For cheap and sometimes cheery Cantonese fare, San Francisco has no shortage in Chinatown, the Richmond, and elsewhere. But when it comes to classed-up, caviar'd, and Michelin-level Chinese dining, there's been a definite dearth since the closing of Cecilia Chiang's legendary Mandarin restaurant, which lived from 1968 to 1991 at Ghirardelli Square. That will all change next week with the grand opening of Hakkasan, the newest location of the Michelin-starred, London-based restaurant group founded by Alan Yau, famous for the wildly successful Wagamama ramen chain in Britain. He unveiled a similarly posh New York location this past spring, and Hakkasan San Francisco, which opens Monday on the second floor of the One Kearny building, is being overseen by executive chef Ho Chee Boon, who also opened the original London branch.
On the menu you have some reasonably priced fare, like salt and pepper squid for $15 (still above Chinatown prices), but also you have the high-roller dishes like a $58 plate of braised Wagyu beef in five-spice sauce; or a $48 black-truffle roasted duck. (See the full pdf menu here.)
There will be dim sum daily until 3 p.m., we're told, and dinner served late, until 11:30, if not later, but we're still awaiting official hours. For now, take a look at the pretty buildout designed by French architects Gilles & Boissier, which includes some elaborate, cage-like screens covering the windows facing Market Street, and a dramatic, horseshoe-shaped central bar that greets you as you arrive.
Also, though the grand opening is December 3, the press preview is Friday and they may sneak open, unofficially to the public, over the weekend.
Hakkasan - One Kearny, at Market and Geary, second floor - 415-829-8148 - Reserve by email at firstname.lastname@example.org