Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hakkasan at the Fontainebleau

Valentine's Day is a day that symbolizes love. Whether we are celebrating the love we have for a child, our parents, a friend, or a significant other,  a popular tradition is to mark the occasion with a nice dinner. Some choose to stay in and enjoy each other's company at home, others perhaps pick up some food and have a picnic at the beach, while others go out to a restaurant. While any way we celebrate it becomes a memorable moment, this Valentine's Day, I was surprised with a romantic dinner at a beautiful place, where the mystery of the Orient meets the modern elegance of Miami Beach: Hakkasan at the Fountainbleau. Hakkasan, a world renowned Chinese restaurant, first opened its doors in London (Hanway Place), and was the first Chinese restaurant in Europe to receive the Michelin Star in 2003. Currently, there are seven Hakkasans globally in places such as Mumbai, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London (Mayfair) and most recently New York City; with plans to expand to other key locations in the U.S.

The first impression that jumps out when you step into Hakkasan is the amazing decor. A series of elegant labyrinths leading to romantic niches surrounded by ornately carved screens that envelope the space, create a very private and seductive ambiance. The rich textures and dark hues of the wood panels separating the dining enclaves add an even more sensual feeling to the subtly lit Asian environment.

Once you're done admiring the gorgeous surroundings, you are ready to be introduced to Hakkasan's haute Cantonese cuisine. The menu is presented in Chinese and English. Although I had been here before, it was during Miami Spice in September, so I had many questions on what each dish entailed. Our waitress was happy to answer them and make suggestions based on our preferences. We decided to order one appetizer and two entrees to share, since the food is served family style and the portions vary depending on each dish. 

Dim Sum Platter
Silver Cod
We started off with the obvious choice: the Dim Sum Platter. It consisted of eight portions of dim sum, two Scallop shu mai topped with roe, two shrimp har gau, two shrimp with Chinese chives, and two vegetarian, all served in a bamboo steamer. They were delicious! The wrappers were soft and fresh, allowing the bold, distinct  flavors of each dumpling to explode with every bite. We accompanied the meal with a full bodied and silky Tempranillo blend, from the Riolta Alta region in Spain, Villa Ardanza, Rioja Rva, 2001. It paired well with the meal, with its aromatic cranberry and damson flavors.

Next we tried the signature Charcoal Grilled Silver Cod with Champagne and Chinese Honey. We weren't prepared for the incredible decadence of this dish! The symphony of flavors was spectacular, enticing the palate with the sweetness of the honey and the silky juiciness of the fish. I highly recommend this entree if you want to try a dish that will leave you breathless!

Szechuan Beef
Spring onion & egg fried rice

As a second entree, we shared the Crispy Szechuan Shredded Beef Tenderloin. It was prepared with a  mango sauce, cashews and onions, making it quite savory without it being too sweet. I loved mixing it with our side dish, the Spring Onion and Egg White Fried Rice, which was not overly flavorful but went well with the entrees we chose.

White Chocolate Mousse
Cafe Latte
Finally, we pondered over dessert. After some heavy negotiations between ourselves, we finally agreed on the White Chocolate Mousse with Passion Fruit Sorbet. It was an amazing  dessert with a refreshingly tangy and sweet taste. I actually caught myself moaning as I engaged in this celestial experience. To finish off, I ordered a Cafe Latte, which came with the perfect amount of foam, and sat back to reminisce on the fabulous Valentine's Day dinner I was just treated to.

As I was leaving, I learned that Hakkasan offers a Dim Sum lunch on weekends. I am already making plans to return!  For more information, visit their website at or for reservations call (786) 276-1388.

Hakkasan on Urbanspoon

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