We went to the Hawksmoor in Spitalfields as I have always wanted to compare this to the amazing Seven Dials and the appalling Hawksmoor Air Street (previously reviewed). We had something to celebrate so I was asked to choose a location in walking distance of our new office last minute. Sushi Samba, Duck and Waffle and the Boyes Dale were fully booked so we went I decided to go for the Hawksmoor as it is the (or maybe second) original Hawksmoor restaurants in the now chain. This is located close to Shoreditch high street tube in an unassuming heavy metal door on a scruffy street.
We heaved the large door open and walked immediately into the reception where we gave our names and coats, this is a more simplified version of the seven dials entrance with s smaller wardrobe and desk but still the dark wood that has that masculine city air.
The restaurant is very small in comparison to the two other Hawksmoor’s we have been to and the testosterone in the place was stifling – we were three women in a room full of city men. Slightly daunting but we walked on. We were seated at a small wooden table by an English waiter who was spotlessly dressed and richly complemented our party of three – smooth. The tables, wooden paneling is all dark mahogany wood and this is lightened by the white walls half way up the wall.
We ordered a bottle of champagne (well we were celebrating an occasion) and looked at the typically Hawksmoor menu. Unfortunately our delightful waiter changed tables or shifts and we had a waitress who although was very pleasant was a little scatty (she couldn’t open the bottle of champagne and got confused with our orders) Well it is clear to see why this place is packed with men; the dishes are read blooded meat and if you are a vegetarian please stop reading—–
We ordered the mackerel pate on toast and bone marrow and onions. Now I have previously reviewed bone marrow and nothing compares to the Hawksmoor, juicy, garlicky and herby. This dish which people often turn their nose up at was a dish created in heaven. The slowly fried onion just melted into the marrow and was just delightful. The mackerel was served on some crispy dried bread (I have a thing against this type of bread) but fortunately fresh white and brown bread was served beforehand so I could use this to dip into my kilner jar and scope out the smoky fish meat.
On to the mains – we ordered the 250g rib eye and the royal bream. Now after my Air Street (see previous post) visit I really did not fancy the fish so I played it safe and went for a rare rib eye. It was delightful, perfectly cooked, not bleeding but deep red throughout except the blackened outer layer. The bream then made me have food envy, after being totally put off fish at the Hawksmoor at Air Street, this just looked a delight. Served on the bone the flesh just flaked off the bone. White, shiny and creamy just incredibly mouth watering. We ordered spinach, spring greens and triple fried chips to go with these. Sides are needed with the Hawksmoor dishes and this is not always made obvious by the waitress so do bear in mind.
We ordered another bottle of champagne (do bare in, in mind it was a celebration!) and ordered a crème brulee and a panacotta to finish. I could hardly finish it but I dug deep and managed it. The panacotta was creamy yet lacked the vanilla kick and the crème brulee had the ‘crack’ but not the depth and was a little too creamy. Although slightly disappointed with the desert we were far too tipsy to care and desserts are not the reason to come to the Hawksmoor. As a result we would give this place:
Food Atmosphere Service