LOVED Hawksmoor in Spitalfields!
After hearing rave reviews from friends and colleagues about how fabulous the food is, and how it is "so much better than Gaucho" I decided I MUST get my @ss over to Hawksmoor.
I decided to make a reservation for Sunday lunch so I can kill two birds with one stone as I was long over-due a Sex and the City style girlie catchup with a close and dear girlfriend. Booked online the day before, so far so good (I was anticipating a full house, and was ready to hit my Plan B, but my fears were unfounded).
First things first: if you suffer from colour-blindness or myopia you might, just might, walk or drive past the restaurant, despite it being on the main road in full view. The facade is black, very understated, and not conspicuous at all (much to the frustration of my friend who sauntered past a couple of times!). This I like as I'm of the school of "let the food speak for itself", as opposed to the over-stylised eateries that serve inedible slop masquerading as "food".
Coats are checked in at the door and I was swiftly escorted to my table. As I followed the maitre de (can't spell!), I could feel a warm fuzzy glow emanating through my body "I really, really like this place!". The decor is warm, cosy, and with just the right sprinkling of trendy. The staff are welcoming, smiley, and attentive without being over-bearing. Oh, I almost forgot to mention - the staff are also very good-looking. In fact, for a split second, I did find myself wondering: where did they find such good-looking people?
Sorry I digress... Let's get onto the food!
So my friend finally turns up and we promptly ordered the beef roast dinner and a side of macaroni cheese. The beef can be ordered medium or well done. We both ordered well done. The food arrives and my taste buds were literally doing summersaults in my mouth upon first sight of the roast! It looked awesome! And about as perfect as a roast dinner can be. The Yorkshire pudding was about the size of a human head, with just the right amount of roasties nestled within it. The beef was perfectly done, a whole slab of beef, cooked individually as opposed to shavings from joint. I did have moments of doubt, that I should have ordered the beef medium, but nope, it was delicious as it is.
In summary, this is about as perfect a roast lunch can be. Only a couple of things which could make it even better: replace the green veg with another veg (I couldn't work out what it was!) as it was far too bitter, and provide a larger jug of gravy as it was far too small and got cold quickly. Other than that, the perfect sunday lunch! :)
Ordered: Porterhouse 700g to share with papa, and their belly ribs!
Price: £40-£50 per head including wine
Review: Nice and Simple Steak house. Nothing too fancy like Goodmans, but a nice cosy place to eat your desired steak. I am a big picky with my steak. I unfortunately would still go to Goodmans.
A vegetarian reviewing a steakhouse?! What?! I understand if you want to skip this review as a result. But I've been here on more than a few occasions when the partner in crime craves bone marrow. He's obsessed. And the dogs are extremely happy that he's in love with the dish because they get bones (yes, we do awkwardly ask to bring back bones from this very high end steakhouse). Way off topic, let's get back on track.
The triple cooked chips are amaze, but I love most of the sides. What I personally don't recommend is the vegetarian main - the roasted winter vegetables with mixed grains and cashel blue. I think it's icky. A lady next to me seemed to enjoy it one time I was there, so to each her own.
Your best bet is to grab 1 or 2 meat eating friends and head over there to split a giant slab of meat. While I order the baked beetroot with hazelnuts and horseradish salad (it's so good), my BF pouts about the fact that he has no one who wants to share half a cow. Kidding! He's just as obsessed with the salad as I am.
And to balance any perfectly vegetarian meal, their cocktails are fantastic. So go. Get some meat. Or salad. And get boozy.
I have taken my vegetarian fiance to some pretty swanky veggie places since we've been together. She wanted to return the favour for my birthday and looked up the best steak restaurant in London. Hawksmoor came up time and again so we headed there. Was an amazing experience. Lets start at the end. The only thing that was disappointing was the veggie main, overall it could have been great but there was a bitterness to it that just intensified with every bite and became unpleasant. BUT because the sides (sprouts tops, roast mushrooms and triple cooked chips) were so so good and my OH hasn't a massive appetite she felt well fed and enjoyed the food. Here's the kicker: we didn't mention the veg main it because it wasn't a massive issue but the waitress noticed it hadn't been devoured and must have had a conversation with a chap who I assume was the floor manager who asked my OH if she liked it. It got knocked off the bill at the end of the night. This was the cherry on the attentive service that really topped off a wonderful evening. Everything else food wise was 5 out of 5. The cocktails were amazing, the AIR STREET had refreshing subtleties of strawberry and cucumber floating on a champagne breeze. The London Pride cocktail was like like drinking a fizzy ginger sorbet. Only thing was the ginger syrup got a bit overpowering towards the end. But a minor detail. Bone marrow starter for me, wow! Smeering goey onions and buttery bone juice on chargrilled sour dough bread felt deliciously unhealthy. At last a decent amount of bread for a starter!! OH had roast beetroot starter which was very very nice. The Steak was absolutely amazing. So much expectation and on a pricey bit of meat. I had a 550g rib eye (the smallest cut available that night on the bone although they had quite a few 200g fillets available) came to £40.50. Was worth it. First bite was just loaded with flavour. The OH could quite visibly see me sigh with pleasure. Took a few slices home at the end and had in a sandwich for breakfast. Tasted just as amazing the next day. As mentioned sides were awesome. Will have to try the mac and cheese next time as part of veggie option for other half. Also the creamed spinach (not veggie-has anchovies in it). All washed down with a couple of glasses of red. The Black label Rioja and the Bordeaux by the glass was particularly nice. Just enough room to share a Sticky toffee sundae which again was a game changer and free as it was my bidet! Already planning my next trip back. Can't wait. Really wanted to give food 4.5 because of the veggie main but can't mark it down to 4 because the rest of the food was so great. If you've made it to the end of this review you deserve a pat on the back.....followed by a steak at Hawksmoor.
I've only ever eaten downstairs in the bar as opposed to the main restaurant. Don't make the mistake of going to the right hand door if you only want the bar; I suffered the tongue of a snooty man when I did!
