Hawksmoor Spitalfields Is Now Sleeker Than Ever
You could lose hours in the newly refurbished Hawksmoor Spitalfields, and we do.
It's not that we eat a staggering amount, though there's no such thing as truly light dining at Hawksmoor, and neither do we drink an impressive amount. It's just that the steakhouse is so full of welcoming booths and warm lighting, so good at buttery carbs and treacly-thick gravy — we end up two hours deep, still picking at chips and trying to convince ourselves we have room for dessert.
Arguably the restaurant didn't need much prettifying. But new additions (like the art deco-ish, stained glass inserts in the windows overlooking Commercial Street, or the dark green, sink-into-them leather banquettes) dial up the cosiness, managing to give the 100+ cover restaurant an Orient Express, member's clubby sort of intimacy. It's probably London's loveliest-looking steakhouse now, and that's up against some stiff competition — mostly, to be fair, from other Hawksmoors.
In every other respect, the occasional new dish aside, it's hard to spot any changes at all.
The menu's still pricey, simple and lavish, still crammed with carbs that threaten to outdo the steak itself for decadence. Everything's so extra. Macaroni cheese is a blue cheese-laced beauty; chips are triple-cooked into something crunchy, fluffy and capable of soaking up phenomenal amounts of the bone marrow gravy we order with our steak.
Steak's unsurprisingly perfect (our sirloin exactly the blueness we ask for; as blue as plenty of restaurants shy away from serving). Bone marrow gravy is a revelation, the Hawksmoor version richer and more velvety than any we've tried before. A starter of crab on crumpets ticks all the comfort-food-meets-opulence boxes that Hawksmoor have made their signature. We finish with a bright grapefruit sorbet and a glass of Eagle Rare bourbon: not being equal to the heftier, treacle-tart side of the dessert menu, but wanting to draw the evening out a bit longer.
The Spitalfields refit might have added a glossy sheen and some extra seductiveness to the restaurant, but for the most part this is still the same old Hawksmoor. Which is, we reckon, a very good thing.
Hawksmoor Spitalfields, 157A Commercial Street, E1 6BJ.
Last Updated 18 April 2018