Hawksmoor’s newest branch came to Air Street not that long ago and being that it’s our favourite steakhouse in London it wasn’t long before we took a trip down there to see if it could get any better.
If you Google ‘Best steak in London’ you’ll find that Hawksmoor is right up there with its contemporaries. The Seven Dials branch has been the stand-out performer between all of their branches and we were excited for Air Street. Mainly because it’s not far from our favourite haunt (Soho) and also that the venue is fantastic. The front of house is based downstairs and once you climb the spiral staircase you’re engulfed in a heavily mahogany space buzzing with diners. The dining room is large and we thought it may be tough to find a table however we were shown to one right away.
This branch of Hawksmoor has taken on a lot of seafood dishes to complement the excellent steak and this has come through a partnership with Mitch Tonks; “the chef/owner of one of the best seafood restaurants in the country” as quoted on their website. The seafood, along with their steak is cooked over real charcoal to seal in that flavour that you crave. With our love of both of these foods, we could tell before we ate that this was going to become our favourite branch.
The waiter, who we must say was excellent, provided us with a large wine menu and helped us get to choosing a Domaine Coudoulet, Syrah 2012. It’s easy to spend quite a lot on wine here when a) it’s this good and b) there’s that much choice so come thirsty! To start we had Elberry cove mussels with bay & chilli and Brixham crab on toast with mayonnaise. Both excellent in terms of how fresh the seafood was and second to the flavour. The mussels came in a bucket with this fragrant broth (cold but this is the best word for it) and it got to a point where we were fighting over the last one. The crab on toast was so fresh and flavoursome it could be had as a brunch item were it larger.
Now on to the reason we are here, steak. If you’ve not been to Hawksmoor before, you can look at the menu and decide that you want a fillet steak or a rib-eye but that’s not what you really want. To have the best that they serve, and because it’s our favourite, we would recommend the chateaubriand. This is served per 100g and your waiter will tell you what cuts they have in the kitchen. The same concept goes for porterhouse, T-bone and their bone-in prime rib. That’s not to say you can’t go for their pre-sized steak cuts, but if you’re here you may as well do it right! Our waiter let us know that they had a 550g piece of chateaubriand which was perfect for two and then it was on to the sides. With a plethora of options, we chose: Lobster Mac & Cheese, Triple cooked chips and Spring greens. These along with peppercorn sauce finished off our main course selection.
The steak comes, pre cut and cooked to perfection. Hawksmoor develop a flavour with their meat that we think is unrivalled. It’s so ultimately moreish that we do wish there was a 700g cut in the kitchen! Medium rare is how we like steak to be served and this was on point and had just the right amount of pink. The lobster mac and cheese was a revelation. We wish there was a few more lobster pieces but it is a side dish and coupled with the lobster bisque that came with it, this could be a main dish in any southern food restaurant. The infamous triple cooked chips are just fantastic and the spring greens were crunchy and fresh.
At this point we were very full considering how much we just ate but then a great menu was placed in front of us. On it read: ‘Puddings, Cheese & After Dinner Drinks’. Our favourite things all on one menu! We ended up going for their signature dish of Chocolate & Salted Caramel Tart and we have to say, if we weren’t so full from main course, this would have got devoured within minutes. Salted caramel is a guilty pleasure at London’s Dinest and this tart was delicious.
Hawksmoor’s Air Street branch is only going to get busier so would recommend a reservation if possible. However don’t let that put you off walking in and getting a table as the art deco dining space is so vast, there should be a table free. Try and check out their wine club on Mondays as well as some of the best roast dinner to be had on a Sunday.
There is no other restaurant in London that combines steak of this calibre that is matched with an equally excellent wine list and it is why Hawksmoor is the best steak in London.
5a Air Street, London, W1J 0AD