Vegetarians may want to look away now.
What is becoming a bit of a pilgrimage with colleague and South African meat enthusiast Russ, today marked the second trip of the year to Hawksmoor in each others company. This time made our first visits to the Spitalfields branch, the first restaurant of 4 now straddling the capital.
We shared two starters, a ceasar salad and some Tamworth belly ribs. Both good, hearty and rustic, the ribs with a twang of what tasted like chinese five spice and suprisingly light – in colour and fat content – meat. They went very well with my Meantime IPA.
The Portugese waiter recommeded a punchy Argentinian wine, choc full of tannins and almost overpowering to eat with anything other than hunks of steak. To our amusment, all the table on our side of the restaurant were drinking the same vintage.
The below images are firstly an 850g porterhouse. We shared two between four, and though requested medium rare it was almost French cooking levels – meaning this was very pink and pretty much my ideal. The second shot in the gallery is a poorly shot pic of our giant bone marrow. As good as always, it was perhaps the biggest amount of this I’d ever seen.
The plate was completed with triple cooked chips, creamed spinach and anchovy hollandaise. Of the two cuts on either side of the porterhouse bone, the fillet had both incredible texture and flavour – right up there with the best steak I’ve had. The sirloin was less good, though delightfully marbled. I often think Hawksmoor can be inconsistent – recently citing Goodman as my preferred London steakhouse, but today the meat and cooking was really top notch.
We were quite pushed for time as we needed to be back in the office, so instead of dessert we had two plates of salted caramel ‘rolo’s’ with the bill and coffee.
These are absurd. Top ranking petit fours, at the same time very much alike and completely different from the rolo they are based on. Hawksmoor makes a nod to the current vogue of sweet and fast food pimping and delivers in style.
As for the place, I must admit to prefering the Seven Dials interoir – which isn’t what I expected at all. Not that there are any faults here (though as with Gaucho, the near darkness does make you feel like you’re coming out of an afternoon Cinema showing when you hit daylight) just the converted brewery in Covent Garden has a little something more about it than this more typically Shoreditch dining room.
Hawksmoor – still doing great steak. A good end to a tough week.