It's a real casual affair downstairs but the decor, atmosphere and staff are spot on. I've only been in a group of two or three and when it's not so busy they allow you to sit where you want. They have 3 huge booths that sit around 10 people which I choose to avoid as I'd rather not be that inconsiderate group talking up too much space!
The bar menu is naturally shorter than the main restaurant with a focus on finger foods. For starters I had the ox cheek nuggets; fried nuggets that are oozing with cheese and ox cheek meat. They're so tasty and are accompanied by a tomato based dip that has a tiny edge of spice to it. The pork ribs are immense with soft meat that falls away from the bone with complete ease, you get a good amount for a starter and the marinade they're covered in is the right side of sweet.
For main, the cheeseburger is a great choice especially when having it pink as it just tastes amazing. Soft enough to fall apart in your mouth but firm enough to be eaten cleanly without it disintegrating in your hands after a few bites (pet hate with some burgers and their buns).
The bar itself has a great selection of drinks on hand; the food menu features a selection of classics and their occasional special cocktails but should you not see something on there, the team usually seem happy enough to knock up a cocktail for you.
To top it all off, the staff are a lovely bunch of friendly people with a sense of humour to boot; they make their job seem so effortless and always have a smile on their face. Definitely worth a visit if you get the chance.
Honestly, one of the best steaks I've had anywhere... pricey, but perfectly done (consistently) and those chips... oh, those triple cooked chips!
I've been to a few of their other locations, but this is the one with the most character, in my opinion, and I believe it is the original one... it has a rustic yet fancy feel, but not too imposing compared to similar establishments.
To me the best way to enjoy this place is to come with a friend, or a few friends, and get a big ole honkin' steak to share if you're in the same mind as to prep, cut, etc. Last time I went was with about four other people and we split one large steak, by weight off of the board, ordered a smaller one of a different cut, and a few sides... absolutely divine.
The service is attentive and friendly, fitting for the atmosphere, and it has a fun bar with interesting cocktails (The Shaky Pete's Ginger Brew is a must try, the rumours are true) for those dining upstairs.
The only thing I would say is that if you're not a steak person then obviously this may not be the place for you... they have other options, but steak is what they're rightfully known for so if you're a steak lover feeling like a splurge give it a go!
Make sure you check out the downstairs bar if you're in the mood for something different and more relaxed, it has a few overlapping things on the menu such as the Shaky Pete's and those triple cooked chips... oh, those chips (have I mentioned the chips?), but the downstairs has a completely different feel and menu.
Unfortunately you cannot cross order from the menus, so if you want a gorgeous steak then upstairs is the only option, etc., but definitely check out the reviews for the downstairs bar... if the upstairs doesn't float your boat then the downstairs may be just the ticket.
Unless something had changed drastically you really need to book here, but it's worth it.
My first Hawksmoor experience was a glorious one. From now on, this specific Hawksmoor will be my primary choice for a perfect steak.
I went with a colleague on a Monday night 30 minutes prior to our reservation and had no issues being seated. We had the smoked salmon and fries as appetizer, and I ordered the sirloin.
Instead of pairing the smoked salmon with the soda bread (which was very good by itself), we paired it with the fries - and it was a magical combination: the fat from the fries mixed very well with the salmon. The sirloin came perfectly prepared, with just the right amount of fat and lean meat. It was seasoned very well, not overpowering but complementary. Paired with some mustard greens, it really hit the spot.
After a 5-star worthy dinner, we decided to go to the bar for some Manhattan's. Our bar tender Naomi was very helpful in creating the perfect Manhattan for our individual tastes - and was kind enough to let us try the base to see if we liked it. I went with Maker's in a 5:1 mix, and my colleague went with a sweeter raisin rye. I was facing away from the bar chatting with my colleague when I noticed he wasn't paying attention. I looked at what was distracting him, and I saw that he was focused on Naomi's preparation. She was taking great care and pride in creating the Manhattans, double or triple straining as she saw fit - and sprinkling orange peel oils with a swift sweeping motion for garnish. As you probably guessed, they were probably the best Manhattan's I've ever had. After two each, we promised we would be back soon. And I will be.
Pretty good dinner. The service was great. I asked for the waiter's recommendation (I was going to order the Chateaubriand). He steered me away from the Chateaubriand saying it was too large a cut for one. He recommended the Rib-eye. Being from Texas I was hesitant (how good could it be comparatively?)
The ribeye was good, but it wasn't fantastic. Wish I had tried the other.
If you go, try a Shaky Pete. Great cocktail!
Pricey too. Steak with fries, cocktail and a glass of Pinot was $114!
Oh, my, God. So, it's my birthday and we really wanted to try Hawksmoor. My partner says that it's really hard to choose a place for him to bring me because I'm a fussy foodie and I've tried just about everything in London. While that's somewhat true, we've been dying to try Hawksmoor for quite a while.
Anyway, we waltz in for a 6:30 reservation at the Spitalfields branch. We're one of the first ones in the restaurant and all the prime / popular cuts are still up for grabs. How it works with the popular cuts is that you may choose something really large to share between you and your dinner date. They're anywhere from 650g of Chateaubriand to 1.3kgs of a T-bone -- the cuts are updated on a daily basis so they may have smaller cuts or larger ones depending on the day. We were a little adventurous, so we actually didn't want to go with just one cut, but went with two smaller cuts. a Rib-eye and a Fillet. Both medium-rare, with a side of stilton sauce. The wine selection here is also great, albeit a little pricey.
The steaks were absolutely perfectly cooked, though the rib-eye had just a little more char which gave it an overall better flavour. The fillet was incredibly tender, tasted smooth as silk and was a little less pink in the centre. The mac and cheese came in it's own little cast iron pot. Now, I'm a huge fan of mac and cheese, and I do miss those cheap, plasticky blue boxed Kraft Mac and Cheese, but this one was definitely the best I've had on this side of the Atlantic. Whilst the meat was absolutely awesome, the sides were a little trop cher (too expensive) for what they were worth. However, the great food, company, wine and atmosphere is definitely worth the coming back for. 2 people, £99 and the experience of a lifetime. 5*s!
