and served with a creamy, moreish peanut sauce.

We tried a trio of exquisite deserts, all new to the menu. Prepared with great precision by the pastry chef, they looked almost too beautiful to eat. The highlight was the Sicilian pistachio semi-freddo with violet crème, yoghurt meringue and cassis sorbet. It is a light and palate-cleansing final course, with an exciting range of flavours and textures.

After our meal we were lucky to have a sneak preview of the fashionable 3-level Hakkasan Nightclub, with its oversized VVIP booths and epic dancefloors that play host to the world’s biggest DJs. It is one of the most popular party spots in Vegas, but for me the magic of Hakkasan is still down to its faultless food and thoughtful service.

More information on Hakkasan Las Vegas here.