Thursday, August 22, 2013


Honest to truth, I do not know much about Hawksworth. Apparently the chef is David Hawksworth who is a respected chef in Vancouver? It seems like the tasting menu is the most popular choice here, but I only came for the 30oz heritage angus bone in rib eye. For the price, it MUST be good right?

The entrance to the restaurant is through Hotel Georgia and the restaurant is quite dim. I love how the cutlery is displayed as an "H". 

I deliberately chose coming here on a Wednesday evening and assumed the restaurant would be quieter, but I was wrong. The restaurant was pretty busy and this was at 9:00pm. Me of course, having the spotlight effect and not wanting to bother people with the flash from my phone, asked if we could move to another room because I thought it would be more quiet. Also, this is when I definitely learned my lesson to never change tables.

The other room is not quieter and was equally as loud, plus we got seated by the washroom :(.

The drink tastes plain and seems like there are missing ingredients. Furthermore, there is a lack of spice in the caesar.

The veal sweetbread is a bit over deep fried and there is nothing really special about the appetizer to me. As for the bone marrow puree, the flavour is light but there is also a rich fattiness. For us, this is probably the worst choice of appetizer, but there was nothing we were really interested in. Thinking back, we should have ordered a soup or anything else. However, it is our first time trying deep fried veal sweetbread so we now know what it tastes like; popcorn veal like popcorn chicken.

Not satisfied with the first appetizer, we ordered a second; which is actually an entree. Plus, I did not have the veal sweetbread and left it for BF, who would probably enjoy it slightly more so it does not seem as wasteful. Before choosing the sturgeon, it was either between the yellowfin (with sweet n' sour broccoli and fried rice) which did not seem appealing, or the wild salmon (with manilla clams) which was a close call! Anyway, about our second "appetizer", since the restaurant is dimly lit, neither of us read the menu description and never knew the surgeon is actually tandoor cooked. As for the taste, the sturgeon is slightly overcooked. Therefore, slightly stiff (although meaty). In addition, we could not eat the dish properly because this is what our table looked like.

The sturgeon is at the very back of the table and because I did not stand up to grab some of the food, I was basically reaching over the table to get piece by piece which was not fun. Asides from the slightly overcooked sturgeon, the crispy chickpeas have a nice crispiness and are fairly tasty. Basically, everything except the sturgeon tastes like a filling for samosa and was quite flavourful with a garam masala spice.

This is the only reason I am here. Can I be barbaric? Yes, rather than eating the crispy bone marrow with the steak, the first thing I did was take a whole piece and taste the rich burst of fattiness in my mouth. I have never had crispy bone marrow before and love the idea. As for the highlight, the rib eye is cooked to a perfect medium rare and I love the concept of sharing, where the steak is pre-sliced. However, the steak is quite chewy. Furthermore for the price, there needs to be a better quality control. The cook should know where the tendon is and throw it away, why serve it? 

I am really boring and like the natural flavours of steak, so did not try these.
In addition, also because of the way the steak is cut, the kitchen should have eliminated the tendon. Have you ever packed leftover steak, went home to microwave or bake it for a minute, and be surprised that it tastes better at than at the restaurant (usually prime rib is always the best)? That is what we did, the both of us only had a slice each and packed it up. The rib eye is barely average and not event comparbale to Gotham's or Hy's. However for the price, it should have been above average or almost perfect. I believe this is the most expensive steak (excluding wagyu) in Vancouver and should have been at least Top Five of the best.

As for the sides, the rib eye is served with potato gnocchi and summer vegetables bourquetiere. The potato gnocchi is actually really good and I have never had it before; it tastes like what it is, a potato gnocchi. As for the vegetables, the carrot along with the broccoli are okay, very soft with no complaints.

My attempt at making a pretty miserably failed but hey, the string of tendon shows.

The macarons are a bit inconsistent; where some are crispy as well as crunchy, and others are moist and slightly chewy. As for a good one, the dark chocolate tastes slightly sweet with a soft chewy filling.

I am not a big marshmallow fan but, I love the shade of fuchsia. The housemade marshmallow melts in the mouth and as for the fruit jelly (which I am usually not a fan of either) tastes slightly sweet.

If I had to visit the restaurant for dinner again, I would make sure to drop by around 6:00pm. Hawksworth seems like a casual restaurant since no one dressed up (neither did I in my fashionista destroyed skinnys) and it was quite loud with many guests drinking while staying here for hours. By the time our dinner was over, the hostess and most servers were gone and we were left with no one saying goodbye around 11:00pm. I mean, at a fine dining restaurant… I would expect someone to say bye to us before leaving. Furthermore, the prices are definitely fine dining and I believe the service can be as well, for those who come earlier in the evening. Also, it would have been nice if our server asked if we needed drink refills, but oh well.

If the service was not already lacking, I left my purse at the restaurant and it was frustrating because the hostess station was closed while the bar was still open. The thing is, there is no contact information for the bar so I could not get ahold of anyone to let them know I was coming back for my purse! I ended up calling Hotel Georgia and someone at the front desk grabbed the back for me, before Hawksworth closed. You would think a fine dining restaurant would have called me since I made reservations through Opentable…

In the end, the prices do not match the food quality or service. Is it stupid of me to assume the most expensive dish would be the best? Yes. The steak was not worth the price in our case because the tendon was not removed. However, the rib eye can be worth trying for those who want to splurge because the presentation was a bit neat, although I do not think it is worth $125.00 or $62.50/person. Overall, I would not revisit even if a friend was in town unless they really wanted to try a specific item on the menu. I mean, usually if there is a restaurant with a nice view and the food is mediocre; great, there is a view. But what am I here for?

- Professional service in the beginning (pulled out the chair for me)
- Crispy bone marrow and the bone marrow puree is pretty rich
- Petit fours…?

- Service disappeared (no drink refills or followed up throughout dinner)
- Food quality does not match the prices
- Why leave tendon in the steak?

- Tasting menus may be better than a la carte

Food: 2/5
Service: 2.5/5

Hawksworth on Urbanspoon

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