Following Hawksmoor’s recent opening on Deansgate, Manchester Wire tried out the acclaimed steak restaurant. Hawksmoor Manchester’s bar area is surprisingly informal – with an atmosphere that, even on a rainy Tuesday, bordered on raucous. Its 12-page cocktail menu makes for extensive reading: divided into Anti-Fogmatics, Pre- and Post-Prandials, Bridging Drinks, Cards & Cigars and Disco Drinks, for all times of day and night, it features such delights as the Deansgate No 2, pairing honeycomb-infused rye and the aperitif wine Cocchi Rosa, and the Marmalade Cocktail, with its gin-and-marmalade pairing proving an eye-opener. The wine menu is equally epic, with reds alone running to around 70 bins – before ‘Rarities’ are even factored in. Pricing, as throughout Hawksmoor’s menu, is aimed at the special occasion and business expense crowd – although options do start at £6 per glass or £22 a bottle. The dining room is all dark wood panels, blue leather seating and 1950s lamps, and the staff are attentive and chatty. There’s little stuffiness to be found in this former Victorian courthouse. Starter highlights were moreish bone marrow, served with heaps of fried onions, and the roast scallops, presented in shells filled with tarragon and garlic sauce. However Hawksmoor is all about its thick-cut steaks, which are famous available to share – plus a few cuts for one. Medium-rare 850g Porterhouse (one of the smallest sharing cuts) was plenty for two, with anchovy hollandaise and béarnaise proving the favoured accompaniments. Sides include creamed spinach (our favourite),  triple-cooked chips and shortrib macaroni. If you’ve made it this far, dessert is a must. The endeavour was made worthwhile by the Ambassador’s Reception, basically an over-sized Ferrero Rocher, the most popular choice on the menu. The Rhubarb Ripple Sundae balanced it out – its tartness a sharp contrast to the sweet Ambassador. Hawksmoor’s first restaurant outside of London, where its six locations have been thriving for over a decade, is a welcome addition to the city – and one that, based on this visit, its residents are keen to embrace.

Hawksmoor Manchester, The Courthouse, 184-186 Deansgate, M3 3WB, Tel: 0161 836 6980, Mon – Sat 12pm – 3pm (lunch) & 5pm – 10.30pm (dinner), Sun 12pm – 10pm,

Chris Horkan
Published on:
Sat 4 Apr 2015