Cut to less than a week later, and I'm told that Hawksmoor do the best steaks in London. If you'd told me a year ago that I would be meeting people from the internet for dinner, I'd have probably laughed at you. But it's not that weird really. Having joined Twitter, myself and a few other bloggers decided that a steak night must be arranged, mainly out of sympathy for someone having to endure a meal at a vegan restaurant that don't cook their food much. So myself, Chris, Helen and Charles (who works at Tipped) met on a rainy Monday night for a healthy dose of protein.
Upon arrival, the name of the restaurant is rather obscure. Luckily I printed out a map before I left, as I have absolutely no sense of direction and frequently get lost. The restaurant is quite simply decorated; a few circular tables, several square and a small bar lined at the back. I'm told the cocktails are great, but as it was a Monday night I resisted. They did serve a mean Punk IPA which I later discovered to be a very good accompaniment to the steak.
The menu is quite extensive. There were starters of ribs, smoked salmon and the like, but we were only there for one thing - the steak. I opted for the 400g rib eye, cooked to medium rare, with a side of triple cooked chips.
All the meat at Hawksmoor is supplied by The Ginger Pig, a rather well known and respected producer. Their beef is Longhorn cattle, raised in North Yorkshire, hung for at least 28 days and cooked simply on a charcoal grill.
Everyone elses steaks came out first, and they were huge. At around 3" thick, they were nicely charred on the outside, and by all accounts, perfectly cooked. When mine came out I was mildly disappointed as it was a mere inch thick but bigger in surface area. However, upon tasting it all disappointment was expelled. It had a great charcoal flavour, whilst still remaining perfectly medium rare, as requested. It was also generously seasonsed, something many restaurants inexplicably fail to do. Served alongside were Béarnaise and peppercorn sauces, my favourite being the peppercorn. Purists will say that steak doesn't need a sauce, but whatever; it was good. Pleasingly, mid-way through I encountered a gorgeous pocket of buttery flavoursome fat, my main reason for ordering the rib eye. The chips were crispy on the outside and fluffy within, and complemented well by a fresh ketchup.
When we got there we were only one of two tables, but when we left it was almost full which is impressive for a Monday night. It isn't cheap, but good meat rarely is. I'm not sure if I can order another steak (or indeed, cook one myself) again as I don't think it would live up to this one.
157 Commercial Street
Tel: 0207 247 7392