Hawksworth is the perfect spot for a posh business breakfast or casually elegant lunch or even a chic cocktail hour tête-à-tête—say, on the leather-lined banquette in the lounge, beneath the dazzling Damien Hirst (“Big Love Diamond Dust,” with a butterfly, of course). But it is at dinner service, fine-dining time, when the full range of David Hawksworth’s exquisite culinary vision is on full display. His style is constantly evolving and always interesting. It possesses a finesse that’s easily traced to the great U.K. kitchens where he honed his craft decades ago. The cooking is sophisticated, enchantingly colourful, generally light and possessed of an almost Asian preoccupation with texture and mouth feel. Expect bright, distinct flavours, balance and, typically, varied textures and a bit of crunch. Influences are assertively, convincingly international. Think of starters like compressed melon with jamón Ibérico, smoked goats’ cheese and crunchy hazelnut. Or scallop with a tangy nuoc cham vinaigrette and crispy noodles. And to follow a flawlessly cooked breast of duck from Yarrow Meadows, its fat rendered and crisp, with salsify and turnip and lingonberry-foie gras jus. Wayne Kozinko’s desserts are exceptional. The wine list is well curated, and many excellent wines are available by the glass—ask Sommelier Bryant Mao for one of his inspired recommendations.
Photos: JACKY CHUI