There is a humourous passage in a David Lodge novel where English literary professors compete for the most famous book they have never read and one boasts he has never read a word of Jane Austen. At a Rust reunion the sports guys were talking of the great events they have never attended. This made me think of unvisited restaurants especially when speaking to Bob Tickler’s p/a Polly, who wins the prize of being the daughter we would all liked to have had. She said that Hakassan was her favourite restaurant. I could not comment as I have never been there. So I put this right yesterday and went to the Hakassan at Hanway Place. It’s a dark restaurant, subterranean with no natural light. My companion a South African visitor thought it more an evening place. Any critique was soon marginalised by the quality of the Chinese food. It was sensational. We had prawn toast, and spring rolls for starters, a duck salad, sweet and sour pork, Singapore noodles. All these dishes are standard Chinese fare but I can honestly say I have never tasted better. It was scrumptious and we ate every morsel. To accompany this we went, somewhat unorthodoxically but effectively, we drank cold beer and hot saki.
The decor is quite seductive with mood lighting and soft music. It’s a large space to fill and we were sat in the Ling Ling lounge. To complete my research I chatted to the manager Alan who told me there were 20 Haksassans world wide, the one in Las Vegas does very well. It was started by Malaysian Allan Yau and now owned by a Dubai company. It’s clever branding of an international cuisine which many like Aqua emulate. The evening trade would also comprise cocktails. Polly says they employ sexy Asiatic waitresses to enhance the vibe and you weak-willed men surely bend when some lissom almond-eyed lovely wafts by to suggest another Mojito!!!
Like most Polly selections it’s both expensive and classy. At £123 for two it’s not cheap place but I certainly did not consider myself short changed. I will just have to waggle a thigh at the editor of the Rust and suggest he funds an all expenses paid trip to the one in Las Vegas!!!