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“Food was inconsistent & the room was LOUD”

Hawksworth Restaurant
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Ranked #33 of 3,775 Restaurants in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $40
Cuisines: Canadian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: Howe Street
Transit: Bus Stops are located on Howe Street and on Georgia. We are also located one block west of the City Centre Canada line station.
Description: A celebration of Vancouver’s cultural diversity and natural environment Hawksworth Restaurant showcases ingredient led, contemporary cuisine that demonstrates the highly skilled technique and relentless drive for perfection that has become Chef David Hawksworth’s trademark.Glamorous and elegant, yet relaxed and welcoming with warm and attentive service, Hawksworth Restaurant is located in the heart of the city at Georgia and Howe Streets within the legendary Rosewood Hotel Georgia.Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, with in bar dining menus and its own private room, Hawksworth can deliver an array of dining experiences from power breakfasts to after-work drinks, to formal gala events.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Food was inconsistent & the room was LOUD”
Reviewed October 31, 2011

Despite trying to book a Friday night table for 2 nearly 2mos in advance, I was only able to see reservations through Open Table for either 6pm or 9pm, which shows just how in-demand this restaurant has been since its opening just a few months ago.

The BF & I were seating in the inner-most room in a corner table which afforded us a good view of the dining room (there's actually 3 rooms: a bar/lounge, the Pearl room & then the Art room - we were in the latter) although we were right by the bathrooms.

From a design perspective, while the room seems to look quite sleek, I realized that the banquette seating around the back periphery of the Art room was slightly too deep and therefore some kind of lumbar support by way of pillows should've been available, but all they had were pretty useless, mushy little rectangular cushions which didn't do much & so I wasn't very comfortable during the meal.

Also, as all the furnishings are "hard", there was nothing to absorb the sound which meant that the dining room was terribly loud & so it was difficult to have a conversation despite the BF being sat right next to me! There were parties several tables over which I could hear too, so this wasn't conducive to trying to have a romantic night out.

But! While I understand some people would go to Hawksworth to "see & be seen", the most important criteria should be the food. I had never eaten @ West so I have no point of reference, but had some very high hopes going from friends' & internet reviews.

Our initial waitress didn't tell us that specials were available, and it was only the one who came to take our order who actually informed us of what they were! The list sounded pretty amazing so we were given a couple more minutes to decide.

I had the apple & beet salad w/chevre which I must say was UNBELIEVABLE! Wow, totally delicious & I was actually pained having to let the BF have a taste! And for $11, I could pop over to eat that dish any time & be super happy. Likewise, they had a special ravioli starter which the BF tried (I couldn't due to my nut allergy) but he said it was mind-blowingly delicious, which made me pretty jealous.

We shared the 22oz ribeye for the main and this is where the inconsistency mentioned in my title comes in. Since the starters were so amazing, we were really excited to get the ribeye as it's our favourite cut of meat & we have it often. The potatoes were fine (but nothing "wow), the veg was fine (again, nothing wow), the crispy bone marrow was interesting and then the meat was totally disappointing! We'd asked for the ribeye to be medium well but once it was served (sliced), we discovered the end pieces to be slightly charred on the outside but edible, and then the middle slices were close to rare!

I had mentioned this to one of the wait staff but by then we didn't want to continue eating & figured, well, at least if we take the remainder of the ribeye home to re-cook, it's rare enough to be able to get to the right level of "done" later on! However, this really shouldn't be the case @ a restaurant of this calibre and it was a let-down to see.

I noticed the chef walking around the dining area quite a bit, which I guess is good in some ways as far as being able to engage with guests he already knew, but I didn't see him checking on perhaps 1st-time customers (like us) and then once the ribeye came out, I wished he'd stayed in the kitchen to keep an eye on QC.

We declined dessert although the selection did look yummy.

