Address: 69-73 St John St, EC1M 4AN (MAP)
Transport: Tube: Farringdon or Barbican (Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Line). Train: Farringdon. Buses.
Website: www.foxlow.co.uk. Follow them on Twitter.
The food. Coming from the owners of the much beloved Hawksmoor, I could only expect great things about their new ‘neighborhood’ restaurant in Clerkenwell. And that’s very tricky, because sometimes, when you expect a lot from one place, everything ends up being a bit disappointing. Thankfully, Foxlow was not even close to that. We decided to start our dinner with a couple of small dishes to share, the Smokehouse Rillettes, and Butternut Squash & Ricotta on Toast. Both were really lovely, but it was when the main courses arrived when this restaurant became a total winner. The Beef Short Rib with Kimchi was so tender and tasty I honestly wanted to lick the bone after I finished, and there are no words to describe how beautifully the Bacon Rib with Maple & Chilli was cooked. It was like being in a heaven made of meat. And let me just say another thing: those Dripping Potatoes made my night. The only letdown came when they run out of Peanutella & Sweet Toast, which looked incredible, but a Chocolate & Popcorn sundae was good enough to wipe my tears. The menu is perfectly balanced, well executed, traditional but with an interesting twist. Absolutely fantastic. And the portions were huge, which is something all meat lovers will love. They have a couple of vegetarian options, but I think this is a place mainly for those who can appreciate great meat. The cocktails were very nice too, as well as their well selected wine menu. They do accept reservations.
The place. Foxlow has the quality to look unpretentious even though it’s still a bit upmarket. It has all the element you’ve seen before in any trendy restaurant (white brick walls, wooden tables, absence of light…) but in this particularly case, the space has a very strong personality, thanks to that beautiful old train station look that they gave it. We were seated at the top level, in a very nice and quiet area, where there was a lot of room between tables, and I enjoyed the atmosphere a lot. I don’t know how they managed to make the space look a bit posh but still humble, but they did a great job.
The service. It’s obvious that the restaurant is pretty new and the staff need more time to gain some confidence, but everything looked very well organised and they were pretty efficient and friendly. They left us enough time between dishes, something that I particularly appreciated after the heavy main course, and they took especial care to make sure everything was alright. The dinner was a lovely time and I think they did a very good job.
The value. Two starters, a couple of huge main courses and a dessert for £80, including drinks and tip. Considering I almost go rolling down back home to Brixton - and the great quality of their meat, primarily - I have to say it’s a pretty good price. In fact, I’ve paid more money in other restaurants where the quality and quantity was not even close. Would I come back? Absolutely! But next time, you better have that Peanutella in your menu, because I honestly need it.