There’s no shortage of good Chinese food or fine dining offerings in San Francisco, but few establishments manage to combine both… until now. Hakkasan, the newest location of the London based restaurant group founded by Alan Yau, recently opened its doors on the second floor of the One Kearny building downtown.
Executive chef Ho Chee Boon, who started at Hakkasan’s London location and was on board when the restaurant earned its first Michelin star, tells Haute Living about creating the perfect menu using fresh seasonal ingredients.
How did your culinary career begin?
I started working at restaurants when I was very little in Malaysia. There was no culinary school when I first started learning cooking. I learned through firsthand experience.
“I consider all my regulars VIPs.”
You’ve been with the Hakkasan since its conception in London. How has the brand changed over the years?
There’s actually no major changes over the years. We have been focusing on presenting traditional Cantonese cuisine since the concept London restaurant.
Does the menu differ from location to location?
Yes and no. We keep percent of the menu to be our signature menus throughout properties while 40 percent of the menu is based on regional palates.
What are Hakkasan’s signature appetizer, entree and dessert dishes?
For an appetizer, I recommend the dim sum platter. For an entree, the wok fried rib-eye in black pepper sauce is a very popular. Desserts are seasonal and change frequently so we don’t have a signature one on the menu.
You’ve cooked all over the world, including Russia, Hong Kong, Malasia, Singapore, Taiwan, London and the US. Do you adjust your menu based on regional palates?
Yes, I always adjust my menus based on regional palates.
Is there a particular ingredient you love to cook with?
There’s no particular ingredient that I love to use. I like to try new and seasonal ingredients.
Any celebrity regulars?
I consider all my regulars VIPs.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not in the kitchen?
I like to watch sports such as soccer and basketball.
One Kearny Street