There are so many restaurants in London you could be forgiven for not being aware of all of the good ones. Hawksmoor at 7 Dials is one of those restaurants that you really must try and visit if you get a chance to at least once. I’d suggest going sooner rather than later as you may find you’ll want to frequent this great restaurant on a regular basis especially once you hear about how good the food is and all the offers that are available.
Now for those of you that love great food and fashion there is a fabulous Fashion Feast event taking place at 7 Dials London on Saturday the 10th of June between 12pm and 5pm. I love my food which for regular readers is pretty apparent so hearing that over 50 cafes, bars and award winning restaurants will be coming together to offer tastings and alfresco dining I was super excited. Plus I should mention it’s FREE!!! All you need to do is visit Sevendials.co.uk to register for your FREE ticket. You will also find information at @7DialsLondon.
Taking centre stage is a pop-up demo kitchen opening at midday with ubercool foodie writer Grace Dent and hosted by Jamie Oliver’s social protégé vlogger Katie Pix. The stage will profile five of the area’s top chefs throughout the day cooking signature dishes and giving top tips.
Hawksmoor signature belly ribs.
Restaurants from the likes of Native (Foraged food specialists. Owner and head chef Ivan Tisdall-Downes showcasing their iconic wood pigeon kebab), Hawksmoor (whom you will hear more about shortly who will be demonstrating how to make their signature belly ribs with senior sous chef Pawel Widomski), other demonstrations will be held by Cure & Cut, Monmouth Kitchen, Chick ‘n’ Sours and Talli Joe.
There will be FREE food and drink on offer, Hawksmoor pop-up bar will provide Harvey Collins cocktails with Ford’s Gin for World Gin Day which I strongly recommend you try as they are very good and delightfully refreshing, perfect whilst you wait for your meal to get the digestive juices flowing.
Monmouth Kitchen will be giving away mini tacos at 2pm, Cure & Cut will be providing free cheese toasties and Pierre Herme will create a colourful macaron and ice cream garden with free tastings. Japanese tea specialists My Cup of Tea will also be giving away free rose iced teas to celebrate national iced tea day. Al-fresco dining with live music sets can be enjoyed in Neal’s Yard at award-winning pizzeria Homeslice, chic French eatery CVS and vegan specialists Salad Pride. Victorian bar The Escapologist, quirky cocktail specialists Balans Soho Society, Portuguese Canela, Italian pizzerias Rossopomodoro and Wildwood Kitchen will all be offering dining in the sunshine. Additional discounts, offers and activations will take place throughout the village at fashion, beauty and lifestyle stores.
London’s leading homelessness charity The Connection will pop-up with a baked goods café on Neal Street to raise money and support people away from the streets through specialist services including a day and night centre, street outreach, help finding employment and housing.
Debuting their first West End flagship stores at the event will be Dinny Hall, Knomo, BOKI and Rosa’s Thai.
I was recently invited along to enjoy dinner with a friend at Hawsmoor in 7 Dials. The restaurant is hidden away down a cobbled road in the heart of Covent Garden and the entrance looks like that of a nightclub. As you walk through the doors you are warmly greeted and invited to leave coats in the cloakroom hidden behind wooden panelling.
Dinners are then guided downstairs and either to the bar area or to the dining room. The restaurant is located in a converted brewery and has retained some of the original features. Luckily for the owners the dining area is quite large and it was clearly very popular. The atmosphere is lively and there was a mix of clientele including families with children. There was no music and it was a little noisy from the talking of all those present but you soon distracted from this when your drinks and food come. I was curious to see whether this placed lived up to all the hype. Now for those that are not aware Hawksmoor is well known as a meat lovers paradise. They provide enormous steaks to hungry customers. It might not come cheap but you are paying for quality and healthy sized portions. Be warned some of the steaks are enormous. The cattle used is grass fed and the beef is aged for at least 35 days. For those that have yet to visit the main dishes come literally as stated on the menu so you will need to order sides. Some of the steaks can be ordered by weight and you will be charged a set amount per 100g. Don’t get overly excited though when doing so as you don’t want to be too full to eat dessert!!!
Be sure to look out for the specials boards dotted about the restaurant. Gary our server was keen to tell us all about the different cuts of steak and other items on the menu. For all the vegetarians and vegans I did ask if there was anything appropriate for you all and there was; Ash-baked root vegetables spelt and cow’s curd which could be made without the cow’s curd. For those that prefer fish you can choose from sea bream or lobster the latter would be my choice. Gary seemed very knowledgeable and was extremely helpful, he offered the same service to other diners around us – he was blissfully unaware of my super human observational skills which I made full use of to judge the level of service given to others. I was pleased to see that where service charge was mentioned on the menu it clearly stated that all of it goes to the staff. I must say they sure do deserve it flitting from one table to the next and trying to ensure no one is left unattended or in need of assistance. The service here is top notch along with the quality of the food!
