Hawksmoor, Air Street
Mimi ON Dec 13, 2012 AT 12:11 pm
by John Gregory Smith
Hawksmoor have done it again – they have found an amazing location, styled it so that even Don and his Mad Men would be in heaven and given the restaurant an exciting twist by adding seafood to the menu. If you have ever been to a Hawksmoor and dined on their superb steaks, or ventured to the subterranean Hawksmoor Bar and ploughed into a fabulous burger, you will know they do things very well. The standard was set high and they have stepped it up for the new restaurant.
We started off with two recommendations all from the sea. Roasted scallops (£14) with wine port and garlic that were seared to a crisp, still beautifully juicy in the middle, and tasted fantastic; and wonderful Elberry Mussels (£9) with bay and chilli. The mussels, which were small and full of flavour, came in a rich winey sauce that had a hint of chilli and big load of garlic. These were my favourite mussels to date.
Mains only got better. I went for the shoulder of Turbot (£35) with a rich béarnaise sauce. This was a lot of cash for a piece of fish, but it was well worth it. The turbot, which was on the bone, was seared on the outside like a steak, but moist and flaky in the middle. The flavour of the fish was so clean tasting that the creamy béarnaise was perfect to slather over the top for some extra richness. The highlight of the meal was a huge piece of monkfish (£36) that had been grilled to a crisp over charcoal. It was smoky crunchy and beautifully soft all at once – frankly, cows you’d better watch out!
Hawksmoor know how to do a cracking side dish. Their mac cheese is a thing of beauty and one of my guiltiest of pleasures. A welcome new addition to Air Street was braised fennel and trotter (£6). This porky vegetable side dish was utter heaven. Juicy and rich with a little crunch left in the fennel, and in my book, one should always have a little turf with one’s surf!
Hawksmoor Air Street, 50 Air Street, London, W1J 0AD, 020 3641 1893, www.thehawksmoor.com/airstreet