The Hawksmoor (Steakhouse of Legend)

The Hawksmoor, steakhouse of legend, the place where steaks can do no wrong. I had been dreaming of visiting this place, but like all good legends, one has to wait a bit or a lot to make the legend even more awesome. I had been anticipating dining here so eagerly that I even visited the website. There’s a lot of history behind the place and they even have a steak club. Their beef comes from longhorn cattle and is hung for about 35 days before it is ready for the grill. It’s a rare breed of cattle that is famed for its depth of flavour. They also use charcoal grills, which I thoroughly approve of. You don’t get that smoky flavour with gas or electric. Needless to say it was ticking all the boxes.

I’d like to say that I remember something of the conversation and company when I came here, but the fact of the matter was that I was primarily here for the steaks, and I payed little attention to company and conversation all evening, so rather than being something of a story, this review is ending up being more of my enthusing about food. I even neglected to photograph the food despite bringing my camera along. As there were four of us, we decided to go for two cuts, a tender chateaubriand, and a chunkier ribeye, just to cover all tastes, for some preferred flavour and some texture. Needless to say, sides in a place like this are kind of an afterthought, but we had the usual creamed spinach and root veg.

The Chateaubriand was chunky, meatier than the one we had at the SOS. It wasn’t quite so melt in the mouth as the last one I had but this was a chateaubriand with attitude. It was the sort of steak that would walk into a bar, beat everyone up and then leave with the most attractive girl, yet do it all in a slightly camp way. Attitude and meatiness is somehow not what you’d expect from this cut and some would say it’s missing the point, but, and this is a big but, there are exceptions to every rule. Just as Michael Johnson defied everyone by running upright and setting world records, this Chateaubriand defies convention by being in your face yet tender and subtle.

The prime rib, a ribeye cut with lots of fat still left on it. Served medium rare, it was tender, but not too tender. Whilst the Chateaubriand challenged you, bullied you, this steak I found was like having a ride in a borrowed Pagani Zonda. It said “This is as good as it gets, enjoy it because it’ll be over all too soon.” It was right, the prime rib was probably the best steak I’d ever had, and it was in my belly all too soon, so quickly in fact that I didn’t really sample the sauces that came with it enough. All I really remember is that he peppercorn was really good and so was the bearnaise. Oh well, I’ll have to come back here to try it all again.

I am now a fan of rare breed cattle and I fully support the cause of keeping them going by eating them more. Whilst that gives me an excuse to come back to the Hawksmoor again, I feel I should support something that should be part of our foodie heritage.

Whatever your tastes in a steak, you really can’t go wrong here. They’ve really got something for everyone, and I think even the most pedantic of steak eaters will find much to please them on the menu here.

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