Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Hawksmoor (& more)

Hawksmoor Air Street
5a Air Street, London, W1J 0AD

Hawksmoor have really put Steakhouses in London back on the map. Their success with there 3 other enterprises have justified this huge new restaurant in air street that spans most of the Reagent's Street, knowing that they are going to have no problems filling it. This really is in the heart of tourist London, but like the Seven Dials restaurant, despite location, the entrance is subtle with heavy doors. Only those steak worthy may enter. Unlike the other Hawksmoors, they've tried to split this between steak and fish, having teamed up with Mitch Tonks of the Seahorse. The ultimate surf 'n' turf?

This place is massive, it extends on and on, and decieptively so with the room split up and mirrors stragetically placed. It is classic art decor, from the veneered wood panelled floor, stain glass windows and leather upholstery, and it doesn't follow latest London trends of cramming as many people into the same space as possible. On that same note, bucking the trend you can also book online, and see what times they have available. I can imagine in the middle of the day the windows really do themselves justice but at night, the place is quite dimly light, not quite towards Gaucho levels though, but I prefer to be able to see the glory of a perfectly cooked medium rare.
Due to the set up of the place, they don't have the chalk boards with all the cuts of steak available. I miss this touch which is also very useful as you make several different choices before finally deciding what you are going to have. With the waitress reading out what was available it was hard to recall them all. Also unlike steak I have no idea how much fish I would normally go for, is 400g worth of turbot enough for one, or two?  Plus,  I'm not too used to spending that much money on fish. However, I've heard some sterling indorsments of their chargrilled turbot and monkfish but still couldn't pull away from what they do best, . Steak, big porterhouse at that.

For starters, amoungst us we ordered Tamworth belly ribs, smoked salmon, and roast scallops.
The tamworth belly ribs really make you go week at the knees, so succulent and juicy, perfectly balanced with the pickled cabbage

Now for the main show. now sharing is caring but having to share a porterhouse with a friend requires tact (and cunning to get the best parts!). Hawksmoor never dissapoints me in this regard, perfectly cooked, sublime taste experience. From what I've experienced this is the best steak I've had not just in London but anywhere . The fact Hawksmoor keeps it's strong principles of having sustainable British produce make it all the better.

The main disappointing factor of our night was the service was a bit hit and miss. Our waitress surely knew her stuff, and was well versed enough to correct my general ignorance about the difference between a T-Bone and a porterhouse is. However, often we felt abandoned for long periods of time after finishing each course, and especially the between steak and dessert. I wouldn't normally have expected to have been there over 3 hours.

The salted caramel rolo's end of the meal splendidly. You are definitely not getting my last rolo.

While it is dangerously expensive to eat here, £36 for large monkfish, or £64 for 800g Porterhouse, before you've even put anything else on your plate, it is still worth the empty feeling in your wallet. Just dip into that rainy day jar, cause it's raining and you deserve some steak! Fear not though, their roast dinner of D-rump at under £20 including all the trimmings is tremendous value.

Hawksmoor  on Urbanspoon

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