157 Commercial Street
London E1 6BJ
020 7247 7392
Monday to Friday 12-3pm;
Saturday to Sunday 11-4pm
Monday to Saturday from 6-12am
Hawksmoor is a steakhouse situated near Liverpool Tube Station. It was going to be A’s birthday on Sunday, and we wanted to celebrate this occasion the day before and go somewhere we have never been to. We have heard a lot about Hawksmoor. In fact, we intended to go there some time ago, but had to cancel our reservation unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances. This time round, we were determined to make it there and boy were we glad we did!
We started off our meal we a spring cocktail (gin, lemon, mint, and some other yummy stuff inside) which was for two to share. It came in an enormous glass, and it was light and refreshing – very spring-y indeed.
We asked our server for recommendations and she was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. It was very useful to learn about the different kinds of meat as it helped us make our decision and we could avoid the cuts with a lot of fat, which A would not like. We settled for an 850g Porterhouse steak, and we added a portion of bone marrow, some steamed spinach, triple cooked chips and macaroni and cheese.
There is a blackboard listing the various cuts of meats and the weights available. Once one of them has been ordered, the servers will strike it off the list – so it pays to go early and order quickly. The steaks are large enough to share (ranging from 800g to 1.1kg), and 400g per person is a reasonable (and very sensible) order. The table of two next to us ordered an astonishing amount of food – practically double of what we had, and we were just horrified when they actually managed to finish almost all of it.
The food took a while to arrive – for a while there was absolutely no food leaving the kitchen, which reminded us of the episodes of Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen we watched. When the food arrived, we couldn’t stop marveling at how wonderful the steak looked, and how delicious the macaroni smelt.
In short, the steaks were out of this world.
Our porterhouse steak came nicely sliced for us, with the bone dividing the fillet and sirloin portions. The meat was cooked a perfect medium rare, just as our server had recommended. Having both sirloin and fillet in the same cut allowed us to get the best of both worlds – the fillet was very meaty and intense, and the sirloin was more tender and had just the right amount of fat to A’s liking. There was a very subtle sweetness to the meat, which was absolutely lovely. I thought initially that the sweetness came from the sauce, but A pointed out that it was the caramelisation process while grilling the meat that produced the natural sweetness. This was a sign of the meat being properly cooked.
The marrow was heavenly. The bone was split into two, which made scooping the marrow far easier than it was in Chez Fernand. A wouldn’t have any of it – she wouldn’t have enjoyed it anyway – it was creamy and rich and everything that she wouldn’t like, so I polished the whole lot by myself in an instant. The triple cooked chips were quite disappointing though. We expected them to taste far better than they did. By the sounds of it we expected something that was crispy and slightly charred, but to be honest, they were just about slightly above average chips. The ketchup sauce that accompanied them was very special though – it was more watery than the normal bottled ketchup, and there was a very nice fresh tomato-y taste to it – perhaps it was home made?
The macaroni and cheese smelt heavenly when it first arrived, so we had all sorts of great expectations for it. It was definitely a great tasting dish, but we had to add a little salt to it first. A thought that the macaroni was overcooked though. Our spinach was perhaps the healthiest part of our meal. We consciously went for steamed spinach instead of the buttered or creamed version, which was very wise as it gave us a clean, healthy contrast to all the other rich and fatty foods we ordered – a palate cleanser between each sinful bite, if you will.
We thought of ending this wonderful meal with desserts, but unfortunately their dessert menu was quite meager, so we skipped it. Anyhow, we were suitably full from all the food and it would have been too much to eat had we ordered dessert.
Overall, Hawksmoor is a place we highly recommend. Their steaks are fantastic, and if you are quite clueless about steaks, as we are, you will find yourself learning quite a lot just by asking your servers, who will help you find the perfect cut and size to order. We thoroughly enjoyed this meal, and think we will be back for more.