London's best steakhouse chain branches out to surf 'n' turf with this Mayfair outpost that mixes luxury seafood with top-quality meat.
The other three Hawksmoor restaurants – Spitalfields, City, Covent Garden – are London’s best steakhouses. This fourth location, with its entrance on Air Street at the Piccadilly Circus tip of Mayfair, is the company’s first attempt at an upscale seafood restaurant – and it’s got it right first time.
Many things will seem familiar if you’ve been to any of the other Hawksmoors. The interior is wood-panelled and leather-upholstered like a gentleman’s club, with understated art deco details. The entrance bar is a destination in itself, with an outstanding range of well-considered and well-crafted cocktails. The staff are genuinely cheerful, engaging and casually dressed with stylish insouciance. Air Street shares all these characteristics, but has a few added attractions.
No booking is needed for the brilliant first-floor bar with its unusual and historically inspired cocktail list; it’s tempting to stay all night. But there’s no bar food, so move along into the first-floor dining room. Overlooking Regent Street, the room is huge and long – so long you can’t see the far end, almost curve-of-the-earth long. Yet it feels intimate, partitioned up into booths, snugs and corners. And the place seems filled with bon viveurs, because it is. A terrific wine list encourages the party mood.
Good quality meat’s not cheap, and neither is good seafood. A signature dish of ‘Hawksmoor cut’ turbot is, like its finer cuts of beef, priced by weight – in this case £12 per 100g. Therefore, our 300g portion – enough for one main course – cost a fork-dropping £36. But we’ve never had such good turbot: grilled over charcoal and served on the bone, it was succulent and tasted of both the sea and flame. Brixham crab on toast was another good choice, although the carefully pared flesh was all clinically white; some people prefer the tastier brown meat.
The D-rump – a cut of rump popular in Brazil, large, though not Copacabana Beach large – is supplied by Ginger Pig from longhorn cattle in Yorkshire. Once it’s aged 55 days, it acquires great depth of flavour. At £20, this is the cheapest steak. The side dishes are well worth the money: a potato bake of Jansson’s temptation, say, or the best little caesar salad in Mayfair.
There are off-peak meal deals, but most prices reflect the fact that it’s a special occasion sort of place. Save up, then splash out.
|Venue name:||Hawksmoor Air Street||Contact:|
5A Air Street
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 5-10.30pm Mon-Thur; 5-11pm Fri. All day 12-11pm Sat, 12-10pm Sun.|
|Transport:||Tube: Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Charing Cross or Green Park tube|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £140. Set dinner (5-5.30pm, 10-10.30pm) £25 2 courses, £28 3 courses.|
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Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:13
- 4 star:6
- 3 star:5
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Express menu is such a great deal! Ate here last night, service and food were both impeccable as always.
Nice to see a restaurant chain that specialises in steak offering a good selection of fish here. Friendly staff - great food.
It was difficult to not have one of their legendary steaks but I managed it and opted for the chargrilled Monkfish with a side of spinach with lemon & garlic. Quite simple but outstanding. The Brixham crab starter was excellent as well. It's refreshing to go to a Hawksmoor and come out feeling relatively sprightly and not laden down with half a ton of steak and meat sweats! I highly recommend the Air Street restaurant, the service is excellent and friendly. One thing to point out though is that the Air Street restaurant is a very big space and doesn't have the atmosphere of the Seven Dials establishment.
One word sums my experience at Air Street ... 'average'. I have eaten at all the Hawksmoor's, but would not recommend this one. Too large, lacks atmosphere and the staff simply dull, verging on arrogant at times. The food was okay, but felt expensive, given the instantly forgettable dining experience.
Hawksmoor have got too big .... the food and service are no where as good as when they first started out. Shame ... it has gone from being my favourite restaurant, to one I'll unlikely visit again.
This was my first Hawksmoor experience and I did enjoy it. The food was excellent so was the service and atmosphere of the place. I did, however, feel it to be a little over priced for what you get since you have to order all the sides separately. The steak was great but not necessarily the best round town. I would happily go back but perhaps when someone else is paying.
