Opening its doors in 2010, Hakkasan Mayfair was the third London restaurant launched by the Hakkasan Group after Hakkasan Hanway (2001) and Soho sister restaurant Yauatcha (2004). Following what seems to be a pattern of success for the Hakkasan Group, the restaurant was quick to garner rave reviews and an army of loyal regulars, with a Michelin star coming soon after. Awarded in 2011, the restaurant has maintained this accolade ever since.
While the group’s earlier ventures were designed by Christian Liaigre it was Guillaume Richard who created the atmospheric interiors for Hakkasan Mayfair. The restaurant is split across two floors with the basement floor adhering to a more traditional Hakkasan aesthetic – think lanterns and lattice panels, often eliciting James Bond comparisons from reviewers – including a private dining area, impressive glass fronted wine cellar and a vast, low ceilinged cage area accommodating a hundred diners. The ground floor, however, is unique to Mayfair. A seventy cover restaurant area exposes lunchtime diners to plenty of natural light, while by night the adjoining Ling Ling bar becomes the place to be seen.
The Ling Ling bar, serving up on-brand cocktails such as Hakkatinis, Smoky Negronis and signature favourite the Hakka, is home to the restaurant’s in-house DJ who sets the atmosphere for evening diners. For the trendy West End crowd – who pull off the restaurant’s desired dress code of ‘elegance’ with the expected panache - this vibrant space offers the perfect place to eat, drink and table hop before a night out in the area’s exclusive nightclubs.
From lunchtime to late night dim sum the restaurant has plenty of loyal regulars ensuring the demand for a table remains high. These regulars include not just discerning locals but a smattering of celebrities and frequent visitors from all over the world, particularly China and the UAE. Hakkasan Mayfair’s signature ‘Supreme’ dishes are especially popular with the latter clientele; Steamed New Zealand lobster wrapped in glass vermicelli, Braised whole abalone (a vast sea snail serving 10 people) and their famous Whole Peking duck served with Qiandao caviar represent three of a selection of premium dishes particular to Hakkasan Mayfair.
The restaurant also offers a la carte dining along with a selection of ‘Signature’ tasting menus and a three course ‘Taste of Hakkasan’ available at lunchtime and in the early evening. The menus change three to four times a year and cater very well for vegetarians, with dishes such as Stir-fry lotus root, asparagus and lily bulb maintaining the air of luxury amongst the restaurant’s meat-free diners.
It might be famously difficult to get a table at Hakkasan Mayfair – after all, half of west London are desperate to eat here – but those in the know have their ways. In addition to the high table space in the Ling Ling bar, a dining area for 20 covers which is open to walk in diners only, it is always worth ringing up on the day for last minute reservations and cancellations.