If you witness an ethereal dusting of gold hovering over the One Kearny building downtown, it may not be your imagination.
To mark the founding of modern China, upscale Cantonese restaurant, Hakkasan San Francisco, is serving its new Golden Week menu until Friday. Because the holiday goes largely unnoticed in the United States, the four-course menu is intended to “pique Americans’ curiosity in the beloved holiday through luxe, gold-related ingredients,” according to the restaurant’s press release.
And indeed, the meal succeeds in both piquing your interest and satisfying your appetite.
Let’s start with the “Golden Opulence” cocktail served before the meal. The delicate libation is made with Beluga Gold Line vodka, Tattiger brut Champagne, Joto yuzu sake, rock melon syrup, and topped off with gold dust. Its mixture of melon and yuzu essence serve as perfect palate cleanser for the following courses.
The Golden Hakka dum sum platter is a beautiful assortment of delicate dumplings, including Har gau (shrimp), Chinese chive, chicken and pak choy (Chinese cabbage), ranging in colors from traditional cream to a bright green, with flickers of gold.
The star here is the next course: Golden Peking duck with Caviar Russe (with Caspian Sea Gold Osetra). You may have had Peking duck before, but have you had it with rich sturgeon caviar served on a thin pancake with cucumbers, scallions and perfectly crisped, golden duck skin? If you’re like the rest of us, the answer is probably no. The remaining duck is then stir-fried with your choice of umami-infused XO sauce or an aromatic lemon grass sauce. Since the lemongrass sauce is limited to Golden Week, that may be the better way to go. Come back for the XO sauce, it will still be there.
Finally, the Golden Ring is an elegant dessert with ginger streusel, black tea, yuzu-infused Nashi pear and dulcey cream. Not on the menu, though available upon request, are the black sesame chocolate dumplings: sesame chocolate with lady fingers in ginger and yuzu tea. These bite-size beauties are packed with surprising flavor once you bite in. Also worth noting is the crispy duck salad, a popular item on the regular menu that’s become one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.
There are a few days left to cash in on Hakkasan’s golden ticket. Go.
Hakkasan San Francisco, 1 Kearny Street, 415.829.8148
Photography by: Courtesy of Brandon Tran