Believe it or not, I’ve had some rather terrible steaks recently. I won’t name and shame – but I’ve never quite understood what’s so hard about sourcing good meat. You simply need to visit the farms, try the meat, cook it yourself and compare it to others. Not to mention tasting your way through the different cuts. I think perhaps sometimes cost comes into account far too much and sales representatives from farms are very good at selling their story because too often I’ve paid over the odds for low in flavour, tough and watery meats. But you won’t get that at The Kitty Hawk, they know their meats inside and out.
Inside, The Kitty Hawk is a rather large space and is referred to as the “department store of dining” – with a coffee bar, kitchen & bar, main restaurant and private dining room. No matter what time of day, there’s always something open to eat and drink here. Food wise the main restaurant is a rather meaty affair, with a little seafood on the side and a good selection of wines and cocktails to wash it down with.
Perhaps the only downfall to The Kitty Hawk is it being a very “city drinking” destination. As you walk in through the front doors you’re immediately in the bar area which is busy, to the point that you can’t hear each other. But head downstairs and it’s a real restaurant which is very serious about its food. I love the interiors too. Sultry, modern, lots of copper, an exposed ceiling and plump leather seats. Tip – take a seat away from the stairs for a relaxed and quiet evening where you can watch inside the open kitchen.
With some good bread to start and herb infused oil for dipping, we delved into what was possibly one of my favourite steaks of 2017. Priced at £64, this Côte de Boeuf for two people is much more of a bargain than its price sounds. A large 20oz of beautiful Ashdale beef which has been dry-aged for 7-10 days and wet-aged for a further 28. All that careful ageing results in a smokey, meaty and rich flavour with a tenderness like cutting through a block of butter.
It’s all cut for you table-side and served on platter which includes homemade sauces, smoked tomatoes, roasted garlic, balsamic glazed red onions, English watercress and two pots of really good chunky chips which had been cooked in beef drippings. We also ordered an extra side of heritage tomato salad.
Both rather full after sharing our epic cote de boeuf, we still managed to squeeze in desserts and I’m so glad we did because they were an utter delight. We started our sugar heavy journey with The Kitty Hawk sundae. A creation of scoops of Cotswold ice cream layered with caramel sauce, vanilla cream, seasonal compote and topped with chocolate shards, hand-broken meringue and sticky honeycomb. The stuff of dreams.
Even better still was this calorific looking decadent warm chocolate tart. A rich chocolate cake topped with dark chocolate shards, honeycomb, more of that seasonal compote and a luscious caramel sauce. Every single bite was a lifetime on the hips, but worth every moment. The Kitty Hawk really know how to do desserts well.
With an arrival into what was a chaotic bar, the downstairs restaurant of The Kitty Hawk was a refreshing city dining experience. There’s never style over substance, but both in equal quantities and while it’s not the cheapest restaurant you’ll come across, neither will you leave hungry or needing a credit card. Desserts this good at £6.50 alone are a reason to return. Which begs the question of – would we return? Yes – but with some looser waisted trousers.
NB: I was invited to review and elements of my meal were complimentary. All views are as always, my own. My views are not influenced by anyone other than my own palate and slightly poor eyesight