Hawksmoor, Seven Dials

Posted By Kerri

Writing about Hawksmoor is not an easy thing to do. It’s a popular place and most people that are interested in food have already written about it, in a far more eloquent way than I can ever hope to achieve. I was planning to just let the pictures do the talking but the beautifully atmospheric lighting in the restaurant resulted in some pretty terrible photographs that don’t even come close to doing justice to the excellent food we ate on Sunday.

Regarded by almost everybody as the best steak in London, we visited the new Seven Dials branch on the last day of their soft opening which meant we got to eat enormous amounts of steak at 50% of the normal cost. And incredible stuff it was too.

The new restaurant is located on the site of the old Watney Combe brewery (which I didn’t know anything about until I read it on the website) on Langley Street in Covent Garden. It’s a cavernous, underground space that has been beautifully refurbished with many salvaged features, including parquet flooring from Christie’s auction house and proper London Underground tiling.

What particularly impressed me, (apart from the well-sourced, incredibly-flavoured, expertly-cooked, perfectly charred, beautifully tender, melt-in-the-mouth steak), was the care and attention that had been given to the rest of the menu. As with the original Spitalfield’s outpost, the cocktail list is extensive and quirky. We were here for Sunday lunch though and, apart from a couple of spicy bloody mary’s to start, were sticking to wine. That wasn’t a problem though since, as expected, the wine list was well thought out and reasonably priced.

On the food menu, there was plenty of fish to choose from if that’s your thing and an impressive selection of starters and side dishes. The steak is, of course, the main reason for visiting but the attention to detail applied to everything else lifts this place from “just” a steak house to a fully-fledged and faultless dining experience.

Starters of corned beef and clams in bacon broth stood out as being both accomplished and just innovative enough; this was good food, cooked well and without any unnecessary fiddly bits added.

The beef-dripping chips were easily the best I’ve ever eaten and the bone-marrow gravy was inspired. The two together created something akin to a Sunday roast and made me wonder if perhaps I should have ordered that instead. Stephen opted for the anchovy butter with his which resulted in a more traditional steak-and-chips affair but it was none the worse for it. He bucked the trend of the table and ordered the ribeye steak instead of the sirloin chosen by the rest of the group and it was a good decision. A slightly deeper, beefier flavour with an excellent charring from the Josper grill and the deft hand of the chef in charge. I couldn’t finish my steak so they wrapped it in brown paper for me to take home which made for a pretty good lunch the next day.

I would have happily paid full price for the food we ate on Sunday and hope to return soon to sample that Sunday roast. In the meantime, the bar is beautiful in its own right and well worth a visit. Quite how you’d manage to go there for a drink and not end up eating in the restaurant or at the bar though I don’t know. Which is no bad thing, in my opinion.

Seven Dials,
11 Langley Street,

Oct 31st, 2010

One Comment to 'Hawksmoor, Seven Dials'

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  1. Tim said,

    It was all so splendid!

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