Engage the inner caveman
Hawksmoor is a British steakhouse serving well-sourced beef and we-mean-business cocktails. Although a simple proposition, the difficulty in securing a booking is enough to see how popular the theme is. It is in this wisdom that there are now four branches across London, the Hawksmoor Seven Dials restaurant located in Covent Garden.
The dearest items on the menu are the sharing steaks, priced at £7.50-£13 per 100g depending on the cut. The size of the cuts varies from a manageable 600g portion, to a freakish 1000g. A quick mental arithmetic is all it takes to see that prices can escalate and quickly.
In the hopes of keeping this bill within the realms of the payable, a modest 600g sharing bone-in prime rib (£7.50/100g) will do as the cow input. The steak is sliced open to flaunt its ruby red insides and, like a flag to a bull, is immediately arresting. The flavour, charcoal char, juice, and colour are all-consuming and ruthlessly captivating. A side of mash is drowned in a toothsome excess of gravy, whilst field mushrooms could be better seasoned (avoid).
The menu also offers non-steak options, which include a surprisingly good garlic-butter mixture of shrimps on toast. Another fish offering is a mackerel tartare, which is served in a jar to compact and concentrate the natural smokiness of the fish. Wedges of toast and pickled cucumber are well-judged accessories to the tartare.
As if there hasn’t already been enough extravagance, desserts are both sumptuous and brazenly rich. A beast of a banana tart features glossy, silky, caramelised chunks of fruit, whose sweetness is magnified in a toffee sauce. The pastry to the tart is impeccably thin and well paired with the aforementioned. This convention of sugar and fat is shamelessly repeated in giant rolos – shells of milk chocolate encasing pools of salted caramel.
Hawksmoor Seven Dials is a straight-up kind of place which gives you a quality product to match the price you pay. It is highly advisable to engage the 2+2 section of your brain before plumping for a larger steak. Failing to do so may leave you in a state of alarm, which is inadvisable considering the amount of alcohol (coconut sorbet piña colada, anyone?) and red meat consumed.
For more Hawksmoor goodness, see the Air Street review here.
Tube: Covent Garden