I went to Hawksmoor and left disappointed. There, I’ve said it, I’ve said the thing a steak lover in London should never say.
I’ve lived almost directly above Hawksmoore Spitalfields for almost a year now and I’ve frequented the downstairs speakeasy style cocktail many times and it’s always gone above and beyond high expectations. But as for the restaurant itself, I’d been saving it for a special occasion. It was a Saturday night around 6.30 in the evening when we arrived, an early dinner yes, but reservations were full for later spots. Despite the relative earliness I was surprised that the restaurant was half empty and we still weren’t given a great table. Worse still the next customers to arrive were seating crammed next to us so we all had to listen to each other’s conversations, an odd decision from wait staff given the number of available tables. We took an unspoken alternation of conversation with our neighbours, no one could hear anything if we all talked. I’ll admit I judged them for ordering chicken in a steak restaurant (yes, their meal arrived first despite their later arrival) but when our steaks arrived I took back some judgement. Tender, the steak was not. It is not elegant to endless chew a bit of meat for minutes on end whilst out for a romantic evening. It’s a conversation killer for one thing, and just not expected with a good quality, highly priced, steak. Luckily dessert made some amends, a concoction of peanut butter biscuit and icecream can’t go too wrong. The bar down stairs helped us forget our worries and our steaks. Will I be back? It’s hard to say, a legion of fans can’t be so wrong can they? Perhaps I simply caught Hawksmoore on a bad day.
Image credit: Trip Advisor & A-Magazine