The Kitty Hawk – The ‘Department Store of Dining’
The Kitty Hawk has been called the ‘Department Store of Dining’; two floors designed by Russell Sage (Dishoom, The Grain Store) each offering a completely different experience.
The interior channels City of London’s heritage with some New York pizazz thrown in for good measure.
There’s a Coffee Bar & Patisserie which serves breakfasts and lunches to eat in or on the go with soups, salads, sandwiches and daily specials. But in the evening the ground floor is full of City boys and girls enjoying a pint or a glass or three of wine as they unwind from a day of wheeling and dealing.
It’s a cold wet night, I’m hungry and I’m very happy to be heading downstairs to the restaurant, a sexy contemporary space with a menu that majors in steaks, seafood and cocktails.
Some caraway bread came out with thyme infused olive oil which assuaged my immediate hunger pangs very nicely.
I think it’s ill-mannered not to preface a meal with cocktails. A Kitty Ultimate Bloody Mary (£11) had plenty of oomph and was perfectly balanced between the alcohol, tomato juice and spicing. A Kitty King Bellini (£12) was less successful being made with peach liqueur rather than juice (this seems to be a trend) and was too sweet for me.
Seared Brixham scallops came on a bed of sautéed pancetta and green peas, garnished with micro coriander, pancetta shards and a herby green oil (£11.50). The dish had a great flavour but the scallops could have been a bit more seared.
Brixham crab salad with a spicy chilli mayonnaise, shaved pickles garnished with micro red aramanth and lemon (£11.50) was a perfect light seasonal starter with enough chilli kick to enliven the crab.
Post-cocktail I was drinking a fruity Azienda Tola Grillo Sicily (£22.50) that was a great match for the mains. The 8oz Sirloin steak (£29.95) was tender and full of flavour and came with properly crispy chunky chips in beef dripping.
Salt-baked sea bream (£17.95) was a beautifully presented dish. Cooking in salt is a great way to cook fish and seafood. The bream was served with charred lemons and a Catalan Romesco sauce which was slightly inauthentic as it was made with peanuts rather than almonds.
A green leaf salad was crisp and fresh and was slathered with a creamy signature Kitty Hawk dressing.
Tarte Tatin (£7.50) is one of my favourite dishes. This was very good with with the surprise addition of a star anise on top!
I’m really happy to see the rise of all-day dining joints like The Kitty Hawk. They are responding to a real need for flexibility in the locations where we eat and sometimes work. A lot of effort has gone into the interiors to create a space that is functional but still characterful and food and drink offering ticks all the boxes very satisfactorily.