Hawksmoor have done it again. Anyone who knows me is aware of my Hawksmoor fetish, and most of them share it, so I'll not bang on too much about how great they are. Instead, I'll size up the differences between here and the other restaurants in the group. Air Street is big. I don't mean a fairly large room. I mean it's huge. I can't see from one end of the dining room to the other. It's something like 300+ covers, easily. You'd think that would make it a place where the food is churned out with less attention to detail? Think again. It's every bit as good as the other times I've had a great Hawksmoor meal, and the grill here seems more reliable than the one at nearby Seven Dials. As usual, the steaks are top notch, the Tamworth belly ribs are unctuous, sweet and offset by the fantastic pickled red cabbage. But it's the seafood here that shines. Working together with Mitch Tonks of The Seahorse fame, the seafood here is way above par, and easily competes with some of the Mayfair stalwarts who specialise in such fayre. The scallops were simple, flavoured with garlic, white port and parsley, but delicious. The fried Queenies (smaller queen scallops) are a delightfully guilty fingerfood. The Janssen's Temptation side dish (imagine savoury creamy Dauphinoise with a twist) is, according to my Swedish friends, a brilliant iteration. But the fish...wow. The monkfish here is by far the best piece of piscine flesh I've ever put into my mouth in this country. Perfectly grilled, wonderfully simple marinade, meaty texture... they don't mess around with it. I have to give kudos to the turbot as well, it's a hard fish to find on most menus and is often vastly overpriced. Hawksmoor get around this by offering a slightly different cut to most places, which takes to grilling very well and is easier on the wallet than a massive tranche of it. Cocktails, as per usual, were superb. I'm in love with the Rogerio's Batida. Even though the price is just a little more than I'd like for a blended drink (£12), it's so good I actually don't mind paying the money.
Ive eaten at all of the Hawksmoors now and Air Street lives up to the lofty standards set by the other three plus it has amazing fish, as for the puddings, to die for! Highly recommended.
I visited Air Street yesterday and it matched up to all the A++ reviews I'd read. The Tamworth ribs as a started were a great size and covered in a great sauce. We opted for the roast dinner as a main and on this particular day the roasted joint was from the sirloin (not the usual rump) - this made it even better value! The size of the dinner was as amazing as the taste, from the marrowbone gravy to the goose fat roasted potatoes not forgetting the great cut of beef. Last thing to mention would be the staff, all of them were attentive and our particular waitress was able to answer any questions we had and didn't keep pestering us during each course.
I went to Hawksmoor Air Street last night with my family, everything from the cocktails to the desserts were fantastic!! My husband and I had the Dover Sole which they happily took off the bone for us, it was delicious. Our sons and daughters in law had a steak selection which they all said was tender and cooked exactly how they asked. The baked sweet potato was perfect! Yes it is expensive but the overall experience was great, we would go again for another special occasion. The waiting staff and bar staff couldn't have been more helpful.
Here is the REAL deal on Hawksmoor. It's a 6.5/10 restaurant across the board. After eating there 4 times (3 times Covent Garden / once Air St) I won't be returning. Not because it's terrible but because it's just totally and utterly average food and cooking at an inflated price. If you eat at an expensive and lauded 'Steakhouse' in say New York you'll get melt in the mouth meat, incredible sides and mind blowing puddings. The food at Hawksmoor WANTS to be like this but is just 'MEH...'. It's totally and utterly average. It's not great. Unfortunately like many, TimeOut has fallen for the hype. Yet again another hyped London restaurant!!
As with all hipster openings, all the reviewers are swooning over this new hawksmoor. My "real" experience was less than amazing, there was nothing wrong with the food, steak and sides as always excellent, however the shoulder of turbot at £30 was extremely dissapointing. Biggest dissapointment of all though was the service, all but one of the staff members we were served by had no answers to our questions, they forgot our wine, then bought the wrong wine, then stored it in a cooler away fron the table and kept forgetting to pour it for us. The vast room had no atmosphere. They will of course be packed for years to come because service doesn't seem to matter these days. But for £100 a head won't be rushing back, give me the ivy or dean st over this at half the price any day of the week.
Disappointing from start to finish. Service was really poor and the Chateau Briand overcooked which is inexcusable for a steak restaurant particularly at these prices. Have emailed and had no response. Such a shame as Seven Dials is one of my favourite London restaurants.
If you want a 5* dover sole go to Scotts it'll cost you £4 more and is infintely superior. They even take it off the bone for you there something likely to make the hipster servers here faint at the thought. 5* review!?!?!?! Really? Timeout did they really sucker you so?