his isn’t déjà vu; another world-renowned high dining spot has opened in Miami’s Fontainebleau Resort. Already home to Scott Conant’s Scarpetta and Alfred Portale’s Gotham Steak, the billion dollar hotel has added another name to its all-star cast. This time it’s Chef Alan and his celebrated Hakkasan. The contemporary Chinese fusion resto’s reputation is so elevated, so unblemished, that it will be hard for this new location at the Fontainebleau resort to live up to its own hype.
For those who don’t know, Hakkasan is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in a quickly-developing London culinary scene and is rated the 19th best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine. England isn’t exactly a top culinary destination (although that’s changing), but Alan Yau has always stood at the top of the pack. It’s only fitting that the Fontainebleau, the revitalized hotel for stars, is host to North America’s long-awaited first incarnation of Hakkasan.
Hakkasan is, strictly speaking, a Chinese restaurant. But it’s hardly your run-of-the-mill chow mein take-out. Yau has always experimented with upscale-yet-worldly versions of Cantonese recipes, and at his new restaurant he, along with chef Wen Ten Sian (formerly of My Humble House in Beijing), have added some specifically Floridian twist. Recipes such as Sanpei Chicken Claypot, Jasmine Tea-Smoked Organic Pork Ribs, and Rib-Eye Black Pepper Beef play towards Miami’s love of heavy meat dishes, while staying true to Chinese methods.
And, as you might expect, no expense has been spared on the décor. Set atop the spa building of the resort, the Christian Liaigre-designed fourth floor rooftop offers views of the beach, the pool, and the al fresco patio. A long sexily-lit bar serves as the centerpiece of the main dining room, while a series of small dining sections are illuminated by small lanterns and carved in teak. All in all, it’s an opulent, huge, and yet strangely private setting for a fantastic meal.
A word of advice: you may be here for Yau’s celebrated cuisine, but many people are there for the scene, so expect a certain type of crowd. If you want to fit in, get into your chicest clothes, order up a blood orange mojito or a cilantro caipirinhas (just make sure it’s comfortable), and try to look nonchalant, especially while celebs mix with fashionistas. If you’ve been to Miami, you’ll know what I mean. You also might want to bring your plastic; this kind of dining doesn’t come cheap.
Address: 4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL
Area: Miami Beach
Hours: Daily: 6:00 pm – 2:00 am
Price Range: $$$$ (Expensive)
Payment: Master Card, Visa, American Express
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