Hakkasan Bistro Cafe is located in a very obscure area in East Richmond close to Ikea and the International Summer Night Market. They are a family-run establishment opened in 2007 by a mother and her two daughters. Renowned for their tasting menus, Hakkasan aspired to refine and elevate the Chinese dining experience. After 6 rewarding years, Hakkasan underwent a big renovation in 2013 and recently relaunched with the re-opening of what is a now a trendy bistro cafe that offers a new diverse menu selection in addition to tasting menus.
I wouldn’t have thought this restaurant would be located here. There’s nothing but warehouses and furniture stores nearby. Since there is no other food alternatives close by, they do draw a crowd during lunch from the stores around it. They even have grab-n-go meals for those in a rush. A taste of home without cooking anything.
I came here to dinner with the Chinesebites crew to indulge on a customized tasting menu for us. You can find these items on their regular menu.
They can cater to large groups and smaller groups. It’s always good to make a reservation since you never know if they will be very busy or not.
Honey Roasted Pork Cheeks were so good! The sweet honey sauce enrobes the tender and fatty pork cheeks. This is probably one of my favourite places to get pork cheeks now.
Chef’s Signature Whole Coconut Pork and Snow Fungus Soup is doubled boiled for over 3 hours in a the beautiful young coconut. It comes steaming hot and stay hot for a while. It serves one person or you can split with someone else but why do that when it’s so good. You need to reserve this soup a day in advanced.
The reason it needs advanced preparation is that the slow cooking method allows the coconut meat flavour to infuse into the soup creating the unique aroma and taste.
Inside you will find pieces of pork and snow fungus in the delectable chicken broth infused with coconut. It was one of my favourite dishes here. It is pricey at $22 per soup, but if it was a special occasion, I would get it. You also need to reserve this a day in advanced.
Ancient Style Salt Baked Chicken is a specialty item that needs to be reserved in advance since they need to take time to prepare this item.
The chicken is marinated with a blend of 10 different Chinese herbs and spices, then the free-range chicken is wrapped in parchment paper, place in the clay pot with a mound of coarse salt.
Once it’s open, you will see the delicious chicken hiding inside the parchment paper. It’s like Christmas, but all you get is a chicken. This slow baking technique ensures the chicken stays tender, moist, and flavourful when its done.
They prepare the chicken and portion for everyone at the table. Because of the baking process, the chicken is tender and flavourful. Of course I loved the dark meat.
Steamed Specialty Odorless Garlic Lobster is served on a bed of jasmine rice. Our table agreed that there needed to be a bit more flavour in the rice. The rice was more oily than flavourful. Perhaps if it was fried rice instead of jasmine rice, it would be a bit more enjoyable.
Braised Pork Hock is pretty massive and I drooled over this. It was nice and fatty and so much flavour. Mmmm Mmm Mmmm. Everything just really melts in your mouth.
This is another item that needs advanced ordering.
To balance out the flavour are bao/bun that is served with it. You can make some mini braised pork hock sandwiches or just dunk it into the sauce.
Hakka Homestyle Steam Egg with pork with duck yolk is a very smooth like custard. The salty duck yolk balanced out the steamed egg.
Stirfry fish with pickled cabbage was ok, I didn’t really love this dish as I felt the star of the dish was masked.
Mui Choy Stirfry was ok. I found it was quite oily and hard. I would have preferred some other steamed vegetables.
Steamed Milk Egg White Custard was the dish to end the evening. It was an ok dessert, but it didn’t wow me. I thought their dessert would be a little bit more elaborate like some of the dishes we saw tonight.
With their renovations and a revamped menu, they have some pretty good food but it is pricey. Lunch here is definitely more affordable, but dinner is a whole other experience.
Foodology Disclaimer: I was invited by ChineseBites to dine at Hakkasan Bistro and my meal was comped. All thoughts are my own.
We Rate Hakkasan Bistro:
110-2188 Number 5 Road, Richmond