The Hawksmoor concept is now 12 years old and its empire spans 8 locations in 3 different cities, but each time I visit – and regardless of location – I am reminded just how good and consistent the experience is. A recent weekday night saw a group of us descend on the Spitalfields branch. This was the original location in the Hawksmoor stable, but it has benefited from a recent refurb. All the restaurants seem to manage to pull off that tricky combination of cool but traditional. Put another way, imagine exposed brickwork with maps of old London adorning them – much like the clubs of Pall Mall updated for the 21st Century. Beyond the vibe, it’s the food that draws the punters in. We are talking about seriously good steak, first described with a knowledgeable passion by the serving staff and then cooked to perfection by the chefs. Both the bone-in-prime rib and the porterhouse shared by our group showed lovely succulence as well as depth and intensity of flavour. The enjoyment was only enhanced by the sides. I have raved previously about Hawksmoor’s mac and cheese, but this is a wonderfully enjoyable dish both on a standalone basis and as a steak pair. Going back a step, the bone marrow with pickled onion starter (pictured) was probably the night’s dish to die for. The sweet fatty richness of the dish proved a delight, especially when combined with the inspired choice to drink an aged rosé champagne alongside. Hawksmoor has a decent list of wines priced from £40 to £225/bottle, but we availed ourselves of the reasonable corkage option, at £5/bottle, and brought our own. The experience ain’t cheap, but well worth every penny. Message to Hawksmoor: just keep up the good work!