Whenever I’ve tried to book a table for dinner at Hawksmoor Air Street, and believe me I’ve tried, it’s always been totally booked up. When walking past on a drizzly Saturday lunch time me and a friend popped in to try our luck and got a table no problemo – hoorah!
It was a long old walk to the restaurant from the entrance; up the large staircase and through the long bar but it was worth the trek. The dining room was attractive and impressively large but the low ceiling made it feel quite cosy.
As is always my worry with steakhouses, the menu wasn’t particularly cheap but the Express Menu which is available between 12-6:30 and after 10pm seemed very good value at two courses for £23 or three courses for £26.
The shrimps on toast was a simple yet heavenly combination. Tiny little shrimps drenched in a butter sauce and scattered generously over a slice of thick crusty toast tasted brilliant. It was quite small though – I could have done with an extra slice of toast perhaps.
Size however was not a problem for our other starter; potted beef and bacon with Yorkshires. It was one of the best starters I’ve ever eaten. Beautifully made Yorkshire puddings and a sweet warm onion gravy were the perfect accompaniments for the rich slow cooked beef. Every mouthful was a truly delightful one. I couldn’t taste the bacon though.
We both opted for the 250g rib-eye (obviously) which was a decent size for a set menu. For a restaurant that specialises in steak, we had hoped for a lusciously tender and juicy bit of beef. It was in fact a bit chewy and quite tough. My friend’s medium steak was worse and really difficult to cut through which was such a shame. The flavour of both was brilliant though, they had a real smokiness which came through in every bite. We just regretted not ordering a sauce (all priced at £3) BIG time.
Two sides were included so we decided to share some triple cooked chips and buttered greens. The chips were lovely and crunchy but the greens could have done with a touch of seasoning. We also ordered some spinach with lemon and garlic (£5) which was the best goddamn spinach I have ever eaten – seriously impressive as it had so much flavour.
I couldn’t resist ordering the peanut butter shortbread with salted caramel ice cream which sounds amazing doesn’t it? And it bloody was. The centre of the shortbread was filled with warm melting chocolate – it was one of the most enjoyably decadent puddings I’ve had in a long time.
We both agreed we had a very pleasant lunch but it was just such a shame that the steak, which should be the star of the show, was the only weak link. That potted beef starter and the shortbread pudding were totally outstanding and for that reason alone I loved Hawksmoor Air Street. I hope that we caught the kitchen on a bad day.