Saturday, 26 March 2011

There is reason behind the Hawksmoor hype

After reading and hearing about Hawksmoor for months, Mr. Sprinkle and I decided to go for dinner at the Spitalfields branch last Friday. Boy, what a great idea that was.  It was one of the best meals I have had in London.  Basic ingredients cooked to perfection.

Between us we had a plate of oysters, a lobster, a fillet steak, a rib-eye steak, a brownie with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream and sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream.  

Here is how the meal went.

I haven't eaten oysters on many occasions so unless the oyster leaves you with food poisoning, I am not sure there are different degrees of oysters (any thoughts on this?). I had half a lobster prepared with garlic and hazelnut butter. It was tender, pretty and delicious.  I could eat a Hawksmoor lobster every day. 

Next up were the steaks which the lovely waiter had helped us select.  Mr. Sprinkle's fillet steak and my rib eye steak were tender and full of flavour; both had a perfect char taste which I know is tricky to produce.  Cook it a second too long and you end up with a steak tasting like charcoal. Mr. Sprinkle had his half lobster with the steak surf 'n' turf style and we shared some triple-cooked chips, roasted root vegetables and a salad.  The chips were divine, the salad was fine while the root veggies were a bit disappointing.  I was hoping for crisp veggies but these were soggy.

As you can imagine we were pretty full at this point, but a quick glance at the pudding menu made us conclude that "when in Rome". Thank goodness because the desserts placed in front of us were mighty fine.  I had the brownie with salted caramel ice cream - need I say more?  It was delicious! Hot and cold, sugar and salt on one plate. Not surprising as the latter set of opposites is McDonalds' secret to selling millions of burgers across the globe each year. Mr. Sprinkle meanwhile enjoyed a sticky toffee pudding with a dollop of clotted cream.  The opposites weren't as extreme as in my pudding, but the round taste of cream went very well with the salty toffee.  

In short Hawksmoor is a meat-eaters paradise. The dimmed lighting, exposed red brick walls and dark wooden furniture creates a perfect setting for eating steak.  Our table was close to the busy bar so it was a bit noisy, but that is only to be expected on a Friday night in Shoreditch.  

Ironically, Hawksmoor has put me off eating meat.  Since that rib eye last week I've decided only to eat good meat.  In London this choice unfortunately often comes with quite a price tag so from now on I will be exploring the world of vegetarians. I will of course continue to keep a (rib)eye on the prize.

Hawksmoor Spitalfields is located on 157 Commercial Street E1 6BJ

*sorry for the poor photos - as mentioned the lighting was quite dim and I was trying to be discreet.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Exploring new neighbourhoods

Apologies for the long silence; these past couple of weeks have been pretty frantic.  I've started a new job and moved to a new flat.  So long office in Clerkenwell and flat in Stockwell, lovely to meet you office by Great Portland Street Station and flat in De Beauvoir Town.  Oh and nice to finally be online while sitting on the couch in my pjs.

I'm loving my new neighbourhood though I already miss my regular places in Stockwell and its vicinity: the 
Old Post Office Bakery, the Canton ArmsBrunswick House Cafe, the Oval Lounge, and the Oval Farmers Market.I will also miss the lively strip of Portuguese restaurants and shops on South Lambeth Road not to mention popping intNardulli's across from Clapham Common for a cheeky gelato.  Luckily I've only moved across the river and, though switching banks is a big deal in London terms, I have every intention of visiting my old pastures every now and again.

I haven't explored my new office neighbourhood much yet, but I'm hoping to discover places that will make up for the fact that I am no longer in lunch-distance from PhoBurrito BrosLook Mum No Hands, the Larder and the White Cross Street Market. So far I've enjoyed a delicious lunch and dinner at The Queen's Head and Artichoke on Albany Street.

Meanwhile my two favourite discoveries in my new neighbourhood are the De Beauvoir Deli and Sabor. I will do proper blog posts on these and much more very soon. Just wanted to say that I am back!