Hawksmoor is famous for the quality of it’s meat, Giles Coren claimed it “Flawless. The best steak you’ll find anywhere.”, high praise indeed! Thinking that a big, fat, juicy steak would be ideal after a heavy night/weekend I booked lunch at their Seven Dials restaurant on the Sunday of our trip, the 9th and final stop just 48 hours after arriving at Koya.
Hawksmoor Seven Dials is located in an old brewery on Langley Street, a quiet back street just a few minutes away from Covent Garden. It’s an impressive building with huge, shiny wooden doors set in stunning high windows. It’s just as impressive inside too, a stylish combination of brick, metal and glass. Downstairs in the restaurant the cast iron pillars beautifully connect the shiny wooden floors with the low exposed brick ceilings.
We were seated on a comfy leather couch at a small table against the wall whilst a waitress recited a well rehearsed spiel about the menu and meat. Pointing us to the blackboard which contained the various cuts of steak available along with the prices and a Sunday Lunch special which sounded amazing.
Feeling a little delicate and having drunk rather a lot of alcohol over the past 2 days we decided to stick to non-alcoholic drinks. Flicking through the cocktail menu I was tempted by many fabulous sounding creations but thankfully the soft drinks section was pretty interesting too. I started with a cleansing freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice whilst Mrs FoodGeek went for a ‘Ginger ‘n’ Juice’. Both were amazingly fresh, zingy and exactly what we needed.
Knowing there was much meat to come I stuck to lighter seafood starters. First ‘Brixham Crab On Toast’ which was exactly that. Crispy toast topped with delicious fresh white crab meat and served with an amazingly zingy salad full of beautifully sharp capers.
Our second starter of ‘Potted Smoked Mackerel’ wasn’t quite as light as there was a huge amount of butter in with the wonderfully soft and smokey mackerel. Eating it out of the pot with a fork was so delicious I had to force myself to save some for the lovely crunchy toast and giant slices of cucumber which brought a nice freshness to the dish.
I really enjoyed both of the starters, they were tasty and we did purposefully pick them to be light which they definitely where. I was a bit jealous when the table next to us received a huge plate of giant belly ribs though, they looked like they belonged on the set of The Flintstones. Luckily I had a rather good piece of meat to come!
In hindsight, coming to Hawksmoor and not ordering steak seems crazy. But I love roasts and after a pretty full on weekend it was the more comforting option and i’d seen them on several tables looking pretty epic. The huge slab of slow roasted rump beef was the star of the show and was served with a giant Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, buttered carrots & greens, a whole bulb of roasted garlic with a jug of bone marrow gravy and horseradish sauce on the side. Phew. I’m not going to lie, it was a struggle to finish but there was no way I was leaving anything as it was all unbelievably good. Despite being so full and struggling to eat I was still a bit annoyed at only receiving 3 roast potatoes, seems a bit out of proportion compared to everything else but they definitely did me a favour. The meat was pink and succulent, Yorkshire puddings crisp and potatoes very good. I loved squeezing the soft garlic cloves out of their skins and spreading all over the beef with the delicious bone marrow gravy. All in all it was a very good roast and an absolute killer hangover cure.
Unfortunately Mrs FG wasn’t having as much fun with her main course of ‘Pearl Barley, Butternut Squash & Wild Mushrooms’. It looked OK and the risotto like peral barley was really good, the mushrooms were tasty but the butternut squash was seriously undercooked to the point they were basically inedible. Overall it was really disappointing.
Things got back on track with excellent ‘Triple Cooked Chips’ the best i’ve had outside of their birthplace ‘The Hinds Head‘ and a gorgeous, savoury, silky smooth ‘Anchovy Hollandaise’ which was not only recommended by friendly local blogger Mrs Petticoat but she even reminded me (via Twitter) in the restaurant after i’d forgotten to order it!
I had another great non-alcoholic drink too, this time an intriguing sounding ‘Cornflake Milkshake’ which was utterly brilliant. Thick, rich and creamy milkshake with a distinctive taste of cornflakes and milk. Some of the cornflakes on top had started to go soggy (they tasted great) whilst those that hadn’t added a lovely crunch.
The meal so far had been up and down, my dessert was somewhere in the middle. I’m always disappointed when a panna cotta is served in a glass and not wobbling on a plate and this one was disguising the fact that it was a bit runny. It would never had stood up let alone wobbled. Despite the wrong texture it was nice in terms of flavour. A simple combination of creamy buttermilk panna cotta with a sweet raspberry coulis which balanced the quite sharp fresh raspberries well. Not amazing but fairly enjoyable.
So Hawksmoor was a mixed bag, on the one hand really good starters, a fantastic roast with amazing meat, exciting drinks and a great anchovy hollandaise but one very disappointing main course and a fairly average dessert. The highs were definitely good enough for me to forgive the negatives and give them another chance though.
Although the roast really was very good I couldn’t help being a little disappointed with myself that I didn’t go for a steak. At least it gives me a good excuse to return, i’ll just have to make sure it’s not a Sunday so i’m not tempted by the roasts again!
Date Of Visit: 02.06.2013Follow @FoodGeekUK