We sat in the basement bar, and I found the drinks and food to be pretty reasonable. I had a french dip, which didn't come with au jus, surprisingly. Isn't that, like, the french dip's thing?
Anyway, had great service all night and when an order got missed it was fixed very quickly and with sincere apologies.
My only issue was the grease hanging in the air and the stuffiness. Put a kitchen in a basement without any windows/circulation and you get a very gross environment. I left feeling like a had a film on me :/
But I would definitely recommend a post-work drink and dinner here if you want a good piece of grilled meat without the big cost
This place is awesome. It doesn't matter if it will be about meaty breakfast, Sunday roast or just steak ... it will be red and very tasteful :-)
I've been a fan of Hawksmoor ever since I sat down to the Beef Tasting Menu and they blew every preconception I had about what you can do with meat right out of the water. These guys know their steak and ribs, so it was with great anticipation I made my way over there to meet some Yelpers for a chill dinner at the Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar. And since I've had burgers on the brain as of late, I was set on sampling the vaunted Hawksmoor Cheeseburger. The short version is that compared to the rest of London's burger offerings, the Hawksmoor burger is one of the best (narrowly behind Mother Flipper and Kimchi Cult). However, I think if I was going to Hawksmoor, I'd opt to splurge on the steak or if on a budget, the short rib French dip.
Let's discuss the burger. There are three main components that need to be addressed: i) the bun, ii) the toppings, and iii) the patty itself.
Bun - Hawksmoor uses a soft demi-brioche style which provides a soft fluffy bun capable of soaking up a ridiculous amount of juices and sauce. The bun has just a slight chewy skin from the browning process which adds a layer of texture to each bite as well.
Toppings - Fairly typical toppings of cheese, pickle, tomato, and lettuce. The veggies are ultra fresh with that crisp crunchiness that you can both feel and hear when you bite in. The cheese was gooey and melty in all the right ways.
Patty - As you would expect from a top-flight steak house, the meat is proper beef and cook medium rare to ensure the juices explode out of the patty. The burger is soft and marbled with the beef so tender it melts in your mouth which releasing its rich flavour.
Overall, great patty, good mix of textures and tastes, and an excellent bun to hold it all in. That was one of the least messy burgers I've had that still tasted awesome. A few minor gripes with the meal however. First ,the burger is on the small side and while decent value at £8.50, it's not quite enough to satisfy your hunger. Gripe #2 was due to the horrendous portion of chips. Now I'll give Hawksmoor the benefit of the doubt as usually the triple cooked chips are one of the highlights of the meal. These tasted more like a soggy bread and if it wasn't for my state of starvation I would have left them uneaten. The ketchup couldn't make up for the lack of crunch and flavour in these chips. Should have gone for the short rib nug nugs.
Finally, to wash it down, a tobacco infused old fashioned seemed like just the ticket. It's a tasty drink but prone to over dilution if you don't get it down fast. And who chugs and old fashioned?
Oh and decor wise, the new bar at the Spitalfields location is beautiful so extra points for that. In fact, that's knocking it up to 4 stars in my book.
That's it. I think this sits #3 on my Burgers of London list (burger quality only counts towards this...otherwise minus points for the chips) but fair warning I'm still to try Lucky Chip, Patty & Bun, and Burger & Lobster so there are definitely some challengers for a top 3 spot in the wings.
And the Lord said... 'let there be Oxtail Poutine' and so it was!
10 Yelpers came to Hawksmoor Bar for the Shortrib Dip sandwich*, (which featured in the top 10 of Timeout's 100 Best London dishes, but it was the poutine that won our hearts. Cheesey, meaty decadence. Oh the food pain afterwards - totally worth it.
We wept in joy at the Salted Caramel Shortcake. Food gods, you are so good to us. It's not cheap, but you won't care!
*WHICH YOU DIP IN GRAVY, PEOPLE!
As a Texan, literally raised eating at high-end steakhouses I can say that this is a very good interpretation of an American, even old South style, steakhouse.
I really let myself go here when I met up with one of my fellow Texans that has expatriated to London. We spent something like $500 for a dinner for two.
The Prime Rib was decadently fatty and properly rare as hell. They have a REALLY great method of selling their meat with a chalkboard showing cuts that are "Available" and they cross them off as they are sold. It's a brilliant way to make buying meat almost competitive.
The appetizers could use a little more polish. We had the Marrow, some crab offering (which was sent back as the least desirable thing we were served all night), and I believe a pate of some sort that was viciously fatty and good.
The service was smart and eager, particularly to serve up her knowledge of the cuts of meat. Unfortunately she could use some education on the characteristics of different cuts of beef. For instance she classified the Filet Mignon as "Buttery and Beefy" while it's known far and wide that it's a mildly flavored and lean cut that is tender. "Delicately flavored and Tender" would be a better classification.
That is a VERY minor point that didn't detract from our experience in the slightest. It's just a note for the management who may read this.
All in all, it was a pleasant and delicious meal that I would suggest to a friend.
Have eaten here a lot and it's AMAZING!!!!!! Get ready to spend a lot of money but it's worth it. The chateaubriand is INCREDIBLE, possibly the best steak I've ever had. But the other cuts I've had here have been amazing too. The triple cooked chips, heirloom tomato salad, and mashed potatoes are also delicious.
Sometimes real cocktails can be hard to find in London (along with trash cans, mexican food, and anything open past 10pm), but Hawksmoor has a really talented bar staff, huge cocktail menus, and a vast array of exotic liquors- it's hard to choose! My big tip is that if you haven't been able to make a booking, it's often easy to walk-in and get a seat at the bar for dinner. It's fun to watch the talented bartenders and sometimes they give you tastes of weird drinks they're making.
The downsides- staff, aside from bartenders, can be a little out of it. The door staff are rude to the point of discouraging. And the limited menu at the downstairs bar (wasabi burger, etc) is kind of bland. But ignore the bitchy hostesses and order the chateaubriand! your arteries will thank me!
came here nearly 5 years ago when there was just one Hawksmoor in London, they appear to be doing very well for themselves! I can see why, still as good today as it was then, maybe even a little bit cheaper?
