5a Air Street, London, W1J 0AD, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)207 406 3980
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Lunch Mon-Fri 12-3pm; Dinner Mon-Fri 5pm-11pm; Dinner Sat-Sun 12-11pm
Door: Open door
Style: Restaurant bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Food: Full menu
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Hawksmoor's latest venue sees the steak-and-cocktails chain take over the former space occupied by Cocoon and brings it a prime West End site for the first time. They've expanded the space (lowered the floor, heightened the ceilings) and the food offer (here seafood takes top billing above steak). Long gone is the contemporary Asian interior, replaced by a warm, wooden interior, low lighting and stained glass windows looking down on to Regent Street.
Before you get to the restaurant there's the cocktail bar, with an updated menu that gently pares back the historical drinks with 'pimped' classics (their word) and original creations from Hawksmoor's current and former big-name bartenders. The menu kicks off with an 1874 categorisation of drinks for ALL times of day (from 'eye-openers' for 6am, 'big reposers' at 9am, 'ante-lunch' drinks at midday and so on). Most drinks on offer are classic in execution, though there are the now obligatory fat-washed spirits and other homemade elements plus they're not snobby about blended drinks either - Rogerio's Batida (cachaca, coconut sorbet, condensed milk, passion fruit and lime juice) being probably the tastiest ever.
Cocktails come beautifully balanced and pretty to look at, both in glassware and garnish - there's certainly no let up in the proficiency of the cocktails and the attention to detail, however fast-expanding Hawksmoor is. Most drinks are around £9. Add in friendly, welcoming, warm and sassy staff - no service robots here - and the formula is complete.