Hawksmoor | Spitalfields

They say there's no such thing as a free lunch, and I guess that extends especially to the Hawksmoor, the current king of steak houses in London. But when you have an almost 2 year old voucher, given to you by your team at a previous job, it definitely feels free.

Let's just slide over the fact it took me almost 2 years to visit Hawksmoor - even with a £50 voucher burning a hole in my pocket. Shameful, I know. But I have an excuse, when the voucher was first placed in my unknowing hands, we looked at the menu quite shocked at how much we'd have to spend to have a decent meal there. We contemplated the cheaper set menu lunch option and also just saving a bit of money up to enable us to go all out for a blow-out dinner, no expense spared. Neither ended up happening, but when I realised a few weeks ago that Hawksmoor did roast dinners for £19.50 on Sundays - well our minds were made up.

We booked just a few days before for a 1:30pm sitting and when we got there to no surprise at all the restaurant was full. A mix of people from young families to groups of friends and celebration lunches - the Hawksmoor is clearly a place for anyone. And it was nice to see that even though it's more of an upmarket steak house, the staff are still casual and welcoming, which made us feel right at home.

We got stuck in straight away and ordered a bottle of red and our roasts; we were informed that the beef comes pink as standard which we were super glad to hear.

After a short wait, and some ogling of other people's roast dinners, our plates arrived filled to the brim with goodies. There was honestly not one thing I didn't like on the plate. The generous serving of beef is accompanied by a huge crispy yorkshire pud, roast potatoes (roasted in duck fat, oh yes), sprouts with their leaves, carrots, a whole roasted bulb of garlic and some lovely roasted(?!) onion that was beautifully caramely. Not a word, I know, but that's the only way I can think to describe.

The roast at the Hawksmoor was worth every single penny (of the voucher), and considering it's hard to find a good beef roast in London for less than about £14, not accounting for all the terrible ones above that price - I'd say this roast is actually bang on the money. Just for comparison, the beef roast at our local that has just reopened with a new kitchen is £15.95... and just to reiterate, it's a pub.

I was suitably full after lunch but still very seriously considered dessert. Chocolate tart? You are mine next time. The waiter was extremely gracious when we turned down dessert in favour of finishing our wine and not wanting to over do it, but he still brought out three of their dark chocolate salted caramel 'rolos' for us to try. HUGE thumbs up for that.

Overall our experience at the Hawksmoor was excellent, there's no wonder everyone raves about it. I'd love to go back for the full dinner experience, but that will definitely require a bit of saving of money on our part. However if your pockets aren't as full as you might like just yet in life, the roast dinner option is an excellent compromise for a slightly more indulgent Sunday lunch.