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Kingston’s culinary scene is flying high thanks to Hawkers Bar and Brasserie
May 1st 2017 | Written by Baldwin Ho

Kingston’s culinary scene is flying high thanks to Hawkers Bar and Brasserie

Hawkers Bar and Brasserie has a distinct 1920s style thanks to the inspiration from their aviation hero, Harry Hawker. It is one of the most stylish dining and drinking establishments in Kingston with a stunning 10-metre copper bar, engaging geometric designs, sumptuous teal banquettes and designer lighting structures.

Riding the wave of gin popularity, they have some innovative cocktail options using artisanal gins such as Sake infused Jinzu gin and Kingston’s own Beckett’s gin distilled with mint picked from Neil’s backyard and Juniper from Box Hill. It is, in fact, the only gin in the world distilled with British juniper and mint; they have created their signature cocktail, The Aviator using this gin.

The menu is essentially classically British with some modern updates. Pan fried wild mushrooms weren’t your bland button mushroom variety but an exotic mixture of Chanterelle, Enoki and Oyster mushrooms on top of a spongy toasted brioche. What really took this dish to another level was the use of tarragon hollandaise. It added an extra level of earthiness to the decadent tasting sauce. It also helped that the mushrooms were sous vide and they also used garlic chives along with the garlic spinach. By comparison, my guest’s choice of classic caesar salad starter seemed unadventurous in comparison.

The main courses were equally divine tasting if slightly messy in terms of the presentation. The sustainable blackened sea bass had an ample spread of crispy kale, which also ended up on my guest’s dish of beer batter tempura of halloumi even though the description didn’t include kale. However, it was very much welcomed by both of us, as it was lightly fried so that it came in a slightly crunchy texture. The sea bass came with Noilly Prat sauce, which helped to intensify the taste of the fish. In addition, the skin of the fish was made golden crispy as well to make the dish even more desirable.

The halloumi had an unusual red pepper sauce when you might have expected a tomato sauce. It tasted very earthy and wholesome and the kind of dish vegetarians happily order every time they visit a top brasserie like Hawkers.

Thankfully their dessert was medium-sized rather than anything too excessive, so we tried the traditionally prepared blackberry and apple crumble and the dream dessert for caffeine addicts: coffee crème brûlée with handcrafted baileys ice-cream. It was so addictive tasting, you could happily order another portion instead of drinking your traditional cup of post-dinner coffee.

baldwin@townfish.com

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