Thursday 19 September 2013

Hawksmoor Air St

Pretty art deco-style window behind our table
Deciding where to go for my birthday dinner took a lot of consideration - even more so because we had been planning to be in Provence for it, so it had to be both a celebration and a consolation prize. We discussed St John, Quo Vadis, 32 Great Queen St and Le Café Anglais before deciding that this was the moment to try Hawksmoor Air St.

There's nothing quite like a rainy night to make you appreciate a cloak room. I bloody LOVE not having a slimy, wet umbrella under the table, getting tangled in my feet and more often than not forgotten. After checking in said slimy, wet umbrella, we were passed from attractive staff member to attractive staff member until we were finally deposited at an oval table "big enough to hold all the lovely food", as the last attractive staff member said.

I was torn between lobster cocktail and shrimps on toast as a starter. Paul suggested that mother shrimps tell their babies horror stories about my rapacious appetite for potted shrimps, but I am almost certain that isn't true. Anyway, he suggested that we have some caviar to start, which I thought was a very good idea.
Sour cream, blinis and toppings
It's fiendishly expensive of course - as it should be really, since this one is ethical, sustainable and doesn't kill the sturgeon. The small pot was plenty for the two of us, and presented in fine style with warm, fluffy blinis and little mother-of-pearl caviar spoons. This was by far the nicest caviar I have tried (not that I have a great deal of experience with caviar!) - much less salty, and with a lovely crunch. We didn't go properly traditional with it: we skipped the authentic vodka in favour of glasses of Alain Thiénot champagne.
The pictures I took of our main course really failed to do it justice (in fact, looked completely unappetising) so I haven't included one. We shared a beautiful Chateaubriand, cooked to perfection, and served with triple-cooked chips, luscious anchovy hollandaise and salad. I've raved about the English lettuce and herb salad before - it is the best salad in the world - but on this occasion the wonder of the anchovy hollandaise outshone even the salad. It wasn't super fishy, but it had a meaty savouriness that enhanced the delicious medium rare beef. I dipped all my chips in it and would possibly have eaten it off the spoon had I been at home.

We shared a bottle of Château de Rochemorin ‘Hawksmoor Claret’. Paul chose it under the assumption that they probably put extra care into selecting a wine that actually had their name on the label, and that certainly seemed to be the case.

Paul had a glass of 1968 Armagnac to finish - it didn't occur to him that the Darroze assemblage 40 Year old Armagnac would be more appropriate on my 40th birthday... and I had a sticky toffee sundae.

The sundae probably wasn't my best possible choice, given that I have recently decided that I don't particularly like sticky toffee pudding. But the combination of an excellent toffee sauce, ice cream, sliced dates and a chunk of pudding was very good. Charmingly, they had noted my post on their Facebook page that I was coming for a birthday dinner and my dessert came out with suitable decorations. It's nice to know that I can still be utterly delighted by a candle.


Megs said...

Yum! And birthday wishes once again! :)

Angie's Recipes said...

That sticky toffee sundae looks awesome! Once again, happy birthday!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Megs - thank you again!

Angie - the toffee sauce was just divine!

grace said...

you're never too old to blow out a candle on your birthday!


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