I would suggest going for a Sat/Sun lunch...meaning you can have a few drinks and really enjoy it but without the crowds and wait for tables.
You can get a la carte but the Express lunch 3 courses for £25 is a steal. Included a 250g ribeye which was more than enough and extremely tasty. Wasn't impressed by my taste of the burger...the bun looked like a bit of victoria sponge! however the vegetables, chips and dessert were all great. Service was pleasant, not that friendliest but not bad by any means.
Its not cheap but is most worth it. Enjoy.
ps. be a shame not to try a cocktail!! great barman.
Forget the steak! I would happily come here just for a scoop of the Cornflake and the popcorn ice cream!
We booked a table for 6.30 and walked in to a relatively empty restaurant. The wine list was quite extensive and we opted for a Merlot which was quite sharp but went well with the food. As the restaurant filled up I ordered the rib eye medium rare and was told that it had a bit of fat, but had a lot of flavour. The other half ordered the fillet blue. We also got sides of creamed spinach, buttered greens, and mac n cheese.
My steak was ok. It was very sinewy and I found it quite hard to cut at times. Next time I will order the fillet as my other half had a gorgeous piece of meat which melted in your mouth. The creamed spinach was amazing, and the buttered greens were nice. The mac n cheese was not the best I've had.. but it was a good try.
I almost opted out of a dessert, but the BF insisted we have one because he knows how much I LOVE ice cream. We got a scoop of the popcorn and a scoop of the cornflake. And wow! just wow. Forget the steaks I'm coming for the ice cream next time.
A Tale of Two Steaks (abridged edition)
It was the best of steaks. It was the worst of steaks.
The £28 rib eye was immense, perfectly cooked, delicious. It was the season of Light. It left its eater contentedly sated, having eaten it in its entirety.
The porterhouse tasted like grass, had loads of inedible fat and - of course - a hefty bone. Seeing the cost on the bill at £76 made its eater despair. It was an epoch of incredulity.
This visit to Hawksmoor was the spring of hope, but it was also the winter of despair.
I've been wanting to come here for a while now as i have heard good review after good review, but i didn't come here for the steak, oh no no no the burger was at the top of my want list.
The bacon cheese burger arrived on our table and i was like a kid in a candy store, the bun was fluffy and light, the meat tender and juicy, each bite was meet with a groan , it was food porn, the triple cooked chips were really nice to, and went well with the Hawksmoor homemade ketchup. The wife had the beef roast and she claimed it was the best roast dinner she has ever had, and that's saying a lot. So onto the staff, the staff were all very friendly and looked after us pretty well, so all in all our Hawksmoor experience was a good one.
I love steak! Unfortunately, you get gout if you eat too much of it. So after a week (or two) of avoiding red meat because of my hypochondriac tendencies, I was excited to meet some friends at the Hawksmoor.
The large round table we got for 5 people was appreciated. The sides (chips, sweet potato, mushrooms, beans) were fantastic. The Hawkmoor makes their own ketchup! Wine selection was very good.
Everyone at the table really enjoyed their steak. The quality of the meat was very good. I tried everyone else's steak and they were really fantastic. The waitress suggested that I have my steak medium-rare after I ordered it rare (I actually prefer it blue). I appreciated the recommendation but she was a bit too pushy and almost rude. The steak came out medium rare although I insisted that it be rare. It turned out to be a little over cooked for my taste and I probably should have sent it back but couldn't be too bothered.
Despite my experience I would go back since everyone else had a really fantastic meal. I think I'll give it another go this weekend.
Holy Sunday roast, Hawksmoor!
With Mum in town I wanted her to experience one of my favourite Britishisms: a proper Sunday lunch. I called all around: the Holly Bush, the Dock Kitchen, the Garrison, the Wells and all were fully booked or only had reservations after 3:00. I wanted to kick myself for not doing better pre-planning!
And then I came upon it in an article in the Guardian. Best UK Sunday Lunch 2010: Hawksmoor, London. I rang them up and viola! A table for two at 12:30 secured!
At first blush I liked the place with its warm, rustic feel and a friendly staff, some of whom, like us, were still waking up. Mum let me do the ordering and I called for one roast rump with all the trimmings (I mean, what's Sunday lunch without a Yorkshire pud?) I also got us the short rib bubble and squeak and the creamed spinach.
In a dish certainly more appropriate for two came slabs of roast beef, a Yorkshire pudding bigger than most people's faces, carrots, potatoes and some greens. Add horseradish and you have a flawless meal! Never before have I been more pleased with a Sunday roast.
The creamed spinach and bubble and squeak were also nice but next time I'll concentrate on the beef and all its trimmings (and there's always dessert...)
To cap off our pre-Christmas celebration we shared a sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream. It was as decadent as you might imagine.
I'm already planning my next Sunday excursion to Hawksmoor. Who's coming with?!
The Hawskmoor put me into a food coma the likes of which I've not experienced since Thanksgiving.
Steak - check!
Mac and cheese - check!
sticky toffee pudding - check!
Booze - check and check!
I also had the bone marrow as a starter which I've actually never eaten before. It was alright with toast but I'm not sure I'll try it again. Just not my thing really.
The service was really good and I like the laid back atmosphere. I'll have to come back again.
The location of the best birthday dinner I've ever had, and trust me, that's saying something.
I've been here before, and had some of the tastiest steak in existence. When my 25th came around, I realised that all I wanted to do was drink amazing red wine, eat good meat and be with my friends. So that's exactly what I did.
I booked a table for 15 online about a month ago, and got a nice email confirmation in return. Though they asked me for card details to reserve the space (not unusual for such a large group), I didn't get an email in the week leading up to Friday. However, a phone without battery on my part and the opening of a new place for them (in Seven Dials, Covent Garden) resulted in a voicemail, another call and a chat with the truly lovely restaurant manager. She said that we could arrive from 6pm and have the table for the whole night.
