Restaurant review: Hawksmoor Guildehall, EC2

The Guildehall branch of Hawksmoor

The Guildehall branch of Hawksmoor - Credit: Archant

Steak stars try their hand at seafood

A selection of Hawksmoor's new pescatarian delights

A selection of Hawksmoor's new pescatarian delights - Credit: Archant

Well known beef aficionados and undisputed masters of the steak Hawksmoor have added a new string to their culinary bow.

Apparently in response to comments by a couple of regulars, Will and Huw – the men behind the bovine empire – decided to up their seafood game, at least the Guildehall branch of the mini-chain.

The result is a new menu balanced fairly equally between fruits of the ocean and the field; hake, octopus, clams etc. now sit alongside earthier treats like pig trotters and potted beef with bacon.

The roast scallops with port and garlic were sublime: firm shellfish in a delicate sauce, fragrant with tarragon.

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In total contrast, in terms of daintiness, was the streak tartare: an unreconstructed French favourite delivered to perfection – the fillet mince well-seasoned with just the right hint of fiery spice.

The monkfish had been chargrilled beautifully on the BBQ and fell off the bone in lusty, mouth-watering chunks, while the half dorset lobster had also been given the treatment over the hot coals and the succulent flesh was swimming in garlic goodness.

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And of course it stands to reason that you can’t eat at Hawksmoor and not have the steak – it’d be like heading to Rome and not trying a pizza.

Our 400g rib eye was everything you’d expect: tender, juicy, cooked to a medium rare perfection, with a touch of bitterness on the outside and absolutely bruising with marbled flavour. Exceptional.

For dessert – not that it was really required after the carnivorous pescetarian banquet we’d just had – was an adequate, rather than spectacular, chocolate and salted caramel tart.

Having long been a fan of Hawksmoor, it’s pleasing to see they’ve put the same attention to detail and quality into their underwater fare as they always have to their beef. It’s by no means a cheap meal, but it’s a beauty – one for special occasions. And now it’ll be much easier to invite non-steak lovers to join you.

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