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Restaurant Review: Hawksmoor (brunch) in Spitalfields

Who was the first person to come up with flavour combinations like salt and caramel or chocolate and chilli? Now they seem so obvious – like rosemary and lamb – but your first time your mouth is contorted in new and joyous shapes and you just think “wow, why didn’t someone else think of that”?

When I read the Hawksmoor brunch menu and the posts from those bloggers who went on day dot I had a slight suspicion that Hawksmoor might be descending into pastiche. As in, we like meat, we cook meat well, let’s do meat with everything. Hell, let’s start doing an afternoon tea with meat scones.

Then I ordered the cornflake milkshake. It is a thing of genius. It may be one of the cleverest things I taste all year. It is the taste of sugared cornflakes which have become rotten and sodden with milk at the bottom of your cereal bowl; frothed and frozen. It works undeniably and indulgently so. The rest of the meal could have been irrelevant as this would have sufficed. I ordered pastiche; a Hawksmoor HkMuffin (see what they did there). An oversized McDonalds McMuffin with quality ingredients (hopefully this won’t be a McLibel). I enjoyed it but it confounded me. It was too difficult to eat. Not in the way of a burger which you can’t get your mouth around but in the way of trying to pin down a slippery eel. Next time I would order it with bacon and flip the top off and attack it with a knife and fork.

This was enough food but we also ordered a side of short rib bubble and squeak which was like no bubble and squeak I’ve had before but severely tasty.

The winner though was what Pete and Ali ordered – The Hawksmoor Breakfast – a pot of pork, pork juices and pork juice infused sides that was plain overwhelming. I ended my meal by gnawing on the bone from their smoked bacon chop which was enough to drive me back.

Puddings were had by all as was quite a lot of alcohol on the side. The marmalade martini, Tom Collins and a ginger beer half pint thing were all fantastic. The Bloody Marys were (despite there being three varieties and one even being “bottomless”) not too my taste and I was a touch disappointed by them. I think it was that there was too much fiddling with what is a simple but yet spot on combo.

The price for all of this was £30 a head. We were there two and a half hours. Not one of the seven of us who went ate again that night. None of us had breakfast before. It is almost a bargain.

Price – £30

PS if brunch is meant to be at 11:00 I would go for 12:00pm or later to give your stomach time to warm up.

Hawksmoor on Urbanspoon

11 Comments

  1. The Grubworm

    Ohh, now i'm tempted. I like the idea of a one meal day – and if you have booze with it too, then it really does sound like the sort of meal that'll take over your whole day too.

    I've been curious about the bacon chop because usually i like thin crispy bacon and so am ambivalent towards the idea of a whole schop. But, it does sound interesting.

    Did anyone try the beans, i think they sound ace.

  2. The London Foodie

    I just cannot believe I haven't yet been to HK, but I will make sure to read all your reviews before I visit. The pictures are great too.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  3. Tom

    Grubworm – it really was a one meal day. The kind of post meal feeling where you just need to lie on your back and have someone rub your stomach.

    I think most of us went to bed after it. Over indulgent, over meaty, ridiculous but worth a try.

    Pete and Ali got the beans with their shared breakfast and munched them too fast for me to try. I'll have to check what they thought.

    Luiz – I have a lot of learning before I go. I am going to have to get an idiot's guide to ordering dim sum!

  4. Mr Noodles

    I'm liking the look of the muffin. It's a bit of a trek from where I am for weekend brunch but it's one I have to make on the basis of this and many other write-up's.

  5. missalissab

    Grubworm – the beans were amazing! Am generally a bit of a bean-sceptic when it comes to the breakfast but the Trotter baked beans have turned me. Sweet and smoky with big chunks of juicy pig thrown in, awesome.

    Sorry we polished them off before you could get to them Tom, you'll have to take on the big boy yourself next time…

    Ali x

  6. Lizzie

    I am very much looking forward to having the brunch – it sounds like a meaty heaven.

  7. Tom

    Lizzie – it was. I am already reorganising the next visit with all 7 friends who went last time. Everyone can't wait (and we are going to start dieting earlier this time).

  8. theboywhoatetheworld

    So this is what you meant when you said "a thug's version of the Modern Pantry with meat not fusion". Looks fab (especially the souped up muffin). I live just down the road from Hawksmoor and have only been for dinner a couple of times for the glorious steak on the rib…. Brunch looks well worth a visit. The dieting starts today in anticipation… =P

  9. Tom

    The Boy – yup, this is what I meant. The souped up muffin was ridiculous but good. I actually went back on Sunday (post a birthday party hangover) and we split the Hawksmoor breakfast. It was ridiculous. It was great. It was too much.

    I am planning at going swimming at 7:00am tomorrow to try and counter the excess Hawksmoor visits recently…

  10. theboywhoatetheworld

    Was here last week for brunch on your recommendation. The corn flake milkshake is the bomb =P.

  11. Tom

    I wish they did takeaway cornflake milkshakes. Truly great stuff…

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