I was late (oops), but my friends were gathered at the bar happily sucking down on cocktails and gin served by the super-capable barmen. Then to the table, situated at the back, with curtains you can pull to separate yourself from the main restaurant if you so wish.
A decent time spent looking at the menu resulted in us choosing various steaks. I went for the 400g fillet, whereas other friends shared the porterhouse and some went for sirloin. I think we tried pretty much every cut they had.
Sides come as extra, and range from triple-cut chips to garlic mushrooms (almost, *almost* as good as the steak itself), sweet potato, spinach and greens plus more.
We spent the evening eating (well, drooling over the amazing meat), chatting with our waiter and drinking fab Cotes du Rhone.
It's not cheap here (£60 a head for one course, an insane amount of wine and paying for me between them), but god, the meat is just stunning. I'll keep going back and back and back. Our waiter was on top form - though did pour red wine over my shoes at one stage but leapt for soda and then told me to send them the bill - and got a 10% tip for it.
Wonderful evening, finished by my boy getting the entire place to sing happy birthday to me (first time ever and made me blush). Just *go*. You'll love it if you appreciate good steak and great service.
Hawksmoor - I'd heard so much about the steak and cocktails (all good) I'm surprised it took me this long to visit.
My wonderful bestie took me here one night, when we decided to blow the food budget on a night out drinking, celebrating nothing in particular - sometimes you have to do that, right? And if you're going to do it; do it in style - Hawksmoor is the place for that.
We managed to get a table in the bar downstairs on a busy Saturday night - I felt pretty lucky, because as we were waiting no less than 4 groups came in from the torrential rain asking for a place at the bar - all were turned down *smug face* (I'm allowed to put that because these things never usually happen to me!)
It seems they have some sort of policy against overfilling - which I am a BIG fan of - undoubtedly adds to the ambience.
There is a sort of upmarket American diner theme, with booths and shady lighting - I liked it - and the bar is placed so that you can watch the super skilled bartenders create the wonderful cocktails for which Hawksmoor is so famed.
Wait staff come to you and the service was impeccable - the right level of friendly and helpful without being overbearing or disingenuous. The cocktails themselves (which change monthly I believe) were beautiful - I bloody love a good cocktail and these were up there with the best. Fruit was fresh (like practically just picked off the tree fresh), presentation was charming and taste was delightfully different. There seemed to be a gin theme with the cocktails when I visited, which isn't usually my normal choice - but it's a sign of the quality how much I enjoy them despite my definite preference for vodka and rum.
Unfortunately the food budget didn't extend as far as food - Oh the irony - the bill for 2 people is on the pricier side (but you get what you pay for) - so we didn't sample the incredible looking burgers or chips (fries?) that were making their way past us destined for other tables - but I will be back. Hawksmoor you have not seen the last of THIS discerning diner ...
The Hawksmoor. I heard on the grapevine that the food here was good but nothing prepared me for the experience I am about to share with you.
On arrival the table was set and the waiter handed me a cocktail menu. At just gone 11:30am I took a long sip of the orange and red drink before me. It was sublime. Which was pleasing to the waiter whom had made the recommendation based on my long term relationship with gin. Lifting the martini glass again to my lips, the 'Johnny goes to London' was going down well, perhaps a little too well.
Lunch, not being served until midday we pre-order our meal and at the clock strike of 12:12pm the dishes arrived. Words fail me to describe the absolute pleasure. Rare beef, doughy yet lightly toasted Yorkshire pudding, crisp roasties, tender cabbage and the butteriest carrots.
Don't even deliberate this one - pleasure is waiting for you too.
O . M . G . (***Think Janice from Friends***)
This is everything I heard it was and more. I just got back after our anniversary dinner and this was definitely up there in my top 5 list. I can still feel the juices from the best ever cooked steak purge my alimentary system.
Everything was perfect, starting with the online booking (don't miss the semi-animated beef cuts primer on the website). I was somewhat suprised when I first walked in, however, because I was expecting a fairly stiff crowd, quietly portioning their meat and employing cautious decorum while ingesting. Super contrary to my expectations, it almost seemed like your neighborhood pub, albeit a rather fashionably done up one.
Our very friendly and informal waiter seemed to know a LOT! He explained the difference between a Porterhouse and Chateaubriand, made recommendations on how best to have it cooked and what it would go with. 5 stars for the service (and tuition)!
Did someone recommend chips? Uh-huh! And what a recommendation that was. Get the chips and you won't be disappointed! They're triple cooked! You're gonna need these babies for the Porterhouse - so make sure you always have them by your side!
We started with the grilled bone marrow and shallots, an order of the rock oysters and the belly ribs, each one better than the other. Once you eat these Tamworth belly ribs, you will find it hard to order them elsewhere.
Now go ahead and order your meat. The daily inventory will be listed on a board and you will be able to see what is available, so make sure you get there somewhat earlier so you don't lose out on the best Porterhouse in London. (Check tip: At this point, you want to make sure that a fresh order of those triple cooked fries is sitting by your side). The Porterhouse is massive. We were two mid to large consumption capacity carnivores and we have to take ~30% of it to go.
For pudding, both the sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream and the chocolate brownie are mentionable.
Hard to even contain the drool pool while writing this review ...
May the second meeting of the UYE Steak Club come to order!
We decided to order large pieces of meat and share them among ourselves, because this place is glorious and you can buy meat by the weight. One group got the chateaubrianed and the other got the Bone-In Prime Rib. The waitress recommended the amount we should order per person and offered to bring it to the table cut for us ready for sharing, great service!
It can get a little hectic with a large group of friends (we were 8) and deciding your meat options here. But if you have a group of people who love meat and aren't picky and have an awesome waitress like we did, then you'll be fine.
Highlights of the meal for me:
Bone-In Prime Rib: the meat of course, duh. Even the fatty edges were amazing. not a piece was abandoned. Greasy high five to Eamon B for shamelessly gnawing the meat off the bone. That's how it's friggin done!
