Sunday, 21 September 2008

Restaurant Review: Hawksmoor

Last night I went for dinner at the Hawksmoor with my new flatmate Mike and friends Owen and Claire.

Mike and I last went to the Hawksmoor just over two years ago, when the area north of Spitalfields was waiting to be redeveloped and we had to walk past broken street lights and boarded up buildings to get there. Back then the restaurant had only just started opening in the evenings and weekends, being set up primarily for the corporate lunch market in the nearby City. Last night the area was thriving and we had a drink in the bohemian Commercial Tavern before dinner.

The food was, again, excellent last night. Mike and I started with seared scallops and cured ham, which were perfectly cooked through. For the main event we all went for steaks. Owen had the enormous 600g rib-eye, I had the bone in sirloin and Mike and Claire both had fillet. The steaks came out looking and smelling amazing. Seasoned, tender and slightly smokey. The meat was fantastic and equalled any of the steaks I had eaten in New York. The triple cooked chips were my favourite side dish.

The deserts kept the superb standard going. Owen and Claire both had the ice cream sundaes, Mike had the berries with clotted cream and I had the banana split. A perfect end to the meal.

The focus on high quality ingredients and food, the relaxed yet precise service from people in jeans and t-shirts and the funky atmosphere have all stayed since our visit. However, just like the area, the Hawksmoor has changed to. The menu used to be almost exclusively steaks and ice cream sundaes, and has broadened to appeal to a wider set of palates. They've also nudged their prices up slightly.

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