A practically flawless dining experience
Hawksmoor (Seven Dials), Review
Hawksmoor Seven Dials offers a flawless dining experience that few other London restaurants even get close to. It doesn’t fail to impress on service, atmosphere, or most importantly, the steak, which it is renowned for. The restaurant strikes the perfect balance of great ambience, stylish interiors, unobtrusive but attentive service, and excellent food that it works for either a special occasion dinner, or casual bite after work.
We started with a cocktail in 1960s–style bar , which looks as if it has come straight from Mad Men’s Manhattan, and offers a well-crafted cocktail list. Drinks are categorised according to their restoritive qualities and what time of day you are drinking, such as Anti-Fogmatics and Post-Prandials. We ordered two ‘Garden Party‘s, the Hawksmoor’s English take on the Negroni, it was perfectly refreshing and bitter. The bar also offers a separate, more casual menu of burgers and bar snacks, though you can still order the full restaurant menu.
We were led to the dining room, an open, cavernous space, that feels warm and relaxed. There’s a mix of large and small tables, and waiters are casually dressed, adding to the relaxed feel. The Hawksmoor Seven Dials menu allows you to order individual cuts of steak, or larger cuts (up to 1.2kg) which are great to share as a group (if you’re all happy to eat the same thing, that is).
As there was only the two of us, we went with the individual steak and both ordered the Rib-Eye, which was a significantly large portion of meat on its own (400g). The steak was succulent, with a perfect amount of marbling and the taste was perfection. I asked for medium-rare, it was perhaps slightly too rare for my liking in the middle, but glad I went for that, as the medium that my friend looked a bit too overdone. The chef just needs to find the balance between the two.
Usually I hate when they charge extra for sauces, but it seems to be the norm in London steak restaurants. In this case, the side sauces were delicious and worth paying for. Having recently gotten over my queasiness of bone marrow, I ordered the Bone Marrow Gravy, which had a rich, depth of flavour, a perfect accompaniment. Peppercorn was also hard to fault, with a flavoursome sweet, peppery taste. They also offer complementary mustards or horseradish if you prefer.
We also ordered sides, which were well-done and dependable, Beef Dripping Fries were crispy with strong flavour. I’m not the hugest fan of Creamed Spinach but it wasn’t too heavy or greasy to overwhelm the steak.
Dessert was tough choice as there are so many amazing things to try (Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart, Salted Caramel Rolos – Hawksmoor are fully embracing the salted caramel craze). Given we were so full already from the huge steaks (I don’t even know how people fit in a starter), I went with a lighter option, Ice Cream, which you can order by the scoop. I got Popcorn and Cornflake – both of which were a revelation; when it hit your tongue it truly tasted like you’d had a handful of each, except extra rich, creamy and delicious! Popcorn icecream where have you been all my life! I didn’t try the cheese board my friend ordered, which only comes with 1 cheese, the Colson Basset Stilton but I thought was good value considering the array of biscuits and crackers that it came with (including a delicious fig biscotti which I did nibble on).
Hawksmoor hits the perfect balance, in that it delivers what it sets out to offer, but does it so perfectly, it really does impress. All the details (whether it’s the food, service, or décor) are to exceptional quality that it all adds up to a practically flawless dining experience. A great London restaurant, would happily come back again and again.
Images courtesy of Hawksmoor.
|Rib-eye x 2||£29.00 each|
|Bone Marrow Gravy||£3.00|
|Beef Dripping Fries||£4.50|
|Colston Basset Stilton w/ Pears & Walnuts||£5.00|
|Ice Cream x 2||£3.00 each|