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Restaurants & Bars 14

[Manchester, city centre] Hawksmoor

Harters | Mar 31, 201501:42 PM

Neither of us are big steak eaters – there always seems to be something more interesting on the menu. So, why are we having dinner at a steakhouse? Well, to probably misquote George Mallory about his Everest climbs – because it’s there.

Like Gaucho before it, Hawksmoor is a London steakhouse chain, making its first break away from the capital and setting up shop in the Rainy City. We’ve eaten at their Seven Dials branch and had a good time so we just had to go and give it a try on our home ground. There are similarities with Gaucho – good meat, accurate cooking, excellent service.

They’ve turned the old manky county court building into quite an opulent space – all dark wood and comfy seating. I liked it much better than the vast openness of Gaucho. As for the food, there’s going to be no complaints in this review.

A restrained starter on one side of the table – baked beetroot (different colours, different textures), a scattering of hazelnuts, a little micro leaf and a couple or so dollops of horseradish cream which work so well with the beet. On the other side of the table, no restraint whatsoever. I had no idea how vast a serving I was about to be presented with. The menu describes it as potted beef with Yorkshires. You get two decent sized puddings, a kilner jar full of delicious shredded meat and a jug of onion gravy. It really was fab.

For mains, we both went with the same steak cut – the 55 day aged D-rump. This is what I ordered at Seven Dials and I wanted to remind myself of just how good it is. Yes, it’s really, really, good. I took mine with triple cooked chips – which were proper perfectly fried chip sized chips (none of this “fat chips” nonsense), wilted spring greens and a little jug of Bearnaise sauce (as everywhere, not enough tarragon for me). My partner went with the dripping fries, which were also excellent, and a butter lettuce salad. The floppy leaves work perfectly, but the dressing was oddly sweet.

The city centre has some great food on offer and, if you asked me for general recommendations, I doubt whether Hawksmoor would be among them. But if you said you just had to have a steak, this is where you’d be coming. Adios Gaucho.

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