The SW3 version of this mini-chain of excellent steakhouses plays to a Knightsbridge crowd, with luxury seafood a major part of the otherwise meaty menu.
Anyone remember Frankie’s? It was a bizarre – yet bizarrely fun – place; a dark, windowless basement, with garish tiles and giant disco balls, serving pizza to a party-loving Knightsbridge crowd. Well, Frankie’s is gone, and in its place stands the latest branch of Hawksmoor, which couldn’t be more different. In true SW3 fashion, it’s had a facelift and splurged on a new wardrobe, now combining ‘classic Hawksmoor’ (leather seating, a ‘clubby’ vibe) with plenty for the ultra-wealthy local clientele (pale marble, gorgeous loos).
The menu is even more noticeably ‘Knightsbridge’, with meat playing second fiddle to luxury seafood – from oysters and caviar (with or without frozen vodka) to crustacea, including all manner of lobsters. We sampled a trio of fat, garlicky Palamós prawns (with sourdough toast for mopping up the juices), a plate of zingy seabass tiradito and a messy but delicious devilled lobster, smothered in a Sriracha-meets-sweet chilli sauce. The non-seafood dishes were just as memorable though: from a rich, gooey mac ’n’ cheese, to a beautifully chargrilled rib-eye steak, a deliciously light Caesar salad, or the ‘Ferrero Rocher’ – an indulgent tennis ball-sized pud with dark chocolate ganache, three kinds of hazelnut (mousse, ice cream and brittle) and a spot of gold leaf. Oh, Hawksmoor, you really are spoiling us.
When you also consider the expert cocktails, thoughtful wine list and exceptional service, this new branch has a lot going for it. Just watch the bill – it adds up faster than Carol Vorderman after three espressos.