Georgia Mint Julip: served in traditional metal cup and a shite ton of ice. delicious and smooth and just the thing I needed to contrast the heavy meaty awesomeness in front of me. Check out their list!
Triple Cooked Chips: okay so you don't go to the steak house to order the sides but seriously get these people. The triple "cooking" makes a huge difference. salty and crispy but soft middle. yum to the tenth degree.
Sticky Toffee Pudding: there are no words. just order it for yourself and see.
Con: Im a mac and cheese lova. and it was not good here but like I said, You don't go to the steak house for the sides. Stick with the spinach and chips if you need a little something something wif your meat.
There are many "poutine" hits on Yelp, but only the Hawksmoor delivered. When you click on the Hawksmoor, you can actually find a poutine review whereas a random selection of other restaurant hits bring such poor results.
Enough about my Yelp complaints. The Hawksmoor has several restaurants in the area and many menus. I was having trouble finding poutine proof until a FB inquiry proved fruitful. The Spitalfield location has two kitchens so be sure to go downstairs for the poutine.
The bar menu has a small selection of Food, Sides (poutine and more), Puddings, and Cocktails. I ordered the oxtail poutine and the Hong Kong Phooey Reloaded. I'm a sucker for peer pressure. Why else would I have a cocktail that blends 7 different spirits and tastes like vitamin water. Evil deceptive creature. My friend ordered the triple cooked chips, Marmalade Cocktail, and the chili cheese dog.
Everyone was happy. The oxtail poutine was delicious. I was hoping for cheese curds, but at least there was some cheese. The focus clearly was on the savory and spicy oxtail soaking the chips with its delicious juices. In the end, I was using triple cooked chips to clean the iron dish spotless. And the chilli cheese dog delighted my friend. She especially enjoyed the cheese on this hearty dish. i definitely recommend this place.
I'm fond of beef - it's no secret. The juicier and more tender, the better. And when I'm paying premium rates, size -does- matter.
Thanks to Haley F for organising Steak Night 2.0, I had an excuse to stuff my face with some superlative slabs of meat at the Hawksmoor. Similar to their exceptional Sunday roast, the bovine remains they have on offer are executed superbly. As are the cocktails on their drinks menu.
Admittedly, the experience here would have been dramatically improved had our server not been quite as much of a dominatrix. Though she wasn't sporting fishnet stockings, high-heel boots, or wielding a riding crop, her demeanour was pretty much what I'd expect from a woman who brooks no backtalk and knows what's good for you, even if you don't necessarily agree.
My recommendation is to go heavy on the sides. You can't go wrong. The thrice-cooked chips are salted to perfection and crisped to an ideal consistency, the creamed spinach is satisfyingly decadent, and the cheesy mac comes in a cast-iron skillet with plenty of crunchy bits for all.
All told, for a drink or two, a filling portion of rib-eye, and a sampling of sides, the per head cost ran about £60. Not affordable by any means, but quite commensurate to both quality and value.
The Hawksmoor is certainly worthy of a return visit - hopefully with a server that's somewhat less domineering and when there isn't a drunktastic birthday party going on at the table just next to us!
Quite easily the best roast dinner I've ever had. And I've had a few.
I'd been to the Seven Dials restaurant for a fantastic steak previously, so knew we were on to a winner from the beginning, but I didn't appreciate just how good it would be. And it was great value too.
£17.50 for rump steak with all the trimmings. The meat had a beautiful charcoal taste and was pink and juicy. Not quite melt-in-your-mouth soft, like their other steaks, but very very good. The duck-fat roasties greeted with full-mouth murmurs of appreciation and the carrots considered to be 'fantastic' by someone who claimed to not actually like carrots.
Started the day with a jug of Pimms to celebrate the long weekend and this was topped up by a really rather lovely, but yet their cheapest, Pinot Noir.
A friend of ours bucked the trend and tackled the 650g ribeye steak by himself. I've never seen anyone quite so happy as he when it was put on the table. It was a beautiful piece of meat. Not cheap, mind. What is good value is that you can get all the roast-dinner trimmings for £5 (roasties, Yorkshire pud, carrots, shallots, cabbage, gravy etc) so a smaller steak with the trimmings is actually a great option on a Sunday. (sides are about £4 each normally).
Will be back for their Brunch next - the HKmuffin and the breakfast for two are particularly appealing!
Steak Club 2.0 brought 8 of us down to The Hawksmoor on a wednesday night last week, where we gnawed (litterally in the case of Eamon who picked up the bone from his bone in cut) on massive quantities of succulent MEAT. (yes that totally deserved all caps).
Tisha and i shared the Bone Marrow starter, which was ok. needed more salt and the caramelized shallots were a little over powering. the MEAT itself was freaking amazing. hit all the right buttons in so many ways. the sides were alright.. the mac n cheese needed a little something but the chips were good. the bernaise sauce (which i generally consider to be a gift from the gods) was a let down. the taragon was a bit few and far between, for my liking. i normally am not a huge BBQ sauce fan, but whatever it was in the bottles that were on the table was freaking out of this world. smoked ketchup? something mouth watering, thats for sure.
and then the desserts. we got the chocolate sunday, which was what it was: good. and then the sticky-toffy-pudding-omg (to be said in all on breath). hello, lover. i want to enjoy you everynight, waist line be damned. not too sweet, but just perfect.
and the drinks!! yum. very drinkable. as in 'oh look its gone.'
our service was good, but it felt like ou waitress was at the end of a very long day. i know we were a large-ish group, but we were very easy going. and i know upselling is the name of the game with waiting tables, but i felt like we were pushed into getting a bit more then we needed. example: i figured that 850 grams of Chateaubriand would have been enough to feed three people, who were also getting loads of sides, a starter and was planning on getting dessert. but she insisted that we would need more. granted we ate almost everything, but we didnt need to. then with the cooking temps, her attitude bugged me. i know that a rib eye is best served medium, but if yorue ok with having a little fat and tendons around medium rare is ok. and if she had just said something like that i would have been fine. but she very kurt response of 'no we dont do that,' just didnt do it for me.
