King of steak brings seafood to the table: Hawksmoor Air Street

Renowned for its steak, Hawksmoor has become a London phenomenon. So, despite jumping at the chance to try out their new opening on Air Street, I was a little apprehensive when I heard they were adding seafood to the menu. 

Tucked just off of the bottom of Regent Street, we headed to Hawksmoor on a cold Sunday at the end of October. As we stepped through the big door, we received a very warm welcome, and our coats, bags and umbrella were all quickly concealed within the cloakroom while we ascended the stairs to the bar area.

Hawksmoor Air Street

Hawksmoor Air Street restaurant

The restaurant décor is consistent with that of the other sites. I would describe it as masculine, with its wood panelled walls and wooden parquet flooring, yet it’s sensitively softened with beautiful art deco-inspired shaped mirrors, and large upholstered dining chairs.

From arriving in the bar area, we were greeted by the restaurant host, and shown directly to our table. It was once seated that I had my first opportunity to really take in the atmosphere of the place. As with the other Hawksmoor restaurants, it was relaxed and informal, and complemented by the low hum of the other diners’ conversations. The service was warm and friendly- and very helpful- as we asked our waiter for recommendations. I immediately spotted two scallop starters and was having a dilemma with which one to pick; the roast scallops with white port & garlic, or the fried Queenies with tartare sauce. Under the advice that they were both very good dishes and difficult to choose between, I decided to get them both, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Roast Scallops - Hawksmoor Air Street

Roast scallops with white port & garlic

Deliciously juicy, the roast scallops were elegantly presented in their shells. The fried Queenies were small pieces of battered scallop, served in an ice cream sundae-shaped glass. Dipped into the freshly made tartare sauce, they were delicious and disappeared very quickly. 

Next was choosing a main course. With steak and seafood being two of my favourite things to eat, I was torn between them. On the one hand, new seafood offerings really should be sampled, but I knew exactly what I would have been missing out on if I were to pass up one of London’s best steaks. Luckily, others in my party were gracious enough to agree to share, and so we ordered the royal bream baked in paper with garlic, rosemary and chilli, a T-bone and a rib-eye steak, along with triple-cooked chips, mash & gravy, and buttered greens.  

Sea Bream - Hawksmoor Air Street

Royal bream baked in paper with garlic, rosemary and chilli

The steak was up to the usual exemplary standard that I’ve come to expect from Hawksmoor: it was well seasoned and melted in the mouth, with a good depth of flavour. The Royal bream was light and flaky, infused with a hint of the garlic and rosemary.

When it came to the dessert menu, it was simply a case of the mind was willing but my body wasn’t able. Although I was really tempted by Hawksmoor’s famous jaffa cake, plum & Bramley apple pie, and the sticky toffee pudding, I was so full having enjoyed an amazing 2-course meal. I decided to save these for another day, as I am sure it won’t be too long before I visit again.

Take a look at the new Air Street restaurant menu for yourself.

If you’re eager to try the new Hawksmoor but the pennies are a little tight this close to Christmas, then why not try the fantastic value Express Menu, available Monday to Saturday 12:00 – 15:00, early evening 17:00 – 18:00. You can enjoy 2 courses for £22, and 3 courses for £25.

Hawksmoor – Air Street

5 Air Street  London W1J 0AD

Tel: 020 7406 3980

Twitter: @HawksmoorLondon

About Louise Routledge

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