When most New Yorkers think of Chinese food, they think of lo mein in a cardboard container with a fortune cookie and a few packets of duck sauce, delivered by a man on a bicycle. What they also think about is how cheap it is. As such, can a high-end Chinese restaurant really make it in NYC? Not just a high end Chinese restaurant, but a Michelin rated one that includes one dish on the menu that costs $888?
Hakkasan, a foreign import, has made its NYC debut with the hopes of bringing its global popularity to NYC. With it comes the chef from the restaurant’s Michelin star London location, Ho Chee Bon. The company hopes to bring not only a new kind of food to NYC, but, presumably a new type of restaurant.
This eatery doesn’t look like the dim sum parlors in Chinatown. The Times Square location has “a DJ booth, a bar the width of a football field, and lots of mood lighting, kind of like a club,” along with its white tablecloths and fine china. The restaurant seems to be trying to strike a balance between a swanky Meatpacking nightclub and a serious fine dining restaurant, but whether that can be successfully done remains to be seen.
The restaurant, which already has locations in Miami, India, the Middle East, and London, specializes in Cantonese-style dishes with some very luxurious touches. Though diners can order standard fare like Spicy Roast Ma La Chicken, Hakka Pork Belly Claypot, and Braised Lobster Noodles, that isn’t what the restaurant is known for. More famous are its ultra-luxe dishes like Peking duck with Kaluga caviar, stir-fried bird’s nest with lobster and scrambled egg whites, and the aforementioned $888 dish—braised Japanese abalone with black truffles.
Will NYC patrons be willing to pay the premium price for a combination of elegance and party atmosphere? Or will the plan go up in smoke? The only thing that is for sure is that NYC has never seen a restaurant like this.
Morabito, G. (2012, April 3). Hakkasan opening tonight with $888 abalone entrée. Eater NY. Retrieved from http://ny.eater.com/archives/2012/04/hakkassan.php. (2012, April 8).