Hakkasan & HP Pavilion Reviewย โ€”

Sponsored by HP

If you didn't already know, I absolutely love photography ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ“ธ - why else would I lug around a heavy DSLR when foodstagrammers can easily get away with iPhone snaps? ๐Ÿ“ฑLol. So when HP invited me to a Photography Masterclass Workshop ๐Ÿ˜ฑ with award-winning photographer and content creator, Adam Karnacz ...well, how could I have said no. :')

In addition to photography tips and tricks, the main agenda of the workshop was demonstrating the HP Pavilion's capabilities in producing digital content. ๐Ÿ’ป We got a glimpse of how smoothly Adobe Premier Pro and Lightroom ran on the Pavilion, thanks to its NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GTC 1050Ti graphics card. ๐Ÿค“

I was particularly impressed by how fast it rendered raw 4K video during video editing! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ The 1080p videos played super smoothly โ€” no hiccups or stuttering whatsoever โ€” and looked stunningly crisp as well. ๐Ÿคฉ Based on what I saw, the Pavilionโ€™s high-end NVIDIA graphics make it a great choice for people who do graphically-demanding projects, or even anyone who likes watching high-quality videos really! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Then HP lent me a Pavilion laptop to play around with for a week, to test for myself how well it fared with editing photos in Lightroom/Photoshop. โœŒ๐Ÿป The result of that is the photos in this Hakkasan review, so keep reading!! ๐Ÿ˜„

Honestly, I usually only use Instagram's editing tools when I'm posting on Instagram haha (I've personally found them to be way better than a bunch of other apps, contrary to popular opinion!!). But I do have to use Lightroom/Photoshop (although I wouldn't say I'm particularly good at it, haha) sometimes for photos I'm keeping on my laptop only (non-food photos), to avoid the vertical cropping, and/or to make some more significant edits like altering the white balance, removing something from the background, etc. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Naturally, Lightroom and Photoshop both worked perfectly smoothly on the Pavilion. I couldn't feel any difference at all between the Pavilion and my 2018 MacBook Pro. ๐Ÿ˜Š Plus, the laptop itself is aesthetically pleasing, donโ€™t you think? ๐Ÿฅฐ It's part of their "Everyday" range, and I'd definitely recommend considering it if you're looking for an all-rounder laptop ๐Ÿ’ป that can handle a range of things, from watching Netflix ๐ŸŽฅ to photo editing ๐Ÿ“ท to gaming ๐Ÿ•น. ๐Ÿ˜„

Now, onto my Hakkasan review!

The first and last time we'd been to Hakkasan before this was over a year ago (how time flies?!) and that visit made it our #1 favourite Chinese restaurant in London โœจ, so we'd been meaning to go back for ages! Sadly, our wallets did not permit this ๐Ÿ˜…, but I was lucky enough to have HP contact me and sponsor this post! ๐Ÿ˜„๐ŸŽ‰ Because we got mostly dim sum last time ๐ŸฅŸ , we thought we'd try more of their mains this time.

Chinese chive jade dumplings

These were really delicious -- not necessarily outstanding, but definitely some high quality dim sum. 8.5/10. Oh, and definitely dip it in their divine crispy chilli oil ๐ŸŒถ for an extra kick! ๐Ÿ˜„

Golden fried soft shell crab (with red chilli)

We actually ordered this before as well ๐Ÿ˜›, but it was SO good we couldn't help it! And it was, dare I say it, EVEN BETTER than the last time we had it! ๐Ÿ˜ณ Yup! I gave this a 9 before, but this time it was a solid 9.5/10. ๐Ÿ’ซ Not *that* significant a difference, but certainly noticeable. The crab ๐Ÿฆ€ was even more PACKED with flavour than before (THE most flavourful soft shell crab I've had in my entire life, by far โœจ), and not to mention crispy as ever. ๐Ÿ˜ The golden flakes are always scrumptious ๐Ÿ’•, but I think what would get it up from a 9.5 to 10/10 on my scale would be to serve it with a little curry sauce as well (like the one at Duck and Rice; basically the golden flakes taste like the curry sauce but in flake form, lol).

Sanpei chicken claypot (with sweet basil, chilli and spring onion)

Had no idea what Sanpei-style chicken claypot ๐Ÿ“ was when we ordered this, so I can't compare this to how it's supposed to taste, but this was pretty good. It fell short next to everything else we ordered though, so I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it. 7.5-8/10. ๐Ÿ™‚

Spring onion and egg fried rice

This fried rice was one of our favourite dishes from the last trip ๐Ÿคค, and I've been raving about it to EVERYONE who's asked me about fried rice / Chinese food in general ever since (just ask my friends). ๐Ÿ˜‚ I was super sceptical about paying ยฃ12 for egg fried rice (yes that's a ridiculous price but hear me out!), but my boyfriend reaaally wanted egg fried rice so we went with it. And I am SO GLAD he insisted, because it was THE best fried rice we'd ever had! ๐Ÿคฉ It was a mind-blowing 10/10! โœจ

