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Hawksmoor Seven Dials


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Right across the road from Belgo where over the years we have chomped on more than a few Moules et Frites, stands the new Hawksmoor Seven Dials. According to the blurb on the back of the paper menu this building once housed the old Combe's brewery which by 1880 was the second largest brewery in London. Now I like a bit of history and the piece goes on to site a steak dinner held in 1807 when the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of York, the Duke of Cambridge and a number of other VIP's were "conducted to a table laid with materials that the brew house affords. The table cloth was only a hop sack nailed to the table, and it was laid for dinner with wooden trenchers, wooden bowls for salads, wooden salt sellers, with bone spoons and Tunbridge-ware pepper-castors" etc, etc.

Now I'll drink to that, very merrily indeed.

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The basement interior is very inviting with a long bar to the right and the restaurant proper opening out to the rear of the room. The vaulted ceiling is shown off to great effect by the lighting. In the corner of the picture is a wine store.

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I was more than happy to be here on the soft opening, and thanks to being tipped off by reading Richard Vines column and some concerted effort on my behalf it was a bit of a first.

Now we never made it to the original Hawksmoor although most of everything that I have read is positive, or should that read, "glowing". So needless to say we were looking forward, with some relish, to our meal.

As this is a steakhouse, they, take pride of place on the menu, with seven cuts from bone in prime rib, to D-Rump.

Fourteen starters and only five other mains were on the menu, with no mention of the signiture burger(s) Although I am led to believe there is a separate bar menu, and as it was the soft opening this may change.

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To get the ball rolling Grilled Poole Clams in bacon broth (£7) was served with a wedge of bread to soak up the tasty but inevitably salty broth. The clams were small and tender and the bacon bits added a different textural feel.

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We were blown away with the flavour of the Bone Marrow with slow cooked onions (£5.50).

"No added sugar" said the waiter, which stunned us as the onions were as sweet as can be, and this marriage made in heaven, from such humble ingredients had us purring like a couple of contented cats.

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We chose an 800 Gram Porterhouse (£48) to share. This was presented tableside, for us to salivate over, wolf style.

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It then returned to the table cooked exactly as ordered, and cut off the bone as requested.

Now the meat is from Ginger Pig and from Yorkshire Longhorns, Britains oldest domestic breed. Ginger Pig claim to have the largest herd in Britain numbering 140.

Best make that 139 me thinks.

Now this was as tasty a steak that we have eaten, not the best though, that was about a decade ago in Las Vegas and we are certain it will not be beaten. If you crave meat this is perhaps the closest you will get to satisfy your caveman, (or should that read cavesperson) craving.

The fillet side of the cut was totally divine, outstanding really. The rest was very good.

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There are about eleven "sides", plus four extras, and five sauces, that you can choose from. We chose Peppercorn sauce (£2), Roast Field Mushrooms (£4) plus a very good waiter recommend of Macaroni Cheese (£4)

The mushrooms had a very welcome splash of Worcester sauce ( I suspect Lea and Perrins ) this worked very well indeed and we shall try this at home.

The macaroni cheese was excellent an all time classic thats stood the test of time. A big bowl of this as a supper dish would keep most people happy.

Its a shame I did not take a photo of the Triple Cooked Chips (£4) These were mediocre, and a bit of a let down to me, as I expected more. Heston's, and The Royal Oak are more to my taste, and somewhat plumper. We loved the ones at Bar Boulud although the latter may not be triple cooked? From memory they are "skinny" French style but packed full of flavour.

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We shared a dessert or should that be pudding? Apple and Quince crumble (£6) I say shared, we had one spoonful each before we settled the bill and dashed for the door.

The only hiccup really and not our waiters fault, the very excellent Matthew, could not be faulted, a smashing lad who worked his socks off. I told him we were parked around the corner, on street, on a two hour limit and everything was going swimmingly well until the ten minutes time quoted from the kitchen (for the dessert) hit near twenty five, hence the swift bye bye.

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Happy smiley chefs, doing what chefs do best.

In fairness these guys were under a bit of pressure as quite a few orders still had to hit the floor.

As you may expect, if you choose prime cuts of quality steak, Hawksmoor can be quite pricey. Perhaps not into Michelin territory though.

We were very fortunate enjoying 50% off food on the soft opening. This welcome saving knocked £40 off the £106 bill, but bare in mind we did not take coffees or any pre dinner coctails and only had one dessert (nearly).

We would very happily go back here, next time to try the famous burger(s) and explore our way more into the menu as we feel that there a more than a few hidden gems to uncover.

As you may gather from the above, this is a recommend.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Drooling ... how does it compare to Goodman?

I like the space more than Goodman, it has a great feel to it. A cosyiness if you will.

Of course we did not have steak at Goodman so can not do a like for like. Only when we go back for the burger can we compare perhaps.

Overall the food is as you may expect, good touching very good, the bone marrow was very, very, good and most people I expect would be more than happy.

These guys have got it right here, the location, the place, the food, its a sure fire winner, buy shares in it if you can :smile:

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Was also lucky enough to visit for the soft launch. Gorgeous, romantic (in a good way) venue. Food as stunning as the original. Can't comment on the triple-cooked chips, but the beef dripping ones were amazing - I could have eaten them all night.

It deserves to do as well as I'm sure it will.

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Was also lucky enough to visit for the soft launch. Gorgeous, romantic (in a good way) venue. Food as stunning as the original. Can't comment on the triple-cooked chips, but the beef dripping ones were amazing - I could have eaten them all night.

It deserves to do as well as I'm sure it will.

Happy first post Juniper :wink: .

Looking forward to more.

On our next visit we will try both, side by side.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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  • 3 weeks later...

