This bustling drinking den tends to be frequented by City workers taking advantage of great happy hour deals and top-notch cocktails. But the adjoining restaurant is well in need of the same attention.
Even though it is set within the same large industrial-designed space, the dining area does hold on to some intimacy. When the bar gets busy, the restaurant holds its own, not becoming overwhelmed with noise and stray drinkers.
Plus, unlike many other City eateries, you’re not all crammed in tightly. The large tables are big enough to fit a proper feast too. Sink into one of the large leather chairs, grab a classic Negroni (after all, we are still celebrating the 100th year of Campari) and prepare for some really good grub.
The Kellogg’s fried chicken pieces with spicy Szechuan mayonnaise are crunchy, juicy puffs of salty goodness – a step above the offerings at your local chicken shop.
But the hero dish for starters comes in the form of a lamb tartare. It was our first time trying a lamb version of this dish and we can proudly say that we are now converts. It comes with some labneh, soured cabbage and lamb fat toast. Either get it in a small or large size and enjoy the fresh, caper-filled patty. We just wished it came with a raw egg yolk too.
And, as this is a City-based restaurant, there are plenty of other meaty choices going on in the main course. The Butchery beef burger and flat iron steak certainly do hit the spot, but we don’t mess around with beef – we came to get the rib eye with confit tomatoes and a hefty portion of triple cooked chips. And we were oh so satisfied with the perfectly cooked result.
We opted for a red wine sauce to come on the side and are keen to return and try the peppercorn, bearnaise and chimichurri alternatives another evening.
But, while the traditional red meat dishes were good, we did momentarily fall in love with the roast stone bass. We guess it was just a bit of a fling. But we’d definitely return for the fish laid on a bed of steamed leeks, surrounded by a white beer foam, filled with stray mussels. And, as there’s always room for dessert, we recommend you end it all off with a whole bunch of puddings to share.
The white chocolate cremeaux with English strawberries, crispy meringue, and broken up hazelnuts is made for summer. And, the all too often neglected cheese board holds its own, too. Much of this is thanks to the sourcing. The ever-changing cheeses come from Neal’s Yard Dairy and we all know these cheese professionals never disappoint.
But it’s all about the vegan chocolate and pecan brownies topped with chocolate sorbet for us. It’s a warm and gooey chunk of deliciousness. Even though we do recommend sharing the desserts, we certainly wouldn’t judge anyone who orders the brownie for themselves and devoured the whole thing alone. We were all too tempted to do the same.
And throughout all of this, you’ll be fortunate enough to be waited on by some highly attentive and knowledgeable staff. Let them recommend their favourite seasonal dishes and wine pairings. They don’t have sommeliers on hand, but it isn’t necessary when the waiters do a good job of it themselves.
Just be sure to get around the cocktails too – the long list is made up of some fairly special and luxurious concoctions which are reasonably priced.
That best sums up the entire experience at The Kitty Hawk. It’s high end without blowing the month’s budget. There’s plenty of flavour and skill involved in each dish and drink without being too challenging.
It’s a great spot to take clients for drinks or to go out as a group after work – everyone will be satisfied. It’s a safe dining option, but far from boring.
13&14 South Place EC2M 7EB