London's alpha crowd can be a fickle bunch, but Hakkasan has consistently remained top of the pecking order when it comes to the most stylish and popular modern Chinese restaurants in London. Hidden down a backstreet off Tottenham Court Road, the location may be a little downbeat, but inside, the seductively decorated dining room, designed by Liaigre, is glamour all the way. Lattice screens, exotic flowers, slate walls and low lighting conspire to make you feel as if you've entered the inner sanctum of a sybaritic, imperial Chinese palace - and the exquisite Michelin-starred food backs it up.
Lunchtime dim sum is as delicate as it is delectable, while evening dishes such as five spice braised pork and a house special of cod cooked in champagne and honey show how subtle Chinese food can be. Even the cocktails from the long bar are mind-blowingly good. Of course, it all comes with a pretty glamorous price tag, and while the food is arguably worth it, the strict two-hour time limit on tables and sometimes less than gracious service can make the bill a little less easy to swallow.