Hawksmoor!! Hawksmoor, Hawksmoor, Hawksmoor!! What can I say..?? In the end I have to start at the beginning.
For me to do that I will approach this differently.
Unlike my previous reviews, this particular venue I have ventured too before, oh so many times before but not this particular site. Opened only a few weeks ago it has already booked itself up until the new year.
One of the key guidelines I promised I would not fall victim to in my reviews and blog, is to not compare any venues that I am writing about to any other venues I have been too. I believe I should write about that particular restaurant and only that restaurant, base everything I am critiquing purely on that restaurants merits alone.
However, today we are presented with
What I will call a fortuitous loop hole. Hawksmoor now has 4 beautiful venues that I can, if necessary, comment and compare on throughout this review. Why? Well they are in theory, the same restaurant, same belief, same wonderful team and most importantly their mantra towards Meat, food, cocktails, quality and service are unequivocally second to none!
The date – 5th November 2012
The venue – HAWKSMOOR – AIR STREET
Reservations – http://www.thehawksmoor.com – get in early people, this place is booked up and won’t change for a while so plan ahead!
The Scoop – the first of the Hawksmoor mini steak empire to delve into diversifying their menu to allow for equally delicious Fish based dishes. You can relax, they have not lost any focus on their love for the Cow!
Firstly, for the uninitiated to the wonderful world of Hawksmoor, this is about Meat. Pure unadulterated Meat. Of the cow kind. All the good parts of the black and white wonder, cooked to such requested perfection and desire that Gout should be listed as a side dish on the menu!
I mean let’s be honest, grilled bone marrow with slow cooked onions and the unbelievable Tamworth Belly Ribs already available as a starter, I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if gout was an option too, with a sprinkle of bacon, obviously!
I. Love. This. Place.
Allow me to wax lyrical…
One of my favourite sites in London ( The Old Cocoon site on air street) has finally been commandeered by my favourite steak house in the world (Hawksmoor, obviously!). You can imagine my excitement when I heard through the grapevine that this collaboration was occurring…
I was so excited I booked twice! That may seem excessive however Let me explain. On the day that the booking lines for the new Hawksmoor open they received over 3000 calls! That’s a serious hot line!
Fortunately I have been signed up to their newsletter for a few years now and I received a notification email informing me I could book a table in advance of this mayhem. I Duly obliged and taking the opportunity booked two separate tables three weeks apart. Why you ask? One for business and one for pleasure obviously. I did have in the back of my mind that I would book two so I would be able to sample the steak dishes on the first occasion and then I would break the mould and eat from the new and exciting Fish Menu… I won’t lie, if anyone reading this knows me, I just couldn’t bring myself to not have steak the second time too…ah well, Ce La Vie, there is always next time.
Now, let’s talk about the food!
First up, the starter. With so many delights to choose from as mentioned before including Brixham crab on toast with Mayonnaise and potted beef and bacon with yorkshire puddings, I was spoilt for choice to say the least. I could real off a further dozen equally delectable, unique and tantalising starter dishes however we’d be here forever.
I chose the Tamworth Belly Ribs, that’s right Pork!! Surprised?? No I didn’t think so. It is almost hilarious that this is considered a starter. The ribs consisted of two 1 inch fat and 4 inch long blocks of luscious, juicy, piggy meat coated in a thick rich sauce that to me can only be described as exquisite with a hint of curried influence!
Please note, the word ribs will conjure up images of basically 10 hollow marker sized bones with a thin meat layer of flesh. I want to make this point very clear, this dish barely has a rib in site, infact it’s quite pathetic how it can actually be called a rib when 90% of it is actually meat!! They should be called Tamworth Belly Meat fest!!
They are amazing. Pure and simple. Mouthwatering flesh that you cut through like a hot knife through butter! Each mouthful confirming the quality of the last.
An amazing beginning to what I like to think is the epitome of Meat greed.
Oh, there is a token yet delicious salad of purple cabbage that accompanies this that actually serves well to help digest and prolong the flavour of the meat.
God bless the Tamworth Piggies!
Now for the Main event!!
STEAK…. So many different cuts and sizes to choose.The rib eye, for meat with full flavour and juicy delights to the Fillet, a block of pure unadulterated red meat the size of your knuckle. Cooked correctly this should have a beautiful Red and bloody centre with a slightly charred and cooked frame!