We decided to order our dishes in a logical manner, skipping the starters as we had been struggling recently to finish all three courses at other restaurant reviews. There are some lovely starters on the menu though that we plan to go back and try including the Salcombe crab on toast, Hawksmoor smoked salmon, roast scallops with white port & garlic, okay I could go on but then I am sure you can’t wait to see what we did order.
Now if you go to a restaurant known for it’s steaks you simply must order at least one, so we did. We requested the fillet steak (300g) with the peppercorn sauce.
The size of the steak was very good. It was nice and thick too and cooked as requested. Not only did it taste great it was also exceptionally tender. The sauce was gorgeously smooth and lightly and creamy and did not leave an unwelcome aftertaste unlike some I have had in the past.
We also requested the herb fed chicken with wild garlic butter.
This was cooked with the skin on to keep in the juices. It was tender and moist and the garlic butter was not overpowering. The shared sides included; triple cooked chips, creamed spinach and macaroni cheese. The triple cooked chips had been lightly salted and were beautifully crisp on the outside and fluffy within. The creamed spinach was not drowned in cream and had cayenne, rosemary, garlic, double cream and nutmeg it was gorgeous and smelt wonderful. I loved the kick it had but it wasn’t overly hot so don’t let that put you off ordering if you don’t normally go for heat in your food. I really did enjoy this and was very pleased we had chosen it. The macaroni cheese was also very good. It contains five different cheeses which add with them a nice mix of flavour and I loved the gooey stretchy stringy cheesiness that came with this. The sides were a good size and we found having just the mains with these quite filling.
Now for dessert (we had this at the bar – it was considerably quieter here I will add). Dessert is generally my favourite part of any meals and I must say it did not disappoint. The Sticky Toffee Pudding was gorgeous. It was served with clotted cream which complemented it well and cut through the sweetness of the sauce. The sponge was lovely and moist. This was really lovely and vanished super fast.
Simon the bartender told us this dessert had won an award “Best in London” in 2016 – it was independently judged. Simon I must say was a star – he talks as much as me and is also passionate about food and very informative. Here he is shaking things up at the bar:
And the finished result:
Simon had been enjoying the food at Hawksmoor for a while and was telling us about his favourite foods and desserts. It’s always great to hear that the staff enjoy the food and also that they come in out of hours to enjoy it too – a good sign that they are treated well and enjoy being there.
The Passionfruit Cheesecake was also delicious (I tried a little bit of my friends). This had a crumb base topped with the soft thick yet light and smooth cream cheese mix and dressed with half a passion fruit and white chocolate. This had a passionfruit juice moat for want of a better word. The combination of light creaminess, tang and the slight crunch from the base worked well especially when offset against the sweetness from the white chocolate. The cheese part was not too sweet so the contrast in flavours and textures worked beautifully well.
Each of the dishes whether savoury or sweet were beautifully presented and the staff were very good in both the dining and bar area.
I know you will be interested to hear about some of the offers that these guys available if you are more price conscious.
Sunday roast with all the trimmings will set you back a mere £20. Rump steak is part cooked over real charcoal and finished in the oven. This is served with duck fat roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, carrots, greens, roasted shallots & garlic and lashings of bone marrow & onion gravy. Doesn’t that sound fantastic!!! It is well worth the price. This has been labelled as “The Best Lunch” by The Observer Monthly.
The Seasonal Set Menu costs £30 and includes three courses and a cocktail and is available for reservations made Monday to Saturday 12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 6.30pm and 10pm onwards.
The Express Menu has a choice of two courses for £25 and three courses for £28. It is also available for reservations made Monday to Saturday 12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 6.30pm and 10pm onwards. This has a fantastic selection of dishes including fillet steak as one of the options – there is a £5 supplement for this dish.
Just a quick note that seating’s are for approximately 2 hours so you may be moved to the bar if you go over this time if the table has been booked after.
Another fabulous snippet of information I gleaned from my conversation with the front of staff house staff (I talk a lot lol) was that they do a bring your own bottle on a Monday evening and charge a £5 corkage fee.
Have you been to any great restaurants recently that you’d like to tell me about?
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