Some people may think it blasphemy to eat at a Hawksmoor restaurant and not eat a steak, but fear not! This burger adventure was conducted by professionals under controlled conditions. In other words, myself and the housemates went for a weekend lunch from the bar menu rather than at night for an occasion. We sampled various accompaniments and drew independent conclusions.
When all was said and done, Hawksmoor Seven Dials vaulted into my coveted number one spot for favorite burger in London. I believe it will occupy that place for some time to come. While fancy, and priced as such, the burger surpassed my expectations and went down a treat. Other’s have called it the best in London, or even Britain – and now I firmly agree.
Hawksmoors Seven Dials is located near Covent Garden tube station on a small side road called Langley street. It’s completely underground in what once was the Watney-Combe brewery. The Brewery’s first owner, Alderman Combe, hosted an annual steak supper in London, which in 1807 was attended by the Prince of Wales and Duke of York, big names to live up to!
I still had to fight my inner steak-demon’s will to place an order for a burger at one of London’s best steak restaurants; it wasn’t an easy order to make, but I’m glad I made it. The Hawksmoor burger starts with 500g of perfectly balanced ground beef – provided by their butcher’s, The Ginger Pig of north Yorkshire.
A dollop of bone marrow makes its way into the mix, and who doesn’t love bone marrow? The richness magnifies the already succulent beef flavor to incredible proportions. The patty sits stop a thinly sliced pickles, two leafs of crisp lettuce and a slice of red onion. On top I recommend going for the mild cheddar – it gives you some gooey goodness without being an overpowering flavor that distracts from the beef. The whole deal nestles in a brioche bun that is robust enough to hold together under juicy conditions.
Your £15 gets you a choice of side: triple-cooked chips, beef-dripping fries or a lettuce & herb salad. But if you’re up for something extra, I recommend the mac ‘n’ cheese or the potted beef & bacon. The macaroni is baked in a little cast iron pot and served with toasted bread crumbs over the top. It is amazing. The beef-dripping fries are skinny, American style and the beef flavor provides the saltiness without needing to add any extra salt.
Hawksmoor also offers secondary and seasonal burger choices. The Kimchee burger sits on a bed of spiced cabbage with Korean sauce and is made from short-rib beef. The “Third” burger has rotates with the seasons; they just retired the Christmas offering which was a patty of buttermilk fried turkey topped with a sausage patty made from Ginger Pig Tamworth pork, along with crispy smoked bacon, sprout tops and spiced cranberry ketchup.
If you have any room leftover for desert, then I recommend the peanut butter shortbread. Served with salted caramel ice cream, the shortbread is served warm and soft with a melted chocolate center and is drizzled with caramel and topped with roasted nuts. Delicious and just a tad under ‘too heavy’.
My suggestion for enjoying this burger is to go with friends and at a time when the steaks won’t pose too great a temptation. Enjoy a casual lunch rather than client meeting, night out with your parents or significant other. Beyond that, my guidance would be a medium rare burger and a friend to order the other type of fries so you can share. Eat slowly, enjoy the surroundings, savor the flavors and don’t leave any debris behind.
Hawksmoor Seven Dials (Burger) – 45/50
Beef (10): Juicy, flavorful, blended with bone marrow and perfectly cooked.
Bun (9): A simple brioche bun that can stand up to the juice.
Toppings (8): Simple, but fresh and don’t distract from the meat.
Value (8): The £15 bar burger is fancy, but worth it.
Ambiance (10): Located in the old Watney-Combe brewery, great feel.
You can visit their website here. Make a booking, even if you think you’re going at a low-time.