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Hawksmoor Edinburgh
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23 West Register Street,,
0131 526 4790
Open Lunch: Mon-Fri 12 noon–2.30pm, Sat 12 noon–3.30pm , Sun 12 noon– 4pm. Dinner: Mon-Thurs 5pm-9.30pm, Fri & Sat 5-9.30pm and Sun 5pm-9pm. Bar open all day.

Do the right thing.

When the ‘Go-Between’ and Mrs Bite were invited to Hawksmoor we suspected an indulgent night in stylish surroundings.

The 185 cover restaurant in the vast former banking hall of the Bank of Scotland is Grade A Listed so original features like old school parquet, leaded windows and marble have been retained whilst the addition of, for example understated fabric and art deco lamps, are sympathetic.

The ceiling is reverentially high in this former church to money; new skylights reveal clouds drifting above. 

Seated comfortably in a corner we ordered cocktails. Of course we did. I got in first with a Tom and Jerez from the ‘anti-fogmatic’ selection of the list  (early morning eye-openers). The mix of gin, pear, lemon, sherry, almond and garnish of Gordal olive was impeccably delicious. The Go-Between however, had a brandy sour which neither of us liked. The apple brandy and lemon not being balanced by enough creamy egg white to soften the drink’s acidity. 

Hand-dived scallops in Venus shells sourced from Guy Grieve come with a toasted herby marinière crunch; heritage tomatoes on in-house sourdough have plenty of heady basil and a whipped soft cheese. 

Rib-eye, lobster and béarnaise seem obvious choices for mains. Beef is sourced from Dovecot Farms (they supply Waitrose) and is grass-fed, 35 day dry-aged. The flesh is deep ruby (cooked rare), buttery and almost aromatic. The Hawksmoor blend Malbec has prominent cherry on first sip and is soon soft and velvety enough to effortlessly complement the steak. 

Lobster is seasonally succulent and sweet. On the side we have frilly old fashioned butter lettuce dressed with herbs. Also creamed spinach which is spiky with tons of nutmeg which I dislike but the Go-Between begs to differ and mash and gravy which is truly sublime – buttery whipped red roosters, seasoning, thick sticky gravy. 

We are fit to bursting but Hawksmoor’s take on a cranachan and a pineapple and coconut Pavlova somehow slip down. 

The Go-Between’s canny eye spots BYOB Monday with £5 corkage and a Sunday roast option for slow cooked prime beef with all the trimmings feeding 2- 3 at £80 (we hypothesise that if stretched to 4 this could be a steal.) 

Hawksmoor clearly has an ethos which is to ‘try to do things right’; the website explains policy to sustainability, sourcing, charity and gender pay. When it comes to the food this translates as no-nonsense British cooking done well. (S. Wilson)



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