Hakkasan

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The arched windows in the future dining room space. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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The flatiron bar. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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Future home of the Ling Ling lounge. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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View of the wok station in the kitchen. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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The man in charge, with his hardhat: Richard Toshio Miyashiro. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

A report by Dana Massey-Todd: Last week I got a sneak peek of ~HAKKASAN~, the new restaurant opening in the One Kearny building downtown. The project comes to us from the Hakkasan group of restaurants, which started in London and now has locations around the world. Heading up the project locally is Richard Toshio Miyashiro, formerly of Jardinière, Farallon, and Boulevard, who led our tour.

The focus of the Hakkasan restaurants is modern, exceptional Cantonese cuisine served with high-end wines, cocktails, and sake, and paired with a haute approach to traditional Chinese design. When I visited, it was very much under construction, but even unfinished the second floor location has the feel of an intimate aerie above the loud hum of busy Market Street.

The restaurant space, which will seat 170 diners all told, looks out over Market on one side and Geary on the other, and the bar neatly divides the two sides. The flatiron-shaped bar, which seats 25, will have lit blue glass and mirrored paneling, and is the centerpiece when you arrive. On either side are ceiling-high arched windows, and the Geary side will have the dining area, while the Ling Ling lounge and bar will be on the Market side. The windows of the dining area will be partially covered with “caging” made of carved wood and cut marble. The banquettes will be made from embroidered leather, and individual seating areas will also be defined by the caging, to create intimate spaces.

The Ling Ling lounge will seat 50 and will have the same caging as the dining area, just a lot more of it to keep things loungy, dark, and mysterious. The lounge will also feature a DJ booth, home of the “Hakkasound” program, which will keep the restaurant’s soundtrack ever so cool and of the moment. Behind the lounge are two private dining rooms, which will be able to accommodate groups of either 10 in one room and 20 in the other. The private dining rooms will have embroidered silk walls, warm wood floors, and mirrored ceilings.

I also got to take a peek at the kitchen, although it is still very unfinished. The centerpiece of the kitchen is the wok station, which holds five woks in special burners. Richard said that when all five woks are operational, the supercharged hood truly roars and it is so loud he says it really is “like a dragon.” Fortunately, the kitchen will be partially open, so you’ll be able to check it out for yourself. There will also be a special dim sum station, a duck roasting station (yeah, I want one of those in my kitchen), and a pastry station.

The menus, which have not yet been created for the San Francisco location, will feature lunch and dinner. Lunch will be focused on dim sum made to order, and the dim sum menu will be available until 3pm for late lunchers and snackers. Dinner will also have some dim sum as well as signature prix-fixe menus and à la carte options.

You can peek at the menus for the New York location here, which should at least give an idea of what to expect. Chef Ho Chee Boon is reportedly very excited to work with the amazing produce California has to offer, so the menu will likely have a more seasonal focus than at other Hakkasan locations. The opening date is currently set for November, so stay tuned as more details emerge.

Hakkasan