If you ask any foodie in Vancouver for their top five restaurant picks, it’s likely that Hawksworth will be on every list. One of Vancouver’s most ritzy restaurants, Hawksworth is in the deliciously decadent Rosewood Hotel Georgia. I first ate there just over a year ago, a few months after it had first opened, that meal was inspirational. Deft touches of molecular gastronomy, everything beautifully-considered and oh! deep, rich flavours and exciting food combinations. Chef David Hawksworth and his team deservedly scooped a brace of ‘Best New‘, ‘Most Exciting‘, ‘Most Fabulous Opening‘ awards after that first year. But a year on, what next?
After a glittering opening, expectations are high but all those ‘Best New...’ awards can’t be won when you’re no longer the new kid on the block. I went back recently for dinner; less showy than that first meal, I feel like Hawksworth has taken a mature direction. The new kid grew up fast. My sense is that instead of concentrating on culinary fireworks, which dazzle then fade away, what’s happening over at Hawksworth looks set to become a Canadian classic. What do I mean? Well, their angus beef tenderloin was hands-down the most delicious I’d tasted. No molecular gastronomy flashes, no glitz, just meltingly-soft with a purity of flavour that left me wishing I could eat it every single Sunday as a roast for the rest of my life.
There’s an authority to the food at Hawksworth, nothing feels try-hard. The desert menu seems to be the place that Chef is allowing his more mischievous side to come out – chocolate, lime and avocado appear together along with a vanilla custard ‘buddha’s hand’ with pink grapefruit and sesame.
It’s kind of refreshing, in a city that seems to pop its collective cork over every new opening, to walk past Hawksworth and see a busy room on almost any night in the week. The smart set haven’t moved on. Hawksworth was one of the most exciting places to eat in Vancouver when it opened, and for my money, it absolutely still is. So cheers, here’s to a new Canadian classic.
I ate as a guest of Hawksworth, however, my views are 100% my own.