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Hawksmoor Seven Dials review

Hawksmoor Seven Dials review

I have always been the type of individual to take a contrary view – almost for the sake of it, taking misguided pride in the fact that I seldom succumb to peer pressure or blindly follow the masses to become part of an illustrious group. However, there are those rare occasions in my life when the lure of becoming part of an “illustrious” group is too great: like when I bought one of those appalling tamagotchis at school or a pair of bland Reebok classics, or most recently wanting to be part of a select few who had experienced the meaty delights of the amazing Hawksmoor.

I was told by numerous carnivores that eating at the Hawksmoor would change the way I viewed steak forever. To them, there is steak, then good steak, then even great steak, but beyond that there is steak you get from the Hawksmoor. Naturally, before I had experienced a Hawksmoor steak I thought such words were the pompous rhetoric of folk happy to blindly pay over the odds for what was simply a slab of red meat. Little did I know…

There was no way I was going to pay £30+ for a steak to enjoy at a run-of-the-mill lunch or dinner with a mere acquaintance! I needed a special occasion. After deliberating with my significant other on destinations for our first year anniversary – a relationship which began most romantically/ironically down the road at one of Covent Garden’s famous nightclubs – the Hawksmoor ended up being an easy choice. Surely the celebration of an anniversary was as good a time as any to enter this brave new steak world.

For the last 3 weeks I had been telling any mug who would listen that I was going to the Hawksmoor, building it up so much in my own head I could have sworn I made myself ill! After dosing myself up with vitamin c and lemsip and getting an indulgently invaluable lesson from a meat-loving friend who had also been to the Hawksmoor I was ready. Monday is BYOB night with a £5 corkage fee, so like bosses, me and the lady brought in some champagne sitting in my fridge for nearly 2 years and a nice bottle of red to add to the occasion and (importantly) save that dough!

On entering the inconspicuous Hawksmoor at Seven Dials (which I am told by many is their best restaurant) you are immediately struck by the classic steakhouse decor, but also how relaxed and unstuffy everything is. This was refreshing, but for what we were paying I have to say I naively expected our waiters to be wearing ties at least! No matter – after all I was here for the food.

On the recommendation of various carnivore friends telling me “they were the best I’ve ever had” there was only one choice for my starter: the Tamworth Belly Ribs. At £10 a pop for two, they better have been! On taking my first bite, I at once understood what these carnivores were on about. Wow is an understatement! Succulent, juicy, sweet, spicy are all slightly sexual but truly accurate adjectives. The lady had the Smoked Salmon on Soda Bread to start which she loved and I picked at approvingly.

The main event here is clearly the steak. As we were fairly amateur in the ways of the steak, our excellent server patiently explained the complicated blackboards around the restaurant setting out various cuts and weights of meat and even brought out a beautiful Rib-eye so that I could see what I planned to devour. I opted for a 400g Rib-eye and the lady a 300g Fillet both cooked medium rare. As we were in the mood to “go hard”, we also got the half Native Lobster, Stilton Mac and Cheese, Creamed Spinach (the lady’s confusing albeit delicious choice given we were in a meat restaurant!), Beef dripping chips, Stilton Hollandaise and Bone Marrow Gravy.

The glee on our faces when the expensive feast arrived at the table was apparent for all to see – it would have been cute if we were children, but as grown adults it was all rather laughable. Because of the sheer volume of food in front of us it took an age to decide what to pick at first. Inevitably, we settled with just cutting into our respective Rib-eye and Fillet which were delightfully melt-in-the-mouth perfect. I can honestly say it was the best steak I had ever had. The Bone Marrow gravy and beef dripping chips were sensational accompaniments. The Mac and Cheese an unnecessary but delectable treat. I could have easily polished off 10 platefuls of the Native Lobster which was so sweet and plump it deserved to be enjoyed on its own. With every mouthful I was saying: “so this is what perfection tastes like..?” The lady was in her own world no doubt enjoying her experience. Everything was so good, almost too good that I was subconsciously looking for fault, which never came. I politely finished off the lady’s fillet after her excellent effort, which meant there was one bite sized piece of Rib-eye I simply couldn’t finish. With regret and appreciation at our efforts our waiter removed our leftovers.photo(4)

Somehow, we found room for dessert! I opted for a Sticky Toffee Pudding, which you just know was the best Sticky Toffee Pudding I had ever had. The face I made when I had my first mouthful was so explicit it was verging on inappropriate. The lady had a Chocolate Orange Bar which so made her night I was a little intimidated.

The final bill was not cheap by any stretch, but for the outstanding food, superb service and overall experience, I do not hesitate to say that the Hawksmoor is actually good value for money – maybe somewhere to reserve for that special occasion? If you’re an unapologetic carnivore, you need to get your behind to this place so that you can say with pride: “I have been to the Hawksmoor”. You might incidentally become part of an “illustrious” group, but this is something to embrace – just this once. Yes, I’m gassed, but those who have been to this great place will understand. If you are vegetarian don’t even bother coming here.