This may sound bizarre coming from the mouth of a non-meat-eater, but I have been itching to go to the steak restaurant Hawksmoor for a very long time. Friends have recommended the “express” set menu, and a pre-theatre dinner before The Woman in Black seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Humorously (for me anyway) located opposite Pineapple dance studios, Hawksmoor looks foreboding on the outside. We went in and were pleasantly greeted by the staff and taken to our table. There is a kind of bar area in the front, which was empty when we arrived but packed by the time we left. Our waitress was very helpful, and service was great throughout the evening.
The set menu costs £24 for two courses and £27 for three, not including drinks or service. This is quite pricey but, considering the quality of the food, is definitely worth it for a special occasion. For drinks we got Kernel porter and Kernel IPA, which came with chilled tankards that I thought was a nice touch. Then to start, the potted mackerel and the bone marrow.
The mackerel was delicious, especially some kind of sweet dressing that they had drizzled over the cucumber garnish. The bone marrow was apparently rich, and a huge portion. So we were off to a good start.
For mains: the whole sea bream with dressed herb salad for me, and a 300g rump steak cooked rare and triple cooked chips for him.
The waitress gave me the option of a filleted fish but I wasn’t going to give up the best parts of the fish! I mistook a blackened piece of chilli for something else and so had a burning mouth for about 15 minutes. I was very full afterwards and I love eating a whole fish as you get to discover the different tastes of the different parts of the fish, and it takes a good amount of time. The salad was good, nothing to rave about, and the chips were nice too. The steak was perfectly rare, and we ordered an extra sauce of anchovy hollandaise (£3).
Instead of desserts we opted for cocktails, and they have a really nice cocktail menu divided into various sections (e.g. cards & cigars, disco drinks, pre-prandials and post-pradials). After much deliberation we chose the Espresso Martini and Made Man (a variation on the Manhattan). Both were delicious but I ended up spilling a considerable amount on my clothes. I hate martini glasses with a passion.
There is nothing I would have liked to have had differently for my meal, it was more or less perfect! I would recommend Hawksmoor to anyone, especially meat lovers, and I will definitely be visiting again.