I enjoyed my steak there too, the crumble was no good at all, but let's not forget this is just a steakhouse without any windows. For the money charged you could eat a meal with a lot more happening on the plate than a piece of grilled meat.

The current fad for steaks and burgers amongst the middle classes seems to indicate the recession is rather dumbing down dining. Ironically, and perhaps Lord Young would care to comment, in London at least people seem happy to pay more and more for such food

Perhaps it's because it's 'only a burger' it seems less like raising a finger toward the increasing number of people out of work than going to a 'posh' restaurant would?

Pictures of steaks, by the way, especially out of focus ones, are not pleasant to look at.

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Why is everyone raving about a steak? Why pay money for a steak in a restaurant? Buy some good beef and cook it at home, if you have the right equipment there is little skill in cooking a steak and you can choose your beef and make sure it has been hung properly.

I agree with Sunbeam about the trend for steaks and burgers - it comes in the category of 'inverted snobbery'. I wouldn’t touch a burger I hadn’t made myself, you never know what might be in it! :sad:

Pam Brunning Editor Food & Wine, the Journal of the European & African Region of the International Wine & Food Society

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Why is everyone raving about a steak? Why pay money for a steak in a restaurant? Buy some good beef and cook it at home, if you have the right equipment there is little skill in cooking a steak and you can choose your beef and make sure it has been hung properly.

I agree with Sunbeam about the trend for steaks and burgers - it comes in the category of 'inverted snobbery'. I wouldn’t touch a burger I hadn’t made myself, you never know what might be in it! :sad:

Pam, I'd say you are so off the money here it's not funny.

I frequently cook steaks which I have sourced carefully (Longhorn beef from Quenby Hall or Huntsham farm, or Jack O'Sheas Irish beef) and they are often tremendous (if I do say so myself).

But I'd not pass up the opportunity to visit one of these well run steak joints which offer a range of interesting breeds, usually dry-aged on premises and cooked usually on a charcoal oven. They usually have decent starters, sides and sauces, plus a nice ambience and a decent wine list. Most of which I can achieve at home but with much extra effort.

Have you tried Hawksmoor or Goodman yourself? I'd recommend it.

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I would begrudge the money at these rip off restaurants. :biggrin:

Whem I spend money eating out I expect to pay for skill and a new experience.

Whilst on the subject of "new experience" did you sample Michael Wignall,s food at Pennyhill Park? :wink:

Back on topic, the steak at Hawksmoor is better than I can buy, and eat, at home. It is a premium product, and not at all out of kilter with say Turbot which cost us £24 at St John, its possible the steak costs the restaurant more to buy in, than say the turbot does.

The steak was all the better for cooking on a Josper Grill which you will not get in any domestic kitchen, certainly not mine.

Its nice to eat six days a week at home, but hey life is too short to eat their 365 days a year. Besides which, with the capital outlay these guys put on the line, a bit of profit seems to me to be in order. :smile:

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Why is everyone raving about a steak? Why pay money for a steak in a restaurant? Buy some good beef and cook it at home, if you have the right equipment there is little skill in cooking a steak

The right equipment, like a pan and a source of heat? We can only dream of such sophistication in our kitchen...

:blink:

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  • 1 month later...

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Two servings of bone marrow was definitely too much considering the amount of delicious fat on that steak and on the chips. Next time I'll stick with one.

I can perfectly cook a steak at home (from Ginger Pig or a good butcher around here in Geneva, they source pretty well). It will be tasty like this one, not quite as fun or convenient however. I do think H is a great place to go out with friends and enjoy a relaxed Saturday night. At 50 quid a head including cocktails, leaving us too full to more than nibble the tasty (but not as satisfying) desserts I call it good value, but then my idea of value is twisted by the fact a kebab is about 20 quid in Geneva and a decent cocktail starts about there too.

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  • 1 month later...

Bit of a mixed bag to report from a meal here last night.

It started off well with one of their cocktails in the bar area and after we sat down a friendly waiter took our order - 900g porterhouse, triple cooked chips, 1 portion of bone marrow, greens along with anchovy butter and peppercorn sauce. I was impressed by the wine list - starting at only £18 and going all the way up to £6500 for an '82 Petrus, most of which seemed to be centred around wines which would go well with steak. We ended up picking up an Argentinian Malbec which we were assured would be a good match.

The wine arrived first and it certainly seemed like a good bet (I wish I could remember what the name of it was!) and the huge steak arrived to the table not long after, along with the sides. The steak itself was excellent, perfectly cooked (medium-rare of course!) with tons of flavour and some nice charring on the outside. The sauces were good too, the anchovy butter nicely complementing the charred steak exterior and the peppercorn sauce was subtle but not overpowering. The greens were good too, and although underseasoned the grilled bone marrow was nice, and there was lots of it!

The only problem was - the chips. Triple cooked chips should of course be nice and firm on the outside and soft in the middle. These were sadly soft both inside and out. They looked good but I suspect they had been sitting around a while and had lost their crispness - either that or they had not been cooked for long enough during the final cooking stage. It seemed a real shame as whilst they are only chips, to me it's a pretty key part of a good steak meal, and I had heard good reports in the past about the chips from here.

After we were done, the waiter came over to ask whether we'd like any desserts/coffees/whiskey etc. We asked to see the menu, but after waiting for a long time, the waiter never returned, and it was about 25mins before we were able to catch one of the waiting staff again, by which time it was getting late and we needed to leave. It was a shame as we had skipped starters thinking we could always grab a dessert if there was any room left after the steak!

Hopefully they can iron out some of these issues as I do like the place and the beef is certainly very good, but I felt it failed to match the standards set by my meal at Goodman last year.

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