Overall, this is probably a great restaurant, albeit with some teething pains which were evident during our visit. It's just won 2nd place in enRoute magazine's "Best New Restaurant" list so surely it warrants its place but our experience didn't reflect that.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank AWC886
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 435 helpful votes
“Hawksworth, Worth Hucking...”
Reviewed October 30, 2011

Spent the first few minutes quarreling with the wine-steward about stuffing a magnum of wine into a decanter fit for just a single bottle. "Oh it will fit, you'd be surprised what it will take" chimes the sommelier - Then the wine doesn't fit and a second decanter is needed. Bush-league amateur hour in plain view of 10 guests - and then ambivalence and lack of service after proven wrong by his guest.

Located in the Hotel Georgia, how can this signature restaurant be so heartbreakingly terrible? Easy. First do something great: Take a lease in the number one hotel in the city. Next, decorate it with a great panache/style, very similar to the Connaught hotel's bar or Fortnum & Mason in London. Then, to put the poison in the well - hire a group of staff that takes its clients for granted and serves food (on the Saturday we attended) which is so painfully average that it tastes worse than you thought against the backdrop of such great decor and style. It was like going from freezing cold, to boiling hot.

I could not believe how bad each dish was, from our under-portioned appetizers (and mains) to fatty, sloppily presented dishes. I have 15% body fat, was positively starving for a bigger portion and was sad to see smears of coulis made to splatter by hasty handling. Steaks which were overcooked and pastries which were better at a main-street pasty shop. When my friend (the multimillionaire hotel guest paying the bill tonight) asked for another of the macroons that he enjoyed, he was informed that he would have to place another order of desert - "THEY (presumably the kitchen) were very rigid in their philosophy of partitioning". Apparently the customer is ‘wrong’ here. There was no love.. it was a ‘factory’ moment.

I like this hotel so much and liked the decor of the restaurant so much that writing this review about the underwhelming staff and average food, genuinely made me sad. :( That said, I'm glad for sites like tripadvisor so that I can forewarn others of the potential misery which lays ahead.

Suggestions to management:

A) Change some of your staff staff.. If they can't step it up without taking constructive comments better they need to go - like now.
B) Serve bigger portions .. it's easy.. just charge more.. I came halfway around the planet to eat here and am not going to complain about paying 20 canadian dollars more for my meal - but I am going to complain about your stingy portions which make me wish I never came through the door.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
7 Thank theLuckiestGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, CA
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Splendid”
Reviewed October 24, 2011

The combination of a stunning decor, flawless service and great food made for a wonderful experience at Hawksworth. The place is absolutely beautiful: crystal, dark wood, white leather. Loved the food - beef and duck were perfect, and it's nice to find well prepared sweetbreads on this side of the Atlantic. I loved little details like finding my favorite Luxardo cherries in a Manhattan. And there were some very interesting and well-priced finds on the winelist. Only the macarons were just ok. Would most definitely return and order a different desert.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SJ_Rosebud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
136 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Incredible room and Service, but falls a little short with the meal”
Reviewed October 23, 2011

Visited for brunch after we had heard about the remarkable art and food at the Hotel Georgia. The Hotel and restaurant are stunning. Old world glamor combining with modern design. Ordered the Hawksworth burger and the crab Benedict. The burger itself was very juicy and moist and the presentation was incredible. However, it came with a strong barbecue sauce that dulled the other flavors. On the other hand the crab benny was succulent, and buttery...hitting all the right notes. For dessert the chocolate mousse with passion-fruit was amazing. There were some real highs with this meal, but I think there is some real room for improvement. Service itself was flawless. Will we return? Yes.. the service, ambiance and potential for food deserve another visit.

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank traveling_gourmet_bc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sidney, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“The noise and service drove us away.”
Reviewed October 6, 2011

We had reservations to celebrate a special birthday dinner and went with great anticipation since the media had highly touted the Hawksworth as the newly minted BEST restaurant in Vancouver. We found our reception to be not only slow but rather lack-luster. The space between the tables was so tight that your neighbouring table might as well have been included as one table. Finally, the noise level was distracting and annoying. It was the final straw before we advised the waiter, after he finally arrived to take our order some 20 minutes later that , regretfully, we were leaving.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank Fair-by-nature
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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