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DUE TO OPEN 3 JULY 2014
Will Beckett and Huw Gott’s unstoppable Hawksmoor herd continues its rampage through the capital with the launch of a new outlet in the Knightsbridge premises formerly occupied by Frankie’s Bar
& Grill. Expect old-school glamour in the shape of a subterranean, art-deco space with brass arched windows and oak flooring salvaged from a Blackpool ballroom – plus an intimate bar with
polished lavastone tables. Food-wise, beefy grub still rules in the shape of British-reared steaks from Ginger Pig, Tamworth ribs, bone marrow etc, although seafood guru Mitch Tonks is once again
adding some fish to the menu – think Singapore-style devilled lobster or raw citrus scallops with chilli and ginger. Also be prepared for a clutch of new desserts including a tribute to Ferrero
Rocher. Meanwhile, drinkers can look forward to cracking beers, fabulous cocktails and a terrific assortment of top-class wines at not-so-serious prices.
I would normally try to avoid writing reviews on chain restaurants (now that there are five branches, I can’t but consider Hawksmoor a chain). It’s not that I have anything against them, I would just prefer to give independent restaurants more of an audience. But, with a £145 per person price tag this gives me a decent reason to do a review. Okay, so this meal is a little more expensive than “moderate”. However, there is some reasoning behind this.This was not my first visit to a Hawksmoor, but tonight was something a little more special than usual. One of my best mates is getting married and this was where he chose to announce that we were going to be his groomsmen. As such, we decided to order the most expensive stuff on the menu (*hence a normal meal would probably be a lot cheaper and fit in the moderate/expensive price category)...
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The fifth branch of Hawksmoor is now open in Knightsbridge, and is styled to match its opulent new neighbourhood. The flooring and bar are all carved out of exquisite pale marble, brass lamps adorn the walls and the seating is the plushest leather. The same art-deco flair of the previous Hawksmoors is again used in this west London outpost; the result is vintage glam and very familiar to regulars of the brand.It’s a shame that the same consistency does not, on this visit, extend to the food or service. In previous experiences (Seven Dials & Air Street), Hawksmoor has been a delight to dine in. Perhaps the difference tonight is that I am in a group of 7; a laughing merry gaggle of us out to celebrate my birthday. Perhaps Hawksmoor is wonderful with smaller, more manageable groups, and fails under the weight of a larger table. It is improbable that I will opt to have such a gathering at a Hawksmoor again, so for now at least the cause of Hawksmoors unanticipated failings is a mystery...
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