Walking into Hawksmoor it's not hard to see why it's older siblings in London town have done so well. The way it presents itself you feel like you've been there before, and more importantly like it has been there forever.
Restored and remastered are terms I usually associate with copies of Star Wars that come out every Christmas, more features and better in every way than the last. Having not been to Hawksmoor in London I like to imagine based upon nothing but my own biased that this also is the case with Hawksmoor Manchester. The space looks and feels fantastic and the bar area alone is to me a contender for "the new place to be" in Manchester.
The team behind Hawksmoor I'm told are fans of tailoring the space to the place and this time they took their cue from the landmark Grade II listed Courthouse building. Parquet flooring from a courthouse in the midlands, glazed bricks from a Nottingham factory (along with a few from a public lavatory in Liverpool), oak paneling from Birmingham’s Sandwell College and Copperlight doors from a 1910 University of the Arts Building work together to form an eclectic but exceptionally curated interior style.
We are seated in what I guess would be considered the main dining space but truth be told I'd have been just as happy in any of the adjoining spaces not least of which being the enjoyable glass fronted wine store.
But enough of the superficial, what about the real personality behind the place, the food. For starters I order the Ginger Pig Belly Ribs and my partner Roast scallops with tarragon & garlic. Both are exceptional and for any House of Cards fans I can tell you that the ribs a probably a contender for Freddy's.
At this point we notice the staff. Which is a strange thing to "notice" this far in. But to me that's kind of the point. There's no over worked uniforms or staff sergeant drilled lines here. I think our guy had a floral silk shirt on if I remember. Either way the point is these are people dressed how people dress, concentrating on the job at hand. In a professional and relaxed manner. Works for me.
(I've also added pictures supplied by the Hawksmoor photographer here because frankly they do the dishes alot more justice than mine, they are the Prime Rib and the Chateaubriand )
Mains arrive and we've gone full house, 300g fillets, medium rare, all round please. Complimented by Spinach with Lemon & Garlic and Spring Greens. As you'd imagine from such a place the steak is cooked "to perfection" as they say and the accompaniments live up to the task at hand. I find it difficult to say too much about a steak really, in one sense it is what it is and in a place such as this the expectation is naturally high, and I must say is met, but in another there's still something all together better about this meal than I may have previously become accustomed to elsewhere.
We decided to share a Custard Tart with Yorkshire Rhubarb for dessert. I'm not one to really go over the top about these things but it was extremely good. I've also heard from colleagues that the 'Ambassadors Reception' is a MUST, so that's a next time for me.
Overall you'd be hard pushed to find a better cut and the space is a bit special. But oddly the things that struck us most and the reason I'd return week in week out of I could, was what top and tailed the main event, the atmosphere, the starters, the staff and that Custard Tart.