Hakkasan, London

If sexiness was tangible, it would look and feel like the star-spangled - in terms of both Michelin and celebrities - Chinese restaurant, Hakkasan.

If sexiness was tangible, it would look and feel like the star-spangled - in terms of both Michelin and celebrities - Chinese restaurant, Hakkasan. A jade green staircase snakes down to the cavernous basement, which resembles an atmospheric New York nightclub crossed with a decadent movie set.

Ostentatious floral displays mark the entrance, and a combination of subtly-spiced incense aroma, dimmed lighting and chilled music entice the senses. Inside, black wooden frames separate the dining area from a seductive bar, crammed with beautiful people from the international fashion and film worlds.Carved lattice screens, reminiscent of ancient Chinese houses, frame the dining area with black wooden furniture on black tiles, while the shadows of the chefs dance on the frosted glass on one side of the restaurant.Small eats are always popular with fashionistas - who don't eat much anyway - and the dim sum, served only at lunchtime, fits the bill perfectly. Traditional Chinese flavours are married with Japanese, Thai, Indian, Malaysian and European ingredients, and the choice is mind-boggling: tender Alaskan snow crab wrapped in crisp fried vermicelli and xo sauce; asparagus cheung fun with meaty bamboo pith and mushrooms; emerald-hued dumplings stuffed with prawns and Chinese chives; crispy duck and water chestnut, puff-spiced with cardamom and fennel seed; mooli spring roll with bean curd puff and yam roll; and feather-soft shredded turnip paste studded with char sui pork, to name but a few. The evening menu offers such delights as jasmine, tea-smoked chicken; soft-shell crab fried with garlic and curry leaves; braised aubergine and Morinaga tofu clay pot in an intense chilli and black bean sauce; roasted silver cod with champagne and Chinese honey; an asparagus stir fry, lily bulb and lotus stem; watercress tossed with savoury century eggs; organic sweet and sour pork with pomegranate; and live lobster noodles with ginger and spring onion. For the all important dessert, don't miss the praline ice cream and Mandarin sorbet encased in a tall tower of baked Alaska. This restaurant is not for purists though. Its modern Chinese cooking will not appeal to those looking for authenticity. Moreover, service can be variable, and, like many restaurants with the serious "wow" factor, it can be expensive and a nightmare to reserve a table. However, proprietor Alan Yau's new all-day dim sum restaurant, Yauatcha, which opened earlier this year, hasn't taken the shine off its older sibling. Hakkasan remains ground-breaking - not least for introducing the stylish nightclub look to an unsuspecting public. The look has been widely imitated and since become standard in many other establishments. But if Hakkasan was a movie, it would be a Wong Kar-Wai movie. And that's pretty cool.

Hakkasan, 8 Hanway Place, London 020 7927 7000, lunch Mon-Fri 12-3pm Sat-Sun 12-4pm Dinner Mon-Sat 6-12midnight Sun 6am-11.30pm. Meal for two, excl wine: £50

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick