Hawkyns is the latest restaurant by Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar. The restaurant, situated in the picturesque town of Old Amersham at The Crown Inn is a place where guests can spend a night, drink a few too many glasses of wine and dine on a menu of modern British and Indian cuisine designed to excite and intrigue the palate. The Crown Inn is the hotel this fabulous restaurant is located inside and if there was ever a question of the best restaurant in perhaps not just Amersham, but Buckinghamshire – I’m putting my money on Hawkyns.
While the famous Atul Kochar has his name behind this tantalising restaurant, the kitchen here is looked after by what can only be described as a very talented and capable team who have produced some seriously stunning dishes. But before any of that, we sipped on a expertly crafted Negroni which really got the palate racing.
We settled on the restaurants tasting menu which was an absolute steal, priced at just £55 or £95 with a delicious wine pairing – the latter offering very generously poured glasses. Our amuse bouche was a selection of some mini Punjab style samosas and an almost focaccia style bread of sorts which was paired with a glass of Atul’s signature brut sparkling. It was all very delicious and the perfect start to our meal.
First of the tasting menu dishes to arrive was one I can sill recall both in terms of flavour and texture. A very well crafted game terrine, complimented by acidity pleasing pickled radish and spiced mayo. A truly delightful and delicious dish which paired so well with the accompanying waxy Viognier wine.
One thing I loved about our evening here is that with every dish we enjoyed, it simply got better and better though each new course. Heritage beetroot with avocado & pomegranate chaat looked like a rather unassuming plate of food, but it was anything but. Vibrant, mouth-watering, full of textures and of course a nice streak of spice running through it. Again another wine from our wine-pairing complimented it beautifully, this time a tropical Grüner Vetliner from Austria
My favourite dishe from the entire evening was “Atul’s Fish & Chips”. At first I thought such a dish was going to be a gimmick, but it really wasn’t. Th fish was so beautifully cooked and flaky. The batter was as golden as could be and the whole dish was so well-flavoured. Flavours of pickled mango mayo, crushed ginger peas and a glass of malt ale to wash I all down with. This dish really couldn’t have been improved in any way and was certainly the best fish & chips I’ve had in years.
Another gorgeous dish was the melt in your mouth pork cheeks. They came served on a bed of grated coconut Brussels sprouts and smothered in a rich and glossy curry sauce which was so fragrant and refined. Accompanying those gorgeous cheeks was some fondant potato and a glass of warming Chilean Carmenere wine.
Some outstanding home-made ice-cream later to act as a palate cleanser, we tucked into our dessert which was paired with a refreshing Piquepoul Moelleux from the Languedoc in France. A lovely light and refreshing malai kulfi with a mango & raspberry purée and drizzled with chia seeds. A really lovely dessert which made me realise I don’t have enough kulfi in my life.
We finished up on some coffee and the most delicious selection of petits fours. All very moist and very fruity. The perfect way to end our evening before heading back to our room here at the hotel.
I really enjoyed my meal at Hawkyns and can hand on heart say this was one of the best Indian meals I’ve had in the UK for some time. What I love about the cooking here is that while it gets a little creative with its dishes, the kitchen team never seem to over step the mark in terms of fusion and you’ll see exactly what I mean when dining here. Not to mention experiencing the best fish & chips of your life, Indian style. Hawkyns has finally put Amersham back on the map as a real foodie destination and I can’t wait to see how it evolves.
NB: My meal was complimentary. All views are as always, my own. My views are not influenced by anyone other than my own palate and slightly poor eyesight.