In the first instance, the service, though friendly, was inconsistent and we weren't asked if we wanted a drink until I ordered one while giving the food order. Then there was the food itself. Having heard so much praise over the house burger, we desperately wanted to try one but didn't want to forgo the main course steak. The solution? Have a burger as a starter of course. Now, we're not so fat (yet) as to have a whole burger each to start so we divided it into three to share around the table and each had a slice. The burger was good with lots of flavour though we're not sure how far out of our way we'd go to get one. The burger was though decent enough and no cause for disappointment in itself.
You go to The Hawksmoor for the steaks and this time around it failed to live up to our expectation and failed to live up to the previous experience. First off, the lovely char that was present last time around was all but absent and the absence really showed. Second, the quality of the meat just didn't seem as high. The sirloin on the bone was tough and sinewy. And finally, the overall taste fell short not only with the minimal char but rather, the intrinsic flavour just wasn't there in either the sirloin or the bone-in prime rib. The prime rib also seemed overcooked for the most part and while it was nicely red at the bone, the main body of meat looked a palid grey. True, on our first occasion we had the more expensive Chateaubriand but that's not a reason for still expensive 'cheaper' cuts to be absent flavour. With three foodies round the table, we all had remarkably little to say on the meal.
This was our third trip to The Hawksmoor and the first time we've been disappointed. If the quality of the meal is a lottery then the dining needs to be cheap enough and casual enough that you can shrug it off and enjoy the company. When the food though is at this price point and you go there for one thing only, great beef, it has to be right, or at least better than this. Having been so much looking forward to today, we came away in no hurry to go back.