Posts for the 'Spitalfields' Category


Hawksmoor Spitalfields Restaurant and Bar

Hawksmoor Spitalfields Restaurant and Bar was the original Hawksmoor, the hugely popular steak restaurant that paved the way for the other Hawksmoor branches in Seven Dials Covent Garden and Guildhall. My first visit to the Hawksmoor at Spitalfields proved to be a good, if slightly inconsistent experience. But when I tried the fabulous lobster roll at the Seven Dials branch, I became a fan of the Hawksmoor brand.

The Spitalfields branch recently launched a bar extension in its basement with 60 covers. Its focus is the bar (rather than food as is case with the restaurant upstairs) and it offers a selection of carefully selected cocktails, some of which date back to the original 2006 Hawksmoor cocktail list. The bar suits the Spitalfields area. It’s cool and chilled, and relies on the use of reclaimed materials to give it a slightly grungy look. There is also a bar menu which is quite distinct to the upstairs dining menu, with more snack-type eats to complement the drinks in the bar. It features a compilation of sandwiches, and more importantly, includes a lobster roll (£15). One cannot order from the main restaurant menu in the bar or vice versa.

It may seem funny that the item I enjoyed the most at a steak restaurant was their lobster, but the one I had at The Hawksmoor Seven Dials was truly glorious. The portion of juicy, tasty lobster was generous, and it was served on a brioche bread roll that was to die for. Finally it had been dressed with an decadent quantity of unctuous butter which turned this into something incredibly satisfying and addictive. Yum. Anyway, the one at Hawksmoor Spitalfields bar.was decent, but a little dry. Also, the brioche wasn’t quite to the standard set by Seven Dials. It only cost £15 rather than the £25 at Seven Dials, but it was also a smaller portion.

Lobster roll

Lobster roll

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Galvin La Chapelle

It would not be an understatement to say that Galvin La Chapelle, the third restaurant to be opened by the Galvin brothers (Chris and Jeff), has to be one of the most stunning looking restaurants in London. A converted Grade-II listed building that was once a school chapel, the room soars high up towards the almighty, ending in the complex framework of crisscrossed beams that support the ceiling. It’s a palatial space that has been decorated to good effect. There is a fine interplay between modern urban features and classically elegant touches – the glass and steel mezzanine level that overlooks the main dining floor is coupled with crisp white linen tablecloths and leather seating. If you are looking for a place to impress, then this probably ranks in the top three in London in terms of design.

We started with a slow cooked pork belly with roasted langoustines and pommes mousseline (£14.50). This was a really beautiful dish. The pork was meltingly tender and juicy, and the langoustines (3 pieces) were delectably sweet and firm. The pommes mousseline exuded buttery richness. Finished with a fine reduction of pork and langoustine jus, this starter produced a harmonious symphony of flavours.

Pork belly with roasted langoustines & pommes mousseline

Pork belly with roasted langoustines & pommes mousseline

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Hawksmoor – Blaggers’ Banquet

Blaggers' Banquet

Blaggers' Banquet

The Blaggers’ Banquet took place last Sunday and it was a roaring success, even if I say so myself! Most of us convened at around 11am (I was late as usual) to start prep and cooking duties, and it was really wonderful to see all of us come together for a common charitable cause, not just us bloggers, but all the really kind people who donated food for the dinner and prizes for the auction. The most heartwarming story involved the people from Fish for Thought who drove a 10 hour round trip from Cornwall on the day to deliver monkfish to us for our starter of monkfish and beetroot tartare.

And my hat off to the bloggers who were on kitchen duties – it must have been pretty pressured stuff, cooking a once off menu in a confined kitchen space for about 50 people!

All hands on deck in the kitchen

All hands on deck in the kitchen

I was ‘leek girl’ for part of the day, chopping lots of leeks. Here is a picture of my handy work.

Leeks

Leeks

And then I helped out with various canapé duties. For canapés, we served some lovely pomegranate and goat’s cheese on crispbread with vanilla salt and chives, tomato and mozarella skewers and gougeres.

Pomegranate & goat's cheese canapé

Pomegranate & goat's cheese canapé

Tomato & mozarell

Tomato & mozarella

As already mentioned, starters was a monkfish and beetroot tartare.

Monkfish & beetroot tartare

Monkfish & beetroot tartare

Mains included buffalo steaks, and lamb and beef stews. Breads were from St John Restaurant.

Buffalo steaks

Buffalo steaks

And desserts included chocolate fondants and Bompass & Parr jellies, followed by a selection of cheeses. All this was washed down with a selection of “Blaggers’ Cocktails”, ales and wines.

Chocolate fondant

Chocolate fondant

Cheeses

Cheeses

So far we have raised over £3,000 for Charity Against Hunger, and hopefully we will raise more money when the auction for all the prizes that we have collected goes live. I will let you know when the auction site is ready for you to visit, so please bid generously.

Finally, thanks to Gekko the hotel recommendations website, from whom I managed to blag an afternoon tea for two at the Ritz worth £85 for the auction.


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Hawksmoor Steakhouse

A fantastic summer berry fool

A fantastic summer berry fool

The lovely people from Gekko invited me out to dinner last week. They like my blog and wanted to chat to me about potentially linking to my reviews on their hotel and restaurant website. I was pretty chuffed. It’s really rewarding to get positive feedback from readers to a point where they like what you do and want to get involved with you.

Their restaurant of choice was The Hawksmoor, a British steakhouse on Commercial Road. In a split second decision that would haunt me, I decided to drive rather than to take the tube. A combination of bad traffic and getting lost worked against me and I ended up being 45 minutes late. Surely this is not a way to make an impression on people you haven’t yet met. But like I said, the crowd from Gekko are really lovely and they were entirely understanding of the situation.

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