Friday, 28 January 2011

Hawksmoor review Covent Garden Seven Dials steakhouse - scores on food, ambience and service




Address: 11 Langley Street
London WC2H 9JG
Tel: 020 7856 2154
Nearest Tube station: Covent Garden

Ratings (out of 5 *) Price: Below £20 pp
Service charge: 12.5%
Taste: *****
Service: *****
Ambience: *****
I have to realize how lost I would be without my phone. More precisely I would be utterly lost without my phone's GPS function. Just the other day, Wife and I wandered up and down Langley Court looking for Hawksmoor branch at Seven Dials only to find out that it's at Langley Street instead later on. Not that we mind really as we ended up at Dishoom for lunch instead.

This time round, I was determined to get it right and pinpointed Hawksmoor's location before setting off.

Tucked behind an ongoing renovation, Hawksmoor's main entrance would be hidden from view if you were to approach from Coventry Garden's main thoroughfare. Once you are through the heavy doors, you would be greeted by a friendly pair of receptionists in a decent size lobby - it was obvious that Hawksmoor was anxious to avoid the same issue in its restaurant at Commercial Road and the Seven Dials' branch was built for a horde.

As if that was not enough, there was a lift that for those who couldn't manage the two flight of stairs down. Not only that, Hawksmoor proved to be one of the most baby friendly places we have been to. The moment we were sat down, a staff very helpfully towed out a 'Stokke' highchair without prompting. Now, for the uninitiated, a Stokke chair is one of the sturdiest in the market; each Stokke "Tripp Trapp" costs around £120 and is built like a tank. The friendly gentleman who brought it to us joked that he tried sitting in one of those and verified that it was sturdy.

But we aren't particularly concern about baby highchairs here are we? Let's talk burgers then. Having verifying that Hawksmoor's steak is among the best in London, we were at the Seven Dial's branch for a sole purpose and that was to try out its famed Hawksmoor burger.

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For £15, the burger comes with the choice of either beef dripping chips or triple cooked chips. The former, which sounded more sinful, was the natural choice for me. The lights were a bit dim when the burger came but I can assure you that the real thing looked tons better. Boy, was it heavenly. 100% Longhorn steak patty (cooked to medium rare at my request) topped with a melted cheddar cheese, some lettuce sandwich in two slightly crisped bread toasted till slightly brown - it was pure ecstasy (sorry Albion).

I was a bit sceptical with Wife's choice initially. When her kimchi burger arrived, I took a peep under the bonnet. Well, the burger looked very much like the Hawksmoor version save for a couple of kimchi slices just above the bottom piece of bread. Wife took a small bite and proclaimed that kimchi went surprisingly well with beef. I helped myself to it and concurred. It is an acquired taste really. Kimchi brought out another side of beef that no ordinary pickles could. No question for kimchi fans but if you aren't one, it'll take some getting use to. But I would urge you to go for that if you are bored of the same o' burger.

Wife and I are still quite amused about what happened when we were ordering dessert. The burgers with chips turned out to be more substantial than we thought but we thought that we had to try some dessert. We had some trouble deciding between peanut butter shortcake salted caramel ice-cream and mini sundae (we simply couldn't force down both), and decided to ask the waitress for a recommendation.

"Mini sundae!" the waitress quipped without any hint of hesitation and a wide grin. "Ok..." Wife continued," so should we go for the cornflakes, sticky toffee or..." "Sticky toffee!" the waitress volunteered before Wife could utter the word "chocolate". So there you go, our choice for dessert made with minimal fuss.

You know what they say about desserts. They are sinful, no doubt about that. However, there's always a safety catch. The most sinful ones invariably taste awfully sweet so you'll know when to stop (well, most of us do). But in all honestly, they should ban Hawksmoor's mini sundae. The mini sundae was one of those sneaky ones that didn't taste all that sweet but it did taste downright sinful. It's hard to describe really but the sticky toffee did its job well.

With the number of quality restaurants that have sprung up over at Covent Garden's Seven Dials' vicinity, we are looking for excuses to drop by every other weekend. Would I return to Hawksmoor again? Defintely. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Well, you'll know what to go for when it comes to dessert.

Hawksmoor (Seven Dials) on Urbanspoon

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