One of my best friends told me that once in the past he was asked how he’d like his steak cooked. His reply, “take the steak and show it the flame, scare it a little and that’s it”… I loved that. Rare as in raw basically! I on the other hand i’m not that bloodthirsty although that may surprise you.
I like the fat in meat, marbling gives my meat the juices and flavour I dribble at the mouth for. As you may have guessed I chose the Rib eye. A healthy 400g block of cow cooked to Medium Rare perfection.
To me there is no better steak in the country let alone the world. Each Hawksmoor I have visited has never let me down. Perfectly cooked to the medium rare I require, evenly distributed fatty marbling giving it an equal amount of juiciness throughout the meat, allowing every bite to contain beautifully balanced flavour and sends my eyes rolling into the back of my head while I allow the steak to take me away, For each bite my focus is only in one place, my mouth!
One day I’ll talk to you guys about the 5 foods I’ll choose if I could only eat those 5 foods forever, for now I’ll tell you one of them is eggs, I’m telling you this because another great touch that Hawksmoor offer is the “extras” you can have with your meat. My choice, 2 fried eggs with runny yummy yokes!!…
I’m not one to shy away from words to describe my food and everything else in my life, indeed I find the use of words to draw the pictures one of my favourite hobbies, however I think you will agree that nobody’s words could do this steak justice like these pictures do.
Accompanying this magnificent beast we ordered the amazing Triple cooked chips, I think you will have to go far and wide to find chips as good as these, crunchy yet fluffy, which seems impossible but they manage it with ease. Add to this the wonderfully moist and “healthy” creamed spinach. The disgustingly wonderful Macaroni and cheese which in itself should have a “mains dish size” available too and finally a portion of Mash and gravy! Such good mash too! Creamy, that’s the word you want when describing Mash and Hawksmoor Nailed it.
Finally, the Coup de grace, The Bone Marrow gravy. A dish that only Hawksmoor could create and nobody can take away from them. The single most delicious liquid not consisting alcohol I have ever tasted! Pure, rich and thick with dark chocolaty features, the bone marrow Gravy is the jewel in Hawksmoors crown. A singular masterpiece, undeniably Devine it should have a health warning on it it’s that good!
My plate may have looked like a mess but every part of my meal was an explosion of flavours and rich, juicy food.
After the amazing Tamworth ribs, spectacular Rib eye and accompaniments I was spent. Fed and full. Smiling from ear to ear. Washed down with a deep fruity Malbec (Pulenta Estate) I sit back and closed my eyes, just for a moment reminding myself of every mouthful, every flavour and already nodding to myself in appreciation. Then it hits me. Something is missing. We call the waitress over and I utter the words that take me from 5 steps to heaven straight into 7th Heaven!!…
No restaurant has EVER come close when it comes to sticky toffee pudding. Infact every other sticky toffee pudding pales in comparison. It’s embarrassing just how good this is. I would go to Hawksmoor, sit at the bar and just order their Sticky toffee pudding, it’s that good. I genuinely believe that no matter how bad my life may get, that first mouthful will make me feel warm and special every time!! It is undeniably orgasmic.
The pudding is moist and warm, there is a river of hot toffee surrounding it like a Moat around a castle and finally to cut and balance those deliciously rich flavours is a dollop of thick wonderful double cream. Perfection. At £6.75, are you kidding me????
As we draw to the inevitable conclusion for my fourth review about a new venue for my old favorite restaurant, rest assured that they are so confidently getting better and better at what they do. Never resting on their Laurels, each site as magnificent and quirky as the other. Whether its the reclaimed science Lab bar tables or the subway station tiles and half moon leaded windows, Hawksmoor is without out any doubt my favorite steak restaurants in the UK.
We all have habits, Hawksmoor is my Habit and I love it.
They recently launched their new Christmas burger at their Seven dials site – Deep fried butter milk turkey, Hawksmoor sausage party, spiced cranberry ketchup, caramelized onions, crispy, smoked streaky bacon tipped with ogleshield cheese in a brioche Bun!!
Guess where I will be this Sunday lunch time??
Until next time Meat Lovers!