Friday 3 April 2015

Hawksmoor, Manchester

Hawksmoor, Manchester

Oh Hawksmoor. Although I am utterly thrilled you have opened in Manchester, this poses me with two problems - my waistline and my bank balance. I love you so. 

My first experience with Hawksmoor was their London Air Street restaurant for my birthday a couple of years ago. We ordered a massive porterhouse which reminded me of the magnificent rib-eye we had at Bourbon Steak in San Francisco. Then last summer I went to Guildhall for breakfast with the girls, pre-Harry Potter. They got us drunk on absinthe at 9.30am. It was great, and as promised - our corpses were truly revived. Then came the news of the Manchester site. 

After a couple of false starts, we finally made it to Hawksmoor Manchester on my birthday. I'm dying to do their Sunday roast (it would complete the collection, and scratch an itch), but I really want to save that and go with our friends. A burger was the the other missing puzzle piece - so I did that. 
Hawksmoor, Manchester
I clapped eyes on the iconic logo, and the excited belly-ache began. It somehow reminds me of a bygone era of city-slicker opulence, as does the amazing bar and dining room inside. Booths are clad in teal leather, the lights are 1950s antiques shipped from across the pond, and the sun blasts through the massive skylight over the dining room.

The other diners appeared to be having business meetings whilst I was sinking an absinthe cocktail just after 12pm (it was a damn site later than last time). I've decided that I need a job where meetings are held at Hawksmoor. Yes, this is now part of my five year plan.

I am unapologetic about the size of some of these pictures. If I'm feeling the pain of not having this food in front of me now, then you shall too. Sorry.

Drinks: 'Wild Boar' beer by Buxton, 'Ginger and Juice' and the rather splendid 'Concealed Weapon', which was absinthe shaken with Chambord, lemon and raspberries.
Hawksmoor, Manchester
This time we resisted the urge to order every starter and side in the world. We kept it sensible, yet I still felt like I needed a snooze immediately after.

Hawksmoor hamburger with cheese, bacon and shortrib: Behold. Look at it. It's a thing of utter magnificence. It oozed juice, tasted like the beef had double the potency of a regular burger, and made me very very happy indeed. I had worn my burger shoes* in readiness for this moment. I felt epic.
Hawksmoor, Manchester - Burger
Yes, I did have to make the picture this big
Hawksmoor, Manchester - Burger
Fillet steak: At £34 this has to be one of the more expensive steaks in Manchester, but I can't think of one that rivals it in terms of taste. Whether it's the meat itself (sourced from the legendary Yorkshire meat men, Ginger Pig) or the way it is cooked, I can't say I really care. I just know that a Hawksmoor steak is always perfection. It's those little charred bits on the outside... Hell.
Hawksmoor, Manchester - Steak
Hawksmoor, Manchester - Steak
Sides - triple cooked chips, peppercorn sauce and macaroni cheese: At the risk of sounding a bit dramatic, these are the best effing sides I have ever had. They even top trump the Air Street ones. This macaroni cheese is the kind of thing that I would love to have a massive bowl of watching Step Brothers in my PJs. Like a massive edible cuddle. The chips too were just perfect.
Hawksmoor, Manchester - Sides
Sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream: Look at its glossy handsomeness. This is exactly how puddings should be. Soft and saturated with plenty of sauce. God it was wondrous.
Hawksmoor, Manchester - Sticky Toffee Pudding
Custard tart with Yorkshire rhubarb: I may have blushed a bit when this arrived! This was a soft set custard tart, more like a creme brûlée really after the top had been crisped up with a blow torch. This is more Paddy's thing than mine to be honest, so I pulled the 'birthday card' and swapped desserts with him! 
Hawksmoor, Manchester - Custard Tart
It's worth also mentioning that the service we received was exemplary. Our glasses were never empty and even a slight bacon shaped misdemeanour was rectified with speed.

I cannot actually wait to return to sample the Sunday roast and complete my Hawksmoor bingo. I know our friends will adore it here, and have nothing to fear that the food would be anything other than perfect.

'It won't work' they said. 'People won't pay for it' they barked. 'We already have steak houses in Manchester' they bleated. Well, it looks like every man and his dog have been so far, and utterly loved it. Wind your necks in doubters. Welcome to Manchester Hawksmoor.

* A genuine article - shoes with burgers on them. No, I do not live on a ward. 

Hawksmoor Manchester on Urbanspoon
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