MEAT = amazing.
drinks = awesome
side and service = hit and miss.
i'll give it 4 stars, but im almost tempted to give it 3.
These are some excellent steaks!
Best steaks in London? Sorry, in my opinion Santa Maria del Sur in Battersea holds that crown.
Of course, you wont find crazy cocktails and thrice cooked chips there...
This has been on my hit list for a while. T'was Saturday when I discovered it was my mummy's birthday. Ah! Bad child! So in a panic I frantically had to think of fancy schmancy restaurants I can take her to. Since my younger brother is on a no salt, no fat, no fun diet he picked Hawksmoor from the choice I gave him. I was edging for Club Gascon, but his "no fun" diet said no. No to the delicious fatty French food.
But I was not sad, for I had craving for bone marrow since I tried it in NYC at ... some restaurant I cannot remember the name of O_o (will have to edit the name in when my cousin tell gets back to me on that).
I should point out I had gone to my first Bikram class before going to the Hawksmoor so was frickin Marvin'.
I had booked the table for 7.30pm, but got there at 8pm and they were completely fine with that. In saying that, the table was only for 2 hours, but we were there till 10.30pm. Good stuff.
So decided on the whole lobster and bone marrow for the starter. The bone marrow was nice, but it wasn't as good as NYC's Blue Ribbon Restaurant Bone Marrow & Marmalade. The Garlic Butter Lobster was also nice, but on the small side. A reason I tend not to order seafood in the UK. Always so small and just not worth it. I'd rather go Billingsgate Market and make it myself (which I need to do soon). In saying that, it was of course delicious.
As my brother is quite the muscle head he was contemplating the 800g Porterhouse for himself. I told him we can go for the 1.2kg Prime Rib and share. The waitress suggested the 800g for us to share. LOL. She does not know us. In the end we settled for the 1kg of Prime Rib cooked medium. I like my meat as bloody as can be, but since the cut is fatty it had to be medium. Still very tasty. Not the best steak I've ever had, but it certainly ranks very high. We both took an order of the Roast Field Mushrooms and Roasted Sweet Potato. The mushrooms were too over powering and therefore I did not like it with the steak. The sweet potato was roasted well. I would warn you we did struggle with 1kg of steak. That is a lot of meat for two.
My mum went with the Fillet with the Triple Cooked Chips and Stilton Hollandaise sauce. My mum, bless her wanted it well-done. URGH! WOMAN! I told her since I'm paying for this meal you cannot order a fillet steak and ask for it well-done. That's blasphemy! She got it medium rare. Of course I had a taste and OH MY! It was divine. Close to perfection. If I compare the fillet to the one from Gaucho, this definitely came top trumps. As for the chips, they were barely warm so I have nothing good to say about that.
The star of the show has to be the Stilton Hollandaise sauce! Now, I usually don't like sauces with my steak, but this sauce took the steak to a whole new dimension. It is making me salivate thinking about it. When that happens you know its true love. My brother who said his diet was strict tried the sauce and was in love. Ha. (Well he ended up tasting a lot of what is banned in his diet)
We weren't drinking alcohol so mum went for the Fresh OJ, delightful for an OJ, just sweet, no tartness. Brother and I went for the Apple & Mint non-alcoholic Mojito, nice and refreshing.
While my mum nodded off in her seat from being so full, we asked the waitress if we could get a lil birthday dessert with a candle. They were so so nice about it. They brought out the brownie and salted caramel ice cream with a candle and sang happy birthday for her, everyone else in the area also joined along in singing happy birthday. I love that. That made it extra special.
I went with a scoop of the salted caramel and a scoop of the cornflake ice cream. I highly recommend to get these flavours together.
I loved Hawksmoor. I still want to go for the brunch. But that won't happen anytime soon as that meal made quite the dent on my card.
The Hawksmoor Brunch burger - A studied take on my biggest guilty pleasure.
How much?: £20 all in with coffee and orange juice (and they had to roll me out)
One of the joys of mobile phones (even without the extraneous addition of the now obligatory apps) is the ability to make and rearrange plans at late notice. Unfortunately that also means you can stand people up at late notice, which is how I found myself tucking into my Sausage & Egg HK Muffin as a solo diner. Thankfully I had the paper and a chipper Kiwi knowledgable enough about the football not to make me feel too alone.
As many of you will know (and some may dare to outwardly agree with) there's nothing like a lipsmackingly greasy, salty and robustly overcooked sausage and egg mcmuffin from standardised fast-filth vendors MacDonalds when you need to recover from a hangover. There's something about that combination the morning after the night before that sends grown men (and yes, this is mainly a male thing) into eulogies, willing to trek miles to a shop (I refuse to call it a restaurant) that they'd never normally go near. Thankfully the guys behind legendary Liverpool St steakhouse Hawksmoor have gone and created an up-market version.
I've been to Hawksmoor inumerable times but have only ever had eyes for their steak. While these are available at brunch, it was the sausage muffin I had my eye on. I'd got there early to grab a table, but the Saturday brunch crowd were conspicuous by their absence. A few early lunchers wander in as I read the paper in the dark wood surrounds, enjoying the early summer sun streaming through the slatted blinds. Clean, friendly, knowledgable and efficient. 5 years of service haven't dented the standards here, I hope it continues when the focus shifts towards their new site opening in Covent Garden soon.
The muffin arrives looking promising. While the too runny white lets down the sun yellow yolk of the freerange eggs topping it overall it's a more than worthy classier homage to its high street inspiration. The pork, beef and mutton sausage is a strong, dense patty and full of good fatty flavour. The Ogleshield cheese is a worthy addition, softly yielding, not over-flavoured, soaking into the freshly baked muffin.
Alongside it I'm foolish enough to have the short rib bubble and squeak. Foolish because this is a meal in itself. £4 gets you a very generous portion of roughly mashed potato, buttery greens with a fresh bite swirled in with large, moorish shards of tooth sticking short back rib. Served in an iron skillet, the dish is topped with a thick meaty gravy. As I say, a step to far, but reader, I ate it all...
