Thursday, 9 September 2010

Hawksmoor, Shoreditch

157 Commercial Road
E1 6BJ

Gina Tonic

Due any moment now to open a second beefy instalment in Covent Garden, Hawksmoor is quite the darling of the London massive-plates-of-meat scene.  Indeed, hundreds of reviews have been written about their mind-bendingly good steaks and gluttonous breakfasts, and I for one join the consensus that Will Beckett and Huw Gott should probably the knighted and given big leather crowns.

I like to think of myself as a regular Hawksmoor customer, living as I do in the curious cityboy vs creeyaytiv wannabe wasteland we call Shoreditch.  Sadly, until my premium bonds come up trumps, I can only really class myself as a frequenter of the bar.

But my, what a bar.  With only seating for half a dozen or so, a seat up front promises you one of the most beautiful views in London – a bar so well stocked with unusual and small batch spirits, home-made fresh fruit macerations, and a catalogue of gins so vast that simply the thought of it brings a tear to my fanatical eye.  Some of the finest cocktails are served here, in this unassuming ex-office something-or-other on Commercial Street, for a very reasonable price - most weighing in at around the £7.50 mark.  The cocktail list, like any good menu, changes with the seasons, but with a confident lean towards the classic spirits - gin, brandy, whiskey and rum – and a selection of Juleps unparalleled in this fair city.  For the record, the Hawksmoor Fizz, a mouth-watering gin and orange flower water concoction, replete with home-made rhubarb syrup, is a must.

And if that’s not enough gushing for you, the barmen, too, are exceptional.  Award-winning in fact, and always more than happy to make off-menu cocktail requests… not that you’d really need to of course.  They suggest cocktails to suit your tastes, they serve gin Bloody Marys at breakfast, they go out and get the Saturday Guardian for you in the mornings, they carry your shopping home and they never forget your mother’s birthday.

If you haven’t been, I suggest you go there at once.  And perhaps order a medium-rare, 900g Chateaubriand on the side.