It tasted way more flavourful than just "egg fried rice" ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿš which left me extremely curious as to whether they'd cheated and put some Yong Chow Fried Rice umami ingredients in it or what... ๐Ÿง I didn't post about it last time on my Instagram feed though, simply because I failed to get a photo that could do it justice (bearing in mind the need to eat almost immediately because fried rice loses taste when it gets lukewarm!!). ๐Ÿ˜ข

But sadly, it wasn't *as* good this time around. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ It was still pretty darn good, but not the 10/10 I remembered. I even began questioning my memory and expectations (as I always do when I return and the food isn't as good as I remembered), but the sad truth is that 10/10's are basically ALWAYS inconsistent by default, based on my experience. ๐Ÿ˜ช They will usually range from 8-10, 9-10 if the place is superb at quality control. And then it's up to your luck really! ๐Ÿ˜…

This time, it was around 8.5-9/10. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป Still really good for an egg fried rice, but not good enough to maintain its title of Indisputably Best Fried Rice in London. ๐Ÿ‘‘ It's definitely still in the top 3 though. ๐Ÿ˜‹ My boyfriend and l will still almost certainly be ordering this every single time we go to Hakkasan. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Oh, and have you noticed how it's GOLDEN? ๐Ÿ’› I'm telling you, it's something special! Do give me a shout if you HAVE seen golden fried rice anywhere else in London though, 'cause I sure haven't. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hakka noodle (with shimeji mushroom, beansprout and katsuobushi)

My Malaysian ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ friends wouldn't approve of spending money on this at Hakkasan because this basically tasted like Mi Goreng (fried noodles; super cheap and found at any local hawker stall) or Yakisoba ๐Ÿ˜‚ - but heck, it was good anyway! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป We were a little misled though because the waitress said it'd be fat/flat noodles, so I was imagining the Malaysian-style hakka mee noodles (google it) instead, lol. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ With the shimeji mushrooms ๐Ÿ„ (my favourite mushroom in the world, by the way!) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes), I highly doubt it's authentic either. ๐Ÿ˜‚ They should really change it to Yakisoba (Japanese fried noodles) I think! Objectively 8.5/10 ๐Ÿ˜Š - it really was delicious - but I personally do think ordering something else would be more worthwhile. ๐Ÿ™‚

Chocolate clay pot (Dark chocolate cream, cocoa nib tuille, mandarin ice; for 2-3 people)

We were too full for dessert last time, so I'm really glad we got to have some this time!!! ๐Ÿ˜„ Although it says it's for 2-3 people, I basically ended up eating it all on my own LOL. ๐Ÿ™Š The "dark chocolate cream" was deliciously sweet - tasted exactly like milk chocolate ๐Ÿซ - so do be aware of that! I personally prefer milk chocolate so I was happier this way. ๐Ÿ˜› The cocoa nib tuille was TO DIE FOR ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคค, they were basically super-crispy chocolate bits with a slightly burnt(?) flavour.

I also normally hate the chocolate-orange combination ๐Ÿซ๐ŸŠ (it just doesn't work IMO; raspberries go much better with chocolate!!), but it worked well here. They served both mandarin oranges and 'mandarin ice' (think a light orange sorbet?). ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿง On another note, the presentation was really interesting ๐Ÿ˜ฎ but I failed to capture a video of the whole process because Hakkasan's staff act way too FAST (and without warning) for my liking lol. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ 8.5/10. ๐Ÿงก

White peony tea

We also had this white tea, which was super delicately fragrant - unlike any other tea Iโ€™d tried before. ๐ŸŒธโ˜•๏ธ Definitely not for everyone because itโ€™s really light-tasting, but I think it deserves a 9/10. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Overall, this trip to Hakkasan was great ๐Ÿ’›, but unfortunately not mind-blowingly-amazing ๐Ÿคฏ like our last visit. I think part of the reason for that is that the menu is a little different from before. ๐Ÿ™ My beloved 10/10 truffle chicken rollโœจ isn't there anymore, which makes me super sad because it's one of my favourite things in the world!! ๐Ÿ’” I also suspect that their dim sim might be generally better than their mains ๐Ÿค”, although I do have my eye on the black truffle roasted duck ๐Ÿฆ† for next time... ๐Ÿ˜

Despite it being expensive, it's definitely not overrated IMO (depends on what you order too!), and I'd say it's fairly worth the price. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป The ambience is fancy~ and service is pretty good too. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ It's still my #1 Chinese restaurant in London in terms of quality ๐ŸŒŸ, and is WAY better than its Japanese sister restaurant Sake no Hana (which is ridiculously overpriced, overrated, mediocre quality)... ๐Ÿ˜’ Given my awful finances ๐Ÿ™ˆ I'll probably only get to visit again next year so, until next time Hakkasan, we'll miss you...! ๐Ÿ˜ญ