A significant improvement on Automat's brunch burger and at £8, half the price. It's a guilty pleasue like its namesake but one I'll certainly be back for.
Note: This review is for the cocktails only, as I've not yet eaten here.
What do you do on a grey English Sunday when you happen to be in East London after a morning of getting artwork framed, shopping at the weekend market, and cruising for vintage finds?
Meet up with friends at the Hawksmoor's bar for some specialty cocktails, of course!
There's an extensive list of thoughtful, well-curated cocktails, that update traditional favorites like the Old Fashioned, Dark & Stormy, and Singapore Sling with interesting herbal concoctions, infusions and liqueurs.
If you're an armchair mixologist (ahem), you can truly talk shop with the gentlemen behind the bar, while experimenting with flavours and additions.
Came here for lunch yesterday. I had heard that the steaks were good, and it was not a let down. I started with the scallops, served on the shell, and they were beautifully presented and just delicious. I had the fillet with mashed potato and creamed spinach. The steak was juicy and tasty, the mash potato came in a little ramekin with gravy on top and was simply divine. The creamed spinach was as good as I have ever had. The wine list was excellent, and the only thing that let the meal down was the service. I'm being mean, probably, but the guy messed around with the glasses of water, even changing them to a smaller size when he hadn't been asked to do so. He served the ice separately, and generally fussed about. Weird. Having said that, it didn't detract from a fantastic repast which I really enjoyed and I'm going back for more.
I was a little underwhelmed first walking in as I felt that I've walked into nicer pubs in London. I ordered the Fillet steak which was a little too big portion wise and wish they had smaller cuts of meat. Overall in the UK, it's tough to find a steak that's medium rare. I need to learn to send things back but my steak definitely came back medium-well. It was well seasoned and the accompanying sauces were great (particularly the peppercorn). The sides are good but I think all a little bit on the salty side.
It's good but don't think it's worth what you pay for.
5 stars from me since it was excellent all round.
Friendly check in on arrival and shown straight to our table.
- Service pitched just right.
- Great cocktail list and well executed and correctly potent, as they should be.
- The menu is straightforward and has all that you want in a steak restaurant with a good selection of different cuts and classic sides and sauces to accompany (creamed spinach, fries - yes the triple cooked fries were great!)
The food is just as it should be. Great quality steak with great flavour, well executed sides, simple and unfussy. Ordered medium but was definitely much closer to rare. My friends got the same.
Deserts were a high point too. Two deserts shared between three of us. We were quite full already but couldn't resist:
Nutty brownie with salty caramel ice cream. Yum. I'm a fan of the salty+sweet combination and the brownie was just right, not too heavy and dense.
Sticky toffee pudding was one of the best I've had, maybe the best.
Inside, the atmosphere was quite lively on a Friday night, as could be expected. Very informal but not too raucous. Service was great, attentive not obtrusive.
I've worked round the corner for 5 years and never been, Then by coincidence recently I went twice within the space of a week, what have I been missing for the last 5 years! This is a way better alternative to the "Chain" steakhouses that litter The City.
You get a great choice of really good quality steak at various sizes, beware the 900 next to the steak on the black board means its 900 grams! In addition the Beers and Ales they have selected are very different and go very well with the food.
I wish I could make this a regular lunchtime haunt but I fear my wallet would expire very quickly.
Those bastards at Hawksmoor - they've ruined me.
Could I be talking about my wallet? Perhaps - Hawksmoor is not cheap. In truth, their margins are actually reasonable, given that all of their meat is sourced from the Ginger Pig - some of the best meat you'll ever try, but you sure as hell pay for it.
Do I mean my waistline? Once again, maybe - we invariably end up over-indulging here, and I think I do my daily allowance of calories in beef alone.
But no, what I really mean is that Hawksmoor has utterly ruined my ability to simply enjoy a steak anywhere else. Every steak-eating experience is now simply an exercise in commenting on how "It's alright, but it's no Hawksmoor". This is coming from a guy who knows his beef inside out - if cows were humans then I should be in the Hague for genocide. Even when the BSE scare occurred, I simply declared "fantastic, all the more for me, and at better prices!" and proceeded to make as much of a dent in the European beef mountain as I could.
OK, so we've established that, yes, the beef is amazing. The prices are high (but fair). The portions are vast, though you can eat somewhat lightly if you are careful.
The ambience, especially since the redesign, is great - they've kept the exposed brickwork and dark wood environs, but there's a lot more space now, and a lick of paint has got it looking even fresher.
Service is still top notch, be it Noél the bar manager who is a legend in his own time (always ready with a grin and some expertly devised cocktail), Tim the general manager who is always completely on top of everything and ensures the smooth running of the restaurant, or the handful of very competent wait-staff.
The wine list is exceedingly well-priced with some absolute corkers on there - the wine buyers really know their stuff. Likewise, the cocktail list is a great collection of renditions of classics, plus some innovative (but not over-done) new creations courtesy of the expert bar team here.
Special kudos needs to go to their sides too - sublime mac and cheese, some of the best fries in London and arguably one of the finest bearnaise sauces I've ever had the privilege of trying.
If you've, miraculously, got any space left after the main course, desserts are equally delightful - the sundaes are a can't miss, but I'd advise sharing between 2 or 3 unless you have a super-human appetite.
Of particular note is their (once monthly?) fixed price wine evenings they do, when the vineyard owners/wine producers pop over from various exotic locales to talk about the wines being served in vast quantities in conjunction with shedloads of beef and good lobster. All of this they usually do for £50-75 for effectively an all-you-can-eat/drink night, which given the usual prices and the sheer quantity available, is one of the best deals in London in my opinion.
They've also just started doing weekend brunch and Sunday lunch. I haven't tried this yet, but will definitely be giving it a go within the next month or two.
All in all it's an absolute must-try. I think I've taken 50+ people here over the years that it's been open, and I think only 2 have failed to be completely bowled over, and that was only because one doesn't really eat steak, and the other got a mixed-up steak with the guy next to him who had ordered well-done.
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