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Spotlight On: Restaurants
Originally published: Monday, August 1, 2011 (3:12:39 a.m. ET)

The atmosphere at Hakkasan, as it is throughout the Fontainebleau, is unmistakably hip. (Photo courtesy of
Featured Restaurant: Hakkasan
Address: 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

Hours: Sun-Thu: 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. / Fri & Sat: 6 p.m. until 12 a.m.

Written by: Kate Sommers

JUST ABOUT THE MOST succulent and expensive Chinese restaurant anywhere in South Florida. That says just about everything you need to know about Hakkasan inside the all-new Fontainebleau hotel on Miami Beach. To fully enjoy this gastronomic oasis, remember to dress up, bring a big appetite, and perhaps an even bigger bankroll.

The restaurant is on the second floor, somewhat away from the property's oversized lobby bar, and if you're there late enough at night, also away from the huge crowd of clubgoers who stand in a very long queue to enter LIV. So a big thumbs up from me for the location within the resort.

The ambiance at Hakkasan is sublime and the food is even better. The list of appetizers is long and varied. It spans everything from simple grilled dumplings ($10) and duck rolls ($14) all the way up to extravagant braised Japanese abalone ($138) and Peking duck with caviar ($198).

My husband and I were more than thrilled with the lobster chive soup, spicy Szechuan chicken and wild mushroom lettuce wraps we settled on. A few swallows for each of us and we'd already spend the rough equivalent of four meals at P.F. Chang's and our entrées hadn't even been ordered yet. No matter. Our stomachs craved more. Much more.

Hakkasan's bill of fare is exhaustive. Fish, poultry, meat, noodles, tofu, and vegetable platters abound. As it was our first time, we summoned a few words of wisdom from our waiter, who was helpful without overtly steering us toward the priciest main courses as so many folks in his position are prone to do. That courtesy didn't go unnoticed when I signed for the check.

Without any urging or provocation, I actually picked the most-expensive seafood option. The steamed lobster with garlic and chili ($60). Actually, it was Hakkasan's second-most-expensive seafood dish, next in price by only $2 to the wok-based lobster in supreme stock. Worth every dollar. Soft as can be and seasoned to perfection.

The pan fried scallops my husband ordered were just as good, although he barely saved me much to sample, as he devoured everything so efficiently. Our main dishes arrived without much of a wait. Dessert required longer, it seemed, to be served, but neither of us minded. The restaurant is hip and feels alive with energy. We surmised a vast majority of fellow diners were tourists and it was interesting to people-watch, which we never take the time to do.

After one soufflé and one crème brulee to top off our meal ($12 apiece) we were presented a check at night's end well in excess of $250, that's with two rounds of cocktails. For a special occasion, it was more than worth the expense. To do on a regular basis? Impossible.

• To make a reservation at Hakkasan inside the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, call: 877.326.7412.
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