Jenkins and I went to Hawksworth one evening for a nice dinner out. Before I continue with this post, I have to say that I had been looking forward to checking out Hawksworth ever since I had found out that David Hawksworth had left West and was planning to open a restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. When I found out that it was finally going to open this year, I was pleased (to say the least) and tried to figure out when was the best time to check it out for dinner.
I pretty much knew what I was going to order already but since Jenkins wasn’t as well prepared as I was, I ordered a drink while he diligently read the menu. I decided on a blueberry soda with a hint of lavender. I would say that the lavender was more than just a hint but it actually went quite well with the blueberries.
For my appetizer, I decided on the 48 hr beef shortrib. It came with some black pepper jam, cubed honeydew, shredded papaya, and a bit of peanuts and Thai basil. I had originally expected the shortrib to be quite rich and heavy but since the pieces were quite small, I found it to be a good start to my meal. The honeydew and green papaya also added some freshness to this dish and cut some of the fat from the shortrib. My favourite part of this dish was actually the honeydew, which was quite sweet and had a really interesting texture that I enjoyed – almost like it had been frozen and then slightly defrosted before serving.
I’m a bit embarrassed to say but I forgot to note down the name of the salad that Jenkins had. I only tried a little of the salad, which he quite enjoyed and noted that his favourite part was definitely the prosciutto. It was tender and moist, without being over dry and full of flavour.
I had originally thought that my short rib appetizer would be quite heavy so I wanted to go lighter with my main course. The roasted sablefish came in a tom yum broth, roasted spring vegetables, fried sushi rice, and a bit of black garlic. The sablefish was perfectly made with a crispy exterior that highlighted the moistness of the fish on the inside. I also liked the tom yum broth, which had just the right amount of tanginess and was full of lemongrass flavour. The crispy sushi rice was great for soaking up the tom yum broth and although it may seem to be plain, was actually quite tasty.
Jenkins decided on the Fraser Valley pork belly with red quinoa. The pork belly was tender and moist without being fatty at all. Jenkins said this was quite good and he enjoyed the quinoa and corn side as well. The lady at the next table ordered the same dish and added some pan-seared foie gras on top and told us that that combo was heavenly.
Finally, we were on to dessert. I had actually expected to be a little more full than I actually was by this point and had been hoping to share dessert with Jenkins. However, since we were both still a bit hungry, we decided to order a dessert each. I decided on the dark chocolate cremeux, which came with cherries and pistachios. It arrived in a deconstructed style so it was fairly easy for me to sample each thing on its own. The dark chocolate creme actually went quite well with the cherries and bits of crumbled pistachio cookies but I wasn’t a huge fan of the meringue or the pistachio sponge cake-like items on either end of the dish.
I actually enjoyed Jenkins’ kalamansi creme more, which came with some citrus slices, buttermilk ice cream, and cookie crumbles. The kalamansi creme was full of flavour and quite a bit on the tangy side, which I really liked. The buttermilk ice cream helped to mellow things out a bit and this turned out to be a really refreshing dessert and a great end to our meal.
Along with our bill, we were also presented with some champagne truffles and cassis pate de fruit. The cassis was quite flavourful but I’m not a huge fan of pate de fruit in general. The champagne truffles had just the right amount of champagne mixed with a really strong dark chocolate flavour, which was great.
Jenkins and I had a pretty nice time at Hawksworth. We did find the portion sizes to be a little on the small side but I think it’s somewhat to be expected at a place such as this. Surprisingly for me though, I enjoyed the appetizer and mains quite a bit more than the dessert though but I’m not sure if this was due to the dessert I ended up picking out. Because the dining room at Hawksworth is relatively open, it is quite noisy and Jenkins and I found it hard to hear one another even though we were just sitting across the table from each other. That’s probably my biggest complaint since it would be nice to hear your dining companion rather than the conversation of someone at the next table during dinner.
801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver