Hawksmoor Guildhall

I think I may have eaten at all the Hawksmoor locations now, after having dinner with my sister at the Hawksmoor City branch. Also open for breakfast and suprisingly close to where I live, it’s a tempting offer since it’s only about a ten or fifteen minute walk. I’d really have to do something to both work up an appetite for the meat-heavy plate and also do something to work it all off.

I agreed that I’d meet my sister for dinner after going to the gym, knowing how rich and decadent the Hawksmoor meals could be and how I can’t really stop myself from ordering. It’s one of the most consistently great places I trust for a good steak even if it’s sometimes hard to get a booking.

On a Friday night, the Hawksmoor Guildhall branch was buzzing. It was one of those strange days where it was raining particularly heavy outside. I’m glad I was able to leave my soaking wet umbrella upstairs in the cloakroom before descending downstairs. I’m met by I’m guessing the head maitre-de who was fantastically friendly, striking up a conversation instead of simply leading me to my table.

Fortunately I booked and I didn’t have to wait for my table, with my sister joining about five minutes later. The classic Hawksmoor elements are there. A warming bar for those waiting for tables or who failed to reserve a table. Dark wooden tables, an underground cavern feel and the buzzing nature of a busy steakhouse.

One thing that stood out for me in this particular Hawksmoor location (and it wasn’t just me as my sister commented on it too) was how extremely noisy it was. We fortunately had a table against the wall at the back of the dining room, with a wide view of the entire restuarant. However, maybe it’s a city thing, particularly on a Friday when too many city workers had already had a few and there were notably a lot more shrieks and group “chants” than I’ve ever heard anywhere. It made me feel like I was attending a football match than I was dinner.

Like most of the Hawksmoor restaurants, their waiters and waitresses are friendly. We had a particularly warm Spanish (I think) waitress who took care of us for the evening. She refilled our tap water without hesitation, and observed when the bread that I ordered hadn’t arrived when the appetiser we ordered had, asked if we still wanted it.

We went a bit lighter on ordering, sharing a starter (the Tamworth Belly ribs are to die for and significantly larger than normal portion), skipping dessert and just opting for a good steak with some nice sides Perfectly cooked medium-rare steak arrived for me and went down a treat with the umami-rich mushrooms, creamed spinach and the wonderfully executed fries. No disappointments there.

My sister asked if she could order something off the bar menu, and not feeling like a steak opted for the beef brisket sandwich served in a toasted brioche bun with bone marrow sauce. Considering how rich, tasty and large it was, it is a really good deal for the price we paid.

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