Hawksmoor is one of my favourite London restaurants. Take the best ingredients you can find, cook them very carefully and serve them in an environment that is both smart and relaxed. I’ve had phenomenal dinners and the best breakfast I can remember – but i’ve never been for Sunday lunch.
A roast dinner is a British institution – it uses the best of our native ingredients and every Sunday will bring families together to eat rather more than they should. I’ve had some truly excellent roast dinners around London – The Orange, and it’s sister, The Thomas Cubitt stand out particularly strongly. How does Hawksmoor measure up?
Really rather well – I’ve waxed lyrical about the staff and atmosphere before so i’ll chop straight to the food. We had starters (which turned out to be a bit ambitious) the pork ribs were as stunning as ever – rich, fall apart tender and delicately spiced. A beetroot salad was lovely – though I’d have preferred the beets warm.
The main event was the roast – a towering yorkshire pudding the size of a small football played host to some really marvellous roast potatoes. A slab of beautifully pink roast beef is draped elegantly across a pile of lovely veg (tender carrots and great sprout tops) along with a roasted shallot and some wonderful garlic.
The meat is stunning – well aged and incredibly moist. Most roasting joints would be inedible this thickly cut, but theirs falls apart. The bone-marrow gravy is rich and unctuous and helps tie it all together. This is an enormous plate of food – I have a pretty serious appetite and I barely made it out the other side.
Dessert was never going to happen so we settled for some salted caramel rolos – little hemispheres of dark chocolate with a lovely smooth caramel inside and just the slightest hint of salt.
Hawksmoor does the best breakfast in London and it’s certainly no slouch for dinner, and the Sunday roast certainly doesn’t let the side down. It really is an excellent restaurant – a temple to simplicity and provenance. You are going to have to do something very special to find a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon – though don’t make any plans for the rest of your day – find somewhere comfortable and have a well earned nap.
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