Friday, November 23, 2007

Hawksmoor

Although it is said that Hawksmoor is patterned on a NY steakhouse its decor is far too eclectic, the wait staff, dare I say it, too bohemian, and its location in one of the cities trendiest neighborhoods not where you will usually find a typical NY steakhouse. There is also the demographic difference, were as NY steakhouses tend to be the refuge for suited professionals the crowd here is far more diverse both ethnically and in terms of age. One thing Hawksmoor does share with NY steakhouses is that you can get a fantastic steak here.

The Sirloin, or NY strip in American parlance, is utterly exquisite, despite the rather lackluster exterior charring. The steak was ordered black and blue but the waitress admitted that the grill was not quite up to the task of properly charring the outside. Still the interior was wonderfully cool and it had an abundance of dry aged (or "hung" ) flavor. Sourced from Longhorn and grass fed the steak was far more marbled than has been my prior experience with this type of feeding. Interestingly the steak is served with the entire T bone intact, as opposed to the traditional serving method of the cut in the States where the bone is truncated into an L.

Cauliflower and cheese. Although I would eat a technically more proficient version of this hearty dish a few nights later at the Rib Room the Hawksmoor version was just more comforting, being chunkier with an over the top Cheddar flavor. I can also enthusiastically recommend the triple cooked chips which are outstanding.

The rib steak was not the equal of the sirloin, being served off the bone it lacked the bold flavors of the latter. Still it was not a bad steak but not the equal of what you can find in a NY steakhouse. The sirloin on the other hand absolutely was.

What a delight it is to find such a top rate steakhouse in such unpretentious surroundings. It has been many years since I lived in London and my dining experiences are rather limited here but the Sirloin at Hawksmoor is the best steak I have eaten in the UK. In a week were I ate the vaunted porterhouse at Peter Luger and had a 40 day dry aged ribeye at Primehouse in NY the steak here left me wanting for little more than a touch of fire. In terms of marbling, dry aged flavor and tenderness the Hawksmoor equaled the offering from NY. I can happily recommend Hawksmoor, Londoners can take heart that they are not missing the great steak experience that we get in NYC and traveling American beef eaters can take solace that they can find a great steak in London.

Hawksmoor
157 Commercial Street
London. E1 6BJ
United Kingdom

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