Hawksmoor is arguably one of London’s leading steakhouses (of course not forgetting Goodman) and since opening in Manchester, only with Gaucho as real competition, I don’t doubt they’re the best up North too.
As steakhouses often are, it was all very manly; the fact we were in their Guildhall outpost added to the suity feel. The long basement dining room reminded me of a public school’s lunch hall with its wooden panelled walls. It’s a pretty spot though.
To start, potted beef and bacon with Yorkshires (£8.50) is one of those dishes that everyone should try once in their life. The Yorkshire puds are perfectly made, a task which many a restaurant often fails to do, and the addition of some warm onion gravy is a genius one.
Fried oysters with jalapeño tartare (£13.50) suffered from a lack of imaginative presentation though. The flavour and their cooking was spot on, but dumped on a napkin on a huge plate didn’t really do it for me visually.
For mains, we couldn’t resist ordering a rather whopping bone-in prime rib (£8 per 100g) – you can’t beat meat on the bone for flavour. The charred exterior with its crisp fat and soft meat was nothing short of wonderful. A side of Lincolnshire Caesar (£4) was a refreshing accompaniment to cut through the richness of it all.
It’s not all meat on the menu; we tried the monkfish (£24), served on the bone, which was grilled over charcoal to give it a really lovely smokiness. Beef dripping fries (£4) were thin and super crispy.
For dessert, we shared the peanut butter shortbread (£7.50), which, if it wasn’t special enough, came with an incredible salted caramel ice cream. The best pudding in London? Quite bloody possibly.
What was interesting about our dinner at Hawksmoor Guildhall, was that although the meat was pretty amazing, it was the other stuff that really shone. The starters, the monkfish main and ✨THAT✨ dessert (as @Clerkenwell_Boy would say) – all signs that Hawksmoor isn’t just a great steakhouse, it’s a great restaurant.
I dined as a guest of the restaurant.