Truth be told, this was our fourth choice of restaurant, the other three being closed on a Sunday evening. I rather surprised myself making a reservation here, as I’m not normally a big eater of steak – there always seems to be something more interesting to eat on a menu. However, the nephew who was “guest of honour” loves a big chunk of cooked cow. I also have a bit of a thing about restaurants in cellars – they always seem to be underwhelming. Well, not here. Well, at least not the main courses.
Starters were, indeed, disappointing and I found myself thinking “Ahha. Another bloody cellar meal”. There was shrimps on toast which promised much but were overseasoned with both pepper and lemon so there was none of the delicate flavour of the brown beauties. And “bone marrow with onions” was only OK. It came served in a split bone and was suitably fatty, suitable unctuous. But the toast that came with it was more just burnt bread than toast and was not very nice.
Needless to say, we had a steak each. Rib-eye can have a fair amount of scaggy bits so the 400g portion might sound a lot but actually comes down to just a decent generous portion. D-rump was a new cut for me – not exactly your usual rump but a triangular slab of meat from down that part of the animal. And any bit of beef that’s announced as being 55 days aged is going to find its way onto my plate. And it was bloody lovely. And cheap by comparision with other menu offerings, which can be in second mortgage territory. All accompaniments are extras at Hawksmoor, which can quickly ratchet up prices. But beef dripping fries were top notch. The Béarnaise was also pretty good, although there’s never enough tarragon in them for my taste. And an English lettuce and herb salad was perfect – traditional floppy leaved sweet lettuce, a sprinkling of chopped parsley with a hint of mint.
We passed on desserts but did have coffee which was passable but no more.