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Charlie O

Hawksmoor

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Inspired by the praise in the Dos Hermanos blog and Jay's review I went to Hawksmoor last night, and it's very good.

Arriving earlier than the rest of my group, I sat at the bar and looked through the cocktail list. A lot of thought has obviously gone into the creation of the drinks here, and by the time everyone arrived and had ordered their own drinks, I was ready for a second Hawksmoor Fizz. One of the nicest cocktails I've had in London.

Sitting down at our table, we skipped starters and went straight for the steaks. The menu makes a point that all of the meat is from the Ginger Pig, and it shows. Two people had a small rib-eye which was very tender. I went for the hangar, which is only served rare. This is apparently a difficult cut to cook well but both the examples served were tasty and not at all tough.

We ordered a few portions of triple cooked chips (which had the right combination of crunch and fluffiness) and some sides of greens. We could only manage one desert between our group. This was a chocolate and pecan sundae which was ok though nothing particularly special.

Service, however, was easy going and attentive. By chance, another friend was in at the same time. She ordered a cocktail but when it came, realised she'd ordered the wrong thing and didn't particularly like it. She didn't make a fuss but the bar-man noticed she wasn't drinking her cocktail and when she ordered a glass of champagne, took the drink away to the kitchen and didn't charge her for it.

As the restaurant fills up, the acoustics mean that it can become hard to hear your companions, particularly at some of the bigger tables (we were sitting at a round, '50s Danish style table to give you some idea of the decor).

What I liked about the place was that it was food done simply, without pretension and very well.

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Poor old Nicky Hawksmoor, starts off as an architect and ends up as an American steakhouse.

But then Spearmint Rhino was a legendary 18th Century explorer and look what happened to him.

Why do they use the Ginger Pig when they are so close to Smithfields? If you're going to debase a famous Londoner's name you could at least use the meat market that he would have been familiar with. The market needs support if it's not to become another block of unaffordable flats.

S

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Name appropriation happens to the best of us :biggrin:

I understand what you're saying about the market. I'd hate to see it developed or whatever. Having said that, all four of us had eaten at Smiths a couple of months ago and we all agreed that the steaks at Hawksmoor were noticeably better.

If the aim of your restaurant is to provide some of the best steaks in London, surely you'll go with the supplier that meets that need. It doesn't harm the the Ginger Pig has a good reputation for looking after its animals when they're alive.

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Name appropriation happens to the best of us  :biggrin:

I understand what you're saying about the market. I'd hate to see it developed or whatever. Having said that, all four of us had eaten at Smiths a couple of months ago and we all agreed that the steaks at Hawksmoor were noticeably better.

If the aim of your restaurant is to provide some of the best steaks in London, surely you'll go with the supplier that meets that need. It doesn't harm the the Ginger Pig has a good reputation for looking after its animals when they're alive.

Ah well who knows where Smiths get their steaks. Probably from Argentina! No problems about Ginger Pig here, although I think its a bit poncey and pricey whatever its good intentions but that's the new Marylebone for you eh?

S

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The provenance of Smith's steaks is very clearly written on the menu down to the farmer, breed, cut and hanging time - no mystery about it.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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The provenance of Smith's steaks is very clearly written on the menu down to the farmer, breed, cut and hanging time - no mystery about it.

This is true, though in my experience eating at Smiths maybe 5/6 times I've never had a truly great steak. Certainly nothing like I've had at home from Northfields.

I'm dying to find a good steak place, hopefully Hawksmoor will be it....must get there soon....

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Went here for lunch the other day with a few colleagues from work. Nice buzzy atmosphere at lunch time and great steaks (we only went for mains and everyone had steak). Only downside was the service - an hour and a quarter to get the food (admittedly we were a table of 7 but still it seems a bit long, particularly at lunch) then a couple of the steak orders came out wrong (as in not cooked to order).

I'd ordered rare and was given a steak that was medium. I mentioned this to the waiter (politely, I'm quite a shy type!) presuming I'd been given the wrong order, who preceeded to argue with me and insist it was rare. The person next to me pointed out that it was clearly more well done than her medium to rare but for some reason he continued to insist it was rare. I'd actually (partly due to the wait and also because I didn't want to spoil the meal for everyone) just have just eaten the medium steak, but his attitude in continuing to claim it was rare was bugging me. Anyway as he is standing there have this slightly ridiculous discussion another waitress came over and stated "rare steak - we sent out a medium by mistake". So they swopped it over - but no apology.

As i said the steak itself was fantastic, but I do think that when you are a specialist steak joint your waiters should be able to see whether a steak is rare or not (or admit to a mistake). Hopefully a one off, as feedback from most other people I know who have been there has been great.


Edited by beaker (log)

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Hawksmoor on Friday night for dinner

From the moment I booked a table I knew I was onto a winner. Had a lovely chat with the person on the phone. Have been meaning to go and mentions from Dos Hermanos recently pushed me over.

Super cocktails. REALLY good. I've not had a better one since I can remember. We tried a combination of martinis and juleps and all were delicious.

We hung at the bar but they also let us leave our stuff at our table - very relaxed about us using up both spaces. Made for a really chilled evening.

We were ready for the main event so we skipped the starters. Mr O and I both ordered sirloin on the bone (600g). The only complaint I have was I ordered med rare and Mr O ordered med. They gave us our steaks and it was clear they had given us each others. But Mr O wouldn't give his up bastard! Nevertheless even medium was lovely so I have no complaints except with my husband.

Meat was well rested and served on pre warmed plates which is perfect (very like the US steak house method). I have cooked with a lot of produce from the Ginger pig before and it was consistent with previous experience. Really great well hung beef.

The couple we were with had a couple of rib eyes and both loved them. One of them, newly pregnant so a little apprehensive about meat bacteria, mentioned this briefly to the waitress and all was dealt with admirably (no huffs at well cooked meat just totally accommodating service).

We went for an Argy red at about £75 which, at the time, I thought was a fair price I think it was a Catena Malbec (will have to check which wine it was had been enjoying the juleps too much by that stage). Very keen to check out the rest of their list they have a lot of interesting wines, not just the usual garb.

Sides of Macaroni cheese, chips and salad were all great.

There is a bit of public press about the steaks being salty. I would agree they are well seasoned but for me this is what I am after. Yes they use quite a lot of salt, but the meat is superb and so, not only stands up to the seasoning, but necessitates it I think.

A couple of banoffee pies and a chocolate sundae and we were happily on our way.

I have to say that, whilst it is considered expensive, given the quality and

(retail) price of the ingredients, I think it is terrific value for money. I will be back....

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