Like most guys, I have always preferred quantity over quality for my steak. That was mainly because I had yet to find a really good steak house in London. That was before I stepped into Hawksmoor, which in my humble opinion, served the best steak in London.
Interestingly, I would never had found out about the place if not for a colleague who, after a meeting, proclaimed with conviction to the rest of us that Hawksmoor serves the best steak that she has ever eaten. Now, that coming from a normally reserved person is something to be reckoned with. I called that very afternoon to make a reservation for the same evening but was told that its books was full (surprise surprise). I had to settle for the following evening instead.
My colleague did warn me that Hawksmoor, which is located along Commercial Street, was rather indiscreet. She was spot on about that for we nearly walked straight past it. Other than a plain signboard that featured its name, Hawksmoor's façade betrayed nothing about the fabulous steaks they served.
We were greeted by a friendly staff who promptly showed us to our table when it was clear that we weren't enthusiastic about joining the sizable group at the bar. I guess the fact that my anticipation was killing me was plain for all to see.
Having checked out Hawksmoor's website earlier, I knew that the steaks served were rather large so we ordered a 700g Porterhouse steak (£6 per 100g) to share with Grilled Scallops (£9.50) for starters, Field Mushrooms (£4) and Chips (£4) as sides.
The scallops, which came with peas and bacon (a curious combination) was done just nice. The three sizable scallops all came with roe were succulent and sweet, although I must confess that the salty bacon seemed to have spoilt it somewhat.
While munching on the scallops, our attention were turned to a chalkboard that was hung up prominently on a wall behind us. A staff wrote all the cuts (in terms of variety and weight) available for the day. Upon us ordering the 700g Porterhouse, he proceeded to cancel that off the menu. It seemed that we had gotten the only 700g Porterhouse for the day, what joy!
The medium rare Porterhouse t-bone followed soon after the scallops and we discovered much to our delight that it has been cut to manageable slices. Top marks for thoughtful service. With it comes a couple of sauces - homemade ketchup, a variety of mustard and blue cheese.
It's really hard to describe how it felt when I pushed the first piece of steak into my mouth. The chargrilled steak had a very fine crust outside but remain suitably juicy inside. That must be what food heaven was like - and I have not even added any sauce to it yet. In fact, we were actually planning our second visit after the third bite.
The mushrooms, the size of a kid's palm, was suitably impressive and went well with the marvellous steak. The chips, which Hawksmoor claimed to be triple cooked, wasn't too bad. Perhaps I was spoilt by the steak but I was expecting more from the chips considering that its triple cooked.
I can assure you that no steak would ever taste the same ever again after you have tried the one at Hawksmoor. Besides, the level of service at Hawksmoor was among the finer ones that I have come across in London. (see also review of Hawksmoor at Covent Garden Seven Dials)
Address: 157 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ
Tel: 020 7247 7392 (reservation is a must)
Nearest Tube station: Liverpool Street
Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £50 pp
Service charge: 12.5%
Suitable for: any steak lovers
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Hawksmoor review - Absolutely the best steak house in London