Being a keen foodie I am always on the lookout for fantastic local restaurants as well as those which are slightly further afield but well worth the drive for a special occasion. Hawkyns is the latest restaurant by the incredibly talented and twice Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar which is situated in picturesque Old Amersham, Buckinghamshire.
Intertwining British and Indian flavours the restaurant offers a range of menus throughout the year from A La Carte to Vegetarian Tasting, Celebrations, Children’s, Special Occasions and Bar snacks. The homely sanded wooden floors, beautiful exposed beams, relaxed country style furniture and gentle lighting create a welcoming quintessential atmosphere equally ideal for a lazy family lunch or candlelit evening.
Rushing in from the rain on a chilly Sunday afternoon we were pleasantly greeted by an attentive member of waiting staff who showed us to our pre-booked cosy table for two next to the window where we perused the drinks menu whilst watching the world go by. Being vegan I was informed that the chef could adapt the menu to suit my dietary requirements for which I ordered four dishes from the Vegetarian Tasting menu along with a raspberry mojito whilst enjoying the sumptuously light and fluffy house bread and oil to start.
I began my meal with the Heritage Beetroot with an avocado and pomegranate chaat followed by the Mushroom Galettes of saffron bread, pickled mushroom and truffle cones. The beetroot was beautifully rich, fresh and vibrant with a light chaat which melted in the mouth with every bite. Following this with the mushrooms was a beautiful balance of flavour and texture from the moist saffron bread to the crackle of cutting the truffle cone. The spiced sauce worked incredibly well with the gentle mushrooms adding an exciting depth and heat.
My main was the Jerusalem Artichoke Risotto with spiced broccoli, truffle and shallots and for dessert I had a Mixed Berry Sorbet. I’m a huge lover of rice and centre the majority of my meals around rice and grain with risotto being one of my all time favourite dishes. The Jerusalem risotto was beautifully soft, creamy and flavoursome topped with a tender heart of artichoke which married perfectly with the crisp truffle; hearty, homely and incredibly moreish. I licked my lips through every last scoop of the vibrantly fruit Mixed Berry Sorbet which was thick, smooth and uplifting, the ideal end to a charming late lunch.
My other half enjoyed sampling the gin menu with a delicious duck starter, traditional Sunday roast main and fruit crumble for dessert and there wasn’t so much as a crumb left on either of our plates. Joined by couples and families alike the chocolate-box restaurant within The Crown Hotel was merrily busy yet maintained a relaxed and laid back atmosphere throughout as the attentive staff tended to our every need and passionately explained each dish and drink. Whether you prefer English or Indian cuisine there’s something special for every taste at Hawkyns; an absolute must for foodies in Buckinghamshire.
Hawkyns Restaurant, The Crown Inn, 16 High St, Amersham, HP7 0DH