Maybe it’s just me! As you perhaps have seen in a previous review my first experience of Hawksmoor (Seven Dials) wasn’t entirely successful, nice place, great bar but cold red wine and luke warm steaks hampered my enjoyment. I complained they responded nicely so I thought I would give it another go. My next attempt was Sunday when my lovely wife and I thought we would see if we could get a walk in at their new Air St branch. They were full but the receptionist was a touch snooty in brushing us off which was a bit out of order. Never mind we went to Burger & Lobster and had a great meal. As it turned out I was fated to try their Guildhall branch on Monday anyway. Damian was back over from Oz again so Shandy Andy had arranged for a few of us to catch up for a meal. He had used Guildhall before so got us a table in the bar.
I got there first and had a very friendly greeting from their very chatty manager. Like Seven Dials, the restaurant and bar are in a basement. This is smaller though so I felt it worked better as a space especially with all the wood panelling, it was a bit more intimate. He led me down to my table sorted me with some water and the waiter took my order for their Pete’s brew alcoholic ginger beer. It was lovely, a really nice cocktail to kick off the meal. The bar was about half full being a Monday night but it had a nice buzz. They allow non-eaters in here which is good as the cocktails and booze selection is top draw. The other 4 arrived and we settled down to the important job of eating. We eschewed starters for steaks all round and a selection of sides.
I ordered my usual ribeye medium rare. The steaks all came together but the sides were another few minutes. This concerned me as the my steak plate was only just warm and I had visions of the same problem as last time. The sides turned up and were lovely, lovely chips, creamy spinach and huge onion rings. The bone marrow gravy was very nice as well. But what of the steak? Well the medium rare came rare but properly rested so no blood. However they had made the same mistake as last time, it was luke warm, first few bites lovely but it soon lost temperature and the last 100gm weren’t pleasant. I also rushed eating it as I didn’t want it to get cold. Is it too much to ask that they serve the steak hot on a hot plate? Goodman manage it everytime! There is something wrong with their passe system, the steaks need to go out to tables as soon as there are ready. For the most part everyone is having steak so this should be easy to achieve.
Anyway disappointing steak dealt with we had dessert. I had the chocolate tart with salted caramel and popcorn ice cream. It was really rather nice. Not too rich and very tasty, it made up for the steak. I washed it down with a very nice glass of tawny port. The bill came and it was a fairly whopping £350 which for 2 courses a few drinks and 1 modest bottle of red is really going some. So I spent £73 on a dinner in a very nice place with good service, nice drinks but cold steak. The others were happy enough but Hawksmoor just can't get it right for me. As they are fond of saying on Masterchef, if you play it this simple then it needs to be perfect everytime! Based on this I will give Air St a miss!
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Food 4 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 5