I feel sometimes that I am so terribly untrendy. I mean I haven’t even eaten at Goodman’s, Polpetto or Dishoon to name but a few. So uncool I hear you cry.
On the other hand I’m also not the kind of person who rushes to those newly opened restaurants, to be able to say I was the first few to have sampled the delights of a new eatery. I prefer to let places breath for a while. It gives the team involved time to iron out those creases that arise from any opening. I mean who wants to eat at a restaurant that isn’t running at full stride and hitting perfection with every dish.
So much has been made of the Hawksmoor over the years that I knew one day we would have to eat there. So oddly enough, with the opening of its newest incarnation near to Seven Dials in Covent Garden, a chance was there. So as it was Sunday, and the Observer had just named Hawksmoor the Best Sunday Roast 2010, it had to be tried to be believed.
So on a lovely Sunday afternoon, a rare thing these days. We ventured off into Central London to sample the best Sunday Roast.
The entrance is a little bizarre actually. They are very big and grand and give the impression that you are entering some Imperial brothel.
The restaurant is underground and is wood heaven. I wonder how many trees were felled to equip this place out. The only downside is that there is no natural light, which I wish we were there at night, not in the early afternoon.
We were here for one thing and one thing only. Sunday Roast. Thankfully there were some left, as our waiter rolled off a list of everything that wasn’t available.
What came was a piece of heaven. I can rightly understand why they won the best Sunday Roast award. It was something special.
The large slab of rump was served quite rare. Just how I like it. The first bite reminded me of the taste of beef that I tried to find on a recent trip to Paris but failed miserably. More on that trip in a few weeks.
The sides were just as good. Lovely blocks of carrots, parsnips, and a good hearty slice of cabbage. Nice crispy roast tatties, big Yorkshire pudding. But the trump card was a couple of banana shallots cut down the middle and roasted in their skins, plus a whole head of garlic. The sweet pulpy loveliness was pretty easy to pop out of their skins. I wish more restaurants would serve roasted garlic. It has a sweet taste to it.
Oh nearly forgot the gravy which came in a small gravy boat. It had a deep flavor to it that is what Sunday roasts are all about. I just wish there was a tad more, maybe a teaspoon more, but now I am being picky.
We were the last of the few who had the Sunday Roast, although a lot of people starting having the rump steak with the roast trimmings, much to the displeasure of the couple next to us. They just missed out on this new invention by minutes. They were not amused, and I would not have been either. They did complain and bitch to the manager and rightly so.
For pudding we opted to share the apple and quince crumble with cinnamon ice cream. It was as crumbles should be. Lots of fruit on the bottom and lot of crumble on the top. The ice cream was so cold I couldn’t actually taste the cinnamon. A shame but the ice cream went well with the crumble. Good choice.
There are a good selection of beers and wine to choose from.
All in all it was a great Sunday roast, with some good trimmings different from the rest. But the restaurant does not have a Sunday roast feel about it. It’s more of a nighttime meat fest rather than a super chill out Sunday lunchtime eatathon. I’m gonna have to try the original.