We had been invited to revisit the Hawksmoor Air Street, after our high expectations were shattered down the last time we were a bit dubious to go again. We did accept the invitation based on the strong Hawksmoor brand which we are super keen on generally.
This time we were seated at the side of the restaurant away from the windows which made the whole experience very much more ‘Hawksmoor’. Sitting opposite the large frosted windows overlooking Regent Street seems too light and modern for this steak house brasserie but again this place prides itself on its fish. Still I do not think the fish angle works with this brand.
To start we ordered a bottle of rioja to share and decided to go for the lobster prawn salad and the smoked salmon. We wanted to have seafood as a starter as we were disappointed with our monkfish last time (both of us have been on separate occasions and felt the same about the monkfish dish.) The waiter that served us was brilliant I have to say, he was incredibly charismatic and knew when to come over to the table and when to leave us in peace – the sign of a natural waiter. Unfortunately the lobster was sold out and I was a little disappointed as I knew that I had the queenies before and didn’t want the other dishes that night. Fortuntaly that was only for the main course so I was pleased when I was told that was good to go. I mentioned the lobster selling out as I do not think that a restaurant that prides itself on seafood should run out of a popular dish on a Friday evening at 7pm – yes I said 7pm. Anyway I was pleased and the food came out swiftly. You cannot fault it for the presentation. My lobster salad came out in a silver goblet and the two claws of the lobster were nestled in the butter lettuce. The seafood sauce and meat ling at the bottom were not too rich but thick enough to coat the lettuce – fantastic! The salmon looked almost glazed and had a sweet yet not too intense smokey flavour. It was served with brown grainy bread served with a wedge of lemon. Again very delicious.
For main course we ordered the porterhouse steak to share with spinach and triple fried chips. Those of you who have been at the Hawksmoor before know that you do need to order sides. Sometimes steaks come out with side salad etc but this is literally just the steak in all its glory. I asked for it rare but the cool headed waiter did not feel awkward in telling me that it is far better medium rare, and I certainly did not feel patronised. Medium rare it shall be!
As I said this came out quickly (a little too quick however) served by two waiters. The huge piece of meat lay on a wrought iron plate and was pre-sliced. My mouth just watered – this is the true Hawksmoor in all its glory and I dare anyone to find a better steak in the heart of the city. The spinach was served with garlic and still had bite yet was tender. The triple cooked chips were crispy yet fluffy in the middle – perfection. The steak melted, melted, melted in the mouth and despite how filling it was we managed to finish the last slice. Washed down with the last dregs of rioja this I can honestly say is what I would have on the green mile – my final dish.
This art deco steak house has so much going for it and is backed up by the mighty sister restaurants but I am not convinced that the Air Street location of slap bang in the middle of regent street and Piccadilly and the atmosphere is lost a little as it is on the first floor and is too light for the decor. The major issue I have is the half and half seafood and meat menu. Like many other things trying to diversify or try new things is never better than the original. The steak and starter were incredible, service and atmosphere (where we were sitting) were great but we still are not convinced on the seafood dishes. Again the steak was delicious and out of this world we cannot think of a better steak house in the country.
Food Atmosphere Service