Review: Hawksmoor Air St
Wandering up the stairs of Hawksmoor Air St, having already covetted the wonderful turquoise green leather sofa and chairs in the foyer, I was struck by the beauty and elegance of the enormous art deco style light fitting gracing the ceiling above the stairs. I grinned.
I had been lost for a bit, wandering in and out of streets, up and down roads, down blind alleys. I have lived in London 11 years but am still frequently lost. Then I get frustrated and impatient with it and make terrible decisions and go wildly off course. Even with maps on my phone. I don’t know how.
I was swiftly calmed on arrival at the new Hawksmoor on Air St, simply just off Regent St. How did I get so lost? I love what they have done here. A gorgeous, large and still intimate room (there are 230 covers). Calm and wooden, part James Bond / part Gotham City. Large semi circle stained glass windows blur the red London buses and the traffic outside. Bang in central London yet in a bubble along side.
Hawksmoor does steak and cocktails, but this new Hawksmoor focusses on fish too. They have partnered with Mitch Tonks of The Seahorse in Devon, who makes sure they get the very best fish fresh every day.
All day I was thinking, I should try the fish but I want a steak, an endless circle of neediness and want. I decided to go half and half when I arrived. The queenies for starters were irresistible, fluffy and light with a crisp crumb, and large jug of tartare sauce. The lobster cocktail was too fabulously retro for me to resist. Large chunks of gorgeous sweet lobster meat in an old school marie rose sauce with lots of crisp lettuce. Irresistible.
For main course, I had to have steak. We both did. So, 350g English and – in their words, dictionary thick – sirloin steaks from The Ginger Pig, cooked perfectly medium rare with a lovely char from the grill. Crisp fluffy triple cooked chips on the side, and some bone marrow gravy for me. The mac and cheese should be renamed cheese with mac. It was beautifully intense and rich.
Steak demands red wine, so we consulted the sommelier. He asked which part of the wine list we wanted and I pointed towards the first lot of bottles, something under £40. He recommended a wonderful strong and elegant Spanish red wine that was perfect with the steak and mac n cheese – Cruz de Alba Crianza 2009.
I was pretty full now.
How could I resist more retro fabulous classics like salted caramel rolos (SWOON) and a giant jaffa cake? I couldn’t and did not. The fabulous full fat butter old fashioned helped wash it down. A great drink, all of the taste of an old fashioned but in a warm butter blanket which gently eases it down.
I didn’t want to leave at this point. I was so cosy and comfortable and enjoying every little thing. Hawksmoor is unashamedly ballsy and full of flavour but so gentle and welcoming at the same time. So, we went to the bar where I had an espresso martini made with vodka, homemade coffee liqeur and Climpson’s coffee.
Reluctantly, I left for home.
I ate at Hawksmoor during the soft launch. All food is 50% off until Thursday 1st November when it launches properly.
I was already a fan. I am now an even bigger one.
Previous posts on Hawksmoor:
Girls Just Want to Have Steak! [Girls Steak Club at Hawksmoor, London]
Hawksmoor – The Burger
Hawksmoor in Seven Dials & the Evolution of the Hawksmoor Burger
Breakfast of Champions at Hawksmoor Guildhall