Thursday, April 9, 2009

Eat Steak : The Hawksmoor, Commercial Street

Looking through my past posts, it looks as though I eat a lot of meat. And let's face it, I do. It's been a struggle, but over the years, I have gradually forced myself to try and enjoy new foods. I think I have managed this with varying degrees of success. I can now eat most green veg and even enjoy some of it. Aubergines and avocado are well up there on my list of favourite new(ish) discoveries as are most seafood (although fish in general is still a stumbling block). I still struggle with raw tomatoes and won't let an anchovy pass my lips.

There are many restaurants which claim to be the best steak house in London. I mean, how hard is it to grill a piece of meat? Very difficult apparently. I have eaten some mediocre steaks, some ok steaks, some terrible steaks and even some pretty good ones. But I always strove for more, to reach that beef nirvana. And the day dinner was organised at the Hawksmoor, I hoped that this was to be that day.

So what brings me to the Hawksmoor? After all, it's located in a slightly more obscure part of Shoreditch and hardly stands out on a rather busy road. Well, Dos Herman's said it did the best steak in London, and I wasn't going to go against their word so I thought I would give it a go. I was meeting sister number 2, which was no mean feat. Dragging her out of Chelsea is like getting water from a stone, getting her to Shoreditch, a different matter completely. Surprisingly, she had heard the rumbles emanating from the Hawksmoor and agreed to come along with her boyfriend and his flatmate.

What a shock, she was late. Which I was semi glad at as it meant I could sidle up to the bar and sample one of their cocktails. Having had a few après-work drinks already, I was nicely warmed up and went for a Hawksmoor Julep. I ordered it and then there it was, the barman was psychic! He had already started making me one before I had even asked for it. Weird. Anyway, it was very nice. I probably didn't need it, but what the hell.

Just as I drew the last slurp from the straw (I'm classy as hell), sister no 2 rocked up and we started to peruse the menu. The menu is short and sweet but to be honest, when the quality is good, who needs variety. More cocktails were ordered as we decided on what to eat (Black Forest Sazerac for me) and starters promptly ordered. No scallops left so I shared a Crab and Crayfish cocktail with my sister. Being somebody who is neither fond of crab or crayfish (or seafood in general actually), this was somewhat a departure for me but I must admit I enjoyed it, not too fishy with a well made mayonnaise. The alcohol was clearly beginning to have an effect on me. One additional point to note, the Tamworth Belly Ribs ordered by Dan, absolutely delicious!

Next up was the main event, the steak! Now, when ordering, I really didn't know what to go for. I asked the waitress and although knowledgeable, she seemed pretty unhelpful . She recommended the prime rib for flavour so that's what I went for. She then told me I could only order 600g. Now I'm a big guy, but 600g? That's a lot of meat. In the end, I went for the 400g rib eye and boy was I happy. When it arrived, it had a beautiful char on the outside, gloriously pink on the inside and the flavour was unlike any other steak I have ever had. You could really taste the 35 day matured longhorn. Absolute bliss on a plate. It came with a trio of sauces (peppercorn, ketchup and a perfect béarnaise) but I felt almost guilty sullying this piece of meat with any sauce at all. At £21, I thought it was well worth every penny. Piers and Sis shared the Chateaubriand (£66 for 550g) which was ok and although more tender, was not as flavoursome as my rib eye and nowhere near as good value.

With the main meal, we managed to order a bevy of sides. Triple cooked chips were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and delicious. Runner beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach were all very nice. No complaints here.

I was pretty much done at this stage. It was definitely belt loosening time. But my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I proceeded to order the blood orange jelly and blancmange. Made in a mould by Bompas and Parr (renowned jelly makers, what a thing to be famous for!) this had a great wobble and provided more entertainment than taste. It was alright but nothing special, and especially not worth busting my gut for. Sister had a rhubarb and ginger crumble and although the flavours were good, there just wasn't enough crumble and the rhubarb was a little too sharp. I don't really think the desserts are the Hawksmoor's forte.

All in all, I came here to sample the best steak in London and I certainly wasn't disappointed. The steak was on another level to anything else I have had in London. I will be back, many, many times.

Hawksmoor on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

been to gauchos, sophies, hawksmoor lots of times....

none compete with The Popeseye. Sincerely recommend it.

enjoy your blog