Hawkers Bar and Brasserie
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A high-end eaterie on the edge of Kingston town centre.
Kingston’s burgeoning restaurant scene has now, quite literally, spread to other side of the tracks with the introduction of this bijou brasserie attached to the Hilton Hotel, just off Canbury Gardens – a railway bridge separates it from the regular footfall of the town centre. The calm and efficient staff reflect the atmosphere in a low-lit US steakhouse lookalike. Here, presentation is everything and from most points you can see your dish being created in the open kitchen.
Excellent scallops wafted in on a bed of pea purée, accompanied by air-dried chorizo and a drop of the sharpest apple syrup. The chicken liver parfait – which came dotted with a cherry chutney – was too rich to finish, but worked well nonetheless. On the table next to us, a group of ladies gasped and did that fast clappy thing with their fingers when their 18-hour slow-roasted lamb puff pies arrived.
My steak turned up perfectly cooked and accompanied by sherry-vinegar-infused tomatoes. There was also an excellent chicken burger, served in a light brioche bun, though the additional bacon and cheese clocked in at an extra £2 (each). Desserts were fun and imaginative, which pretty much sealed my conviction that this is a place for special occasions rather than a usual Friday night – a coffee crème brûlée, presented in a ‘house’ coffee mug was, without doubt, the highlight. Prices are a bit higher than the locals are used to but, if the night was anything to go by, hotel guests will be covering any shortfall. Against the waterfront chains, Hawkers is a welcome addition.
1 Skerne Rd
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £110.|
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