NEW YORK, NY :: A TALE OF TWO HAKKASANS // james beard foundation, hakkasan nyc, mixology

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My 2011 London Yauatcha & Hakkasan visit became one of my first posts on; I wouldn’t even call that post a review… it was a brief description, a showcase of dishes, and a simple attempt to share my life with new readers…

Nearly two years later and has blossomed into a food & travel blog with support from all corners of the world. To celebrate this achievement, I attended the Hakkasan NYC, James Beard Foundation Dinner on March 15th!


The original location is located in Hanley Place at the West End of London, England; the restaurant is known for its upscale cantonese food and was created by Alan Yau. With the success of Hakkasan London, Alan Yau has opened branches in Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, and Mumbai.


June 25, 2011: We took a 5 person taxi to 17 Bruton Street and walked the carpet towards 5 gorgeous girls in tight black dresses. After giving our reservation name, one of the five beauties, showed us to our table downstairs; carpeted floors, hand-carved dividers, expensive artwork, and sleek black furniture.

You can read about my favorite dishes on my previous post, however, to avoid embarrassment, I left out a significant event that night… when the cashew dish arrived at our table, we were told it would be VERY spicy… so of course, I devour my entire portion and tried to get in one more bite by mistaking a pepper for a cashew #whitewinewasmybestfriend


March 15, 2013: As my friend and I entered the James Beard Foundation kitchen, we were greeted by a massive wok, and I really mean massive.

JBF DINNER: As guests pssed through the kitchen, Chef Ho Chee Boon, Chef Goh Jong Chyn, and Pastry Chef​ Rory Macdonald plated 3 different hor d’oeurves while Bar Manager, Camille Austin provide refreshments in the green house. For the event, Camille served champagne and 3 signature cocktails that required a blend of top-shelf liquor, impressive ice cubes, smoking machines and the correct flip of the wrist.

As I sipped on my margarita, reception hour was coming to a close; so I made sure to taste all 3 drinks, and all 3 appetizers prior to my six seven course dinner (+Hakkasan added an additional surprise course prior to the final dessert, featured below)!

Highlights of the Night:

  • Fresh mangosteens! As soon as they arrived on the table as decor for the dessert course, I already had one in my mouth- charming right?#bringmebacktoSEasia
  • Prior to the final dessert (see above), Hakkasan added an extra course to the menu; and I’m not sure how they managed to get warm chocolate in a cold dish- perhaps they used the sous vide?
  • And last but not least, I learned two interesting facts: 40% of the menus are classic dishes that are offered at every Hakkasan, and for the remaining 60%, Chef Ho creates custom menus for each Hakkasan restaurant based on the areas local flavors and influences.



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