Hakkasan Istanbul at Kanyon is the second branch of the restaurant that until now has only operated in London.
Hakkasan is an exclusive Oriental fusion restaurant. The restaurant was created by Alan Yau, also behind the Wagamama Japanese restaurant chain and the newer Yauatcha restaurant in London. Hakkasan is also described as the “sexiest” restaurant in Town.
The famous Oriental fusion restaurant Hakkasan opened in Kanyon shopping mall about a year ago. Hakkasan has recently updated and condensed its menu and is making a strong comeback
Hakkasan opened its doors in Istanbul on March 2008. Restaurateur Alan Yau points a finger at his Turkish wife, Jale Eventok, for his decision to choose Istanbul for Hakkasan’s first international branches abroad.
The Michelin-starred culinary establishment with a sexy multi-million dollar decor and seating for 210 people. The food here really is exceptional. Straying from the traditional route to provide Western variations on Chinese staples the cuisine is both modern and mouth-watering.
Hakkasan is located on top of the movie theater dome in Kanyon Shopping Center. The entrance is from a separate door outside with valet service or from the mall itself, next to Banana Republic. A distinct and strong smell of exotic incense fills the lobby area as you get off the elevator. Inside, almost like a nightclub, the color midnight blue dominates. In the center, a large dining room is divided into separate areas by dark screens featuring geometric designs.
The new and revised menu focuses on the most popular dishes by Turks in Istanbul. The crispy duck salad or the Steamed or fried dim sum composed of six juicy, succulent pieces of dim sum cooked to perfection is a must-try at Hakkasan.
If you are just at the bar sipping cocktails, the dim sum or duck salad can make for a refined and light snack.
Worth sampling is the roasted Chilean sea bass with champagne and a Chinese honey sauce or the other fish choice, Sha Cha silver cod. All the dishes are traditionally brought to the center of the table for sharing, family style. For a main course, a superb and popular choice is the Pi Pa duck, which is half a duck cooked in a unique sauce. Other dishes like tofu with eggplant are particularly juicy without being too oily.
For dessert, unlike the main branch in London, Hakkasan Istanbul does not have a large variety of sweets. Sorbet dominates the small selection in addition to a warm chocolate cake.
Dining at Hakkasan is more of an overall experience in terms of an eclectic ambiance, fashionably in vogue people watching and the superb presentation of fusion dishes. The dishes and service are excellent. Be ready to splurge, as the prices are extremely high, particularly with regard to alcohol and wine. Expect to pay about 150 lira per person.
Even though other restaurants have attempted to imitate its food and atmosphere, members say that Hakkasan is a unique experience.
Update: Unfortunately Hakkasan Istanbul didn’t last very long and is now closed.
Büyükdere Cad. No: 206
Kanyon Alisveris Merkezi
34394 Levent, Istanbul Turkey
Tel: +90 (212) 319 8888
More information at their website hakkasan.com