Raising the Bargh

“Once you’ve descended into the darkness, the dining room immediately works its ‘electrifying’ magic with smouldering incense, seductive spot lighting and a throbbing soundtrack providing the backdrop to some turbocharged Cantonese flavours. Exquisitely presented dim-sum platters are a hard act to follow (don’t miss the XO scallop dumplings), but visitors are regularly blown away by the stunningly beautiful crispy duck salad with pomelo fruit, the silky roast silver cod with Champagne and Chinese honey, and the bank balance-sinking seared Wagyu beef with white asparagus. Drinks also add to the ‘genius of the place’: glamorous cocktails keep the slinky bar at fever pitch, while the wine list is a ground-breaking collection of classy bottles.” (squaremeal.co.uk/restaurants/london/view/80677/Hakkasan)

Get it?

As you would expect, Bargh is passionate about people – getting the right ones and training them. He says: “The basics of hospitality is being able to look after someone. It is not rocket science. We have got to keep trying to get better. Many chefs and managers are self-obsessed. Without guests you have nothing.

“In Ghana there is no concept of hospitality. People just go home and eat. You cannot assume things. Sometimes you have to start with: ‘This is a plate. These are chopsticks,” he says. Someone said there was no cocktail culture outside of London. Well, I’ve been to Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester and there are pockets of great talent. You need to nurture talent,” says Bargh.

Bargh also believes there is an opportunity for providing hospitality for older people. “My mother is in her 60s and when we go out she wants a great experience. Older people still want great food and great drinks. There needs to be more thought about what they want. We have become so obsessed with youth, Generation X. There is a massive opportunity,” he says.

Bargh concludes: “It is good to give someone something unexpected, something that they do not know exists. That is our job: to bring that expectation to life.”