Fellow carnivores, look no further than the Hawksmoor for your own slice of meatlover’s heaven.
But the Hawksmoor is more than just your average steakhouse. The craft of cooking steak is an art here which is why steak connoisseurs around London flock to this Covent Garden eatery. All Hawksmoor steaks are sourced from Longhorn cattle traditionally reared in sunny North Yorkshire by award-winning butchers The Ginger Pig. They are dry-aged (hung) for at least 35 days and are cooked on a charcoal grill.
Located in the old Watney-Combe brewery, the Seven Dials branch is tucked down a quiet laneway, only a 3 minute walk from Covent Garden station. Hidden in the basement, it has a lively ambience with a vibe of new york cool without the pretence.
It’s hard to find a restaurant in London which not only serves up great food but offers exceptional customer service. As soon as I stepped into the restaurant I felt like I was treated as a person rather than a number. The staff at reception were welcoming and charming and ushered me downstairs where I was introduced to our waiter for the evening.
One of my pet hates is paying for water when eating out so it was a welcome surprise to be offered filtered tap water rather than the usual ‘still or sparkling?’ forced question common at most leading restaurants. Our waiter was well trained and knowledgeable, offering advice and suggestions about all things steak and of course the drinks. Rather than recommending the more expensive steaks such as the Chateaubriand at £12.50/100g, our waiter suggested that the well marbled Bone-in Prime Rib was the best value priced at a reasonable £7.00 per 100 grams.
Despite my usual preference for steak being cooked medium rare, I took our waiter’s advice of a medium cook since this steak is a thicker cut. The charcoal grilled 900gram slab of steak literally made my mouth water. And the taste definitely didn’t disappoint either. It was succulent, pink and juicy with a slightly salty bitter edge associated with charcoal grilling. It had a superb depth of flavour in its own juices and barely needed the béarnaise sauce I chose to accompany it. The sides were delicious too – sweet potato served whole, creamed spinach and potato mash with gravy.
To accompany the steak, we ordered a red wine named Gran Cerdo 2010 (or large pig!). Don’t be put off by the flying pig on the cover, it’s a great quality red and is surprisingly affordable (£26). The cult winemaker Gonzalo Gonzalo, ‘the enfant terrible’ of the Rioja region has succeeded in this luscious combination of berry and earthly tones. On the palate it is rich and juicy with great acidity – a perfect wine match for the Bone-in Prime Rib.
Don’t miss the rather entertaining back label with some interesting descriptions of a pig (describes both animal and person) and includes the following anecdote:
” Gran Cerdo is a great wine dedicated to the bank executives that denied loans to us on the basis that wine is not a seizable asset. One day, these greasy and sweaty corporate suits will find that the best things in life cannot be impounded. Thanks to our friends help, we were finally able to bottle this wine. Now you can enjoy it with pasta or ham”
Unfortunately, there was no room for puddings which is a huge sin for a sweet tooth like me. At least it is yet another reason to come back to this excellent restaurant, I can definitely see myself as a regular here.
Hawksmoor also have branches in Guildhall and Shoreditch and I have heard there is rumour of another in Air Street. Shhhh.