Foxlow is run by Hawksmoor founders and childhood friends Will Beckett and Huw Gott. It is the fifth project from Will and Huw after they sold a major stake in their Hawksmoor empire.
Situated on St John’s Street in Farringdon, Foxlow has a relatively large dining space which they’ve transformed into a friendly neighbourhood restaurant, boasting white walls, blue leather booths, dark wood furniture and minimal decoration. It has a rather masculine feel to it which appears clean, light and airy.
Unfortunately the latter was not true on the first floor of the restaurant where we dined in a booth for four. It was very warm and a little too stuffy to get comfortable especially when the fashion at this time of year tends to be long sleeved clothing! We asked whether they could switch on the air con halfway through our evening to which they responded by opening a window to let in some fresh air. It was much better after that but I almost wished we had asked earlier.
We kicked things off with a carafe of house red wine, priced at a very reasonable £16 per bottle. This somewhat added up though after a further two were ordered throughout the rest of the evening! The wine was accompanied by a few slices of sourdough bread and kabanos, which is a type of Polish long thin dry sausage. Smoky in flavour they are basically a fancy alternative to peperami.
As there were four of us dining together we decided the best tactic was to share a selection of starters so we could try as much as possible. We ordered the squid, spare ribs and rillettes. My favourite of the three had to be the Crispy Five Pepper Squid, it was much more special than your standard calamari, the squid was perfectly cooked and tasted delicious coated in peppery breadcrumbs. The dip was dazzling too, if you’ve never tried squid before this should be your entry dish, you’ll love it forever after trying this!
The Smoked Tamworth Spare Ribs were also delicious. Smothered in a smoked bbq and sweet chilli sauce, the meat fell off the bone. Seasoned with hot smoked paprika, fennel seeds and garlic they had a real oomph to them.
A dish of ‘smokehouse rillettes’ saw a smoky mound of beef, turkey, pork and pig fat (lardo) knocked into shape by a tart jumble of cucumber and pickles. The silky texture of the smokehouse rillettes spread beautifully over sourdough toast. It was another delightful meaty taster.
Between us, we ordered three Deckle steaks and one Beef Shortrib. Our knowledgeable waiter informed us that the Deckle was the best cut in the house, an often overlooked part of meat, the deckle is one of the two parts in a rib eye steak. The cut contains a thick strip of fat and some connective tissue which, for all your rare meat eaters, requires being cooked for a bit longer so that the fat get’s to a nice crispy level.
Sounds yummy right? It sure was! Served with bone marrow, onions and watercress, we also order a portion of chips dusted with chicken salt – perfect for dipping in the juicy bone marrow!
The Ten Hour Beef Shortrib was just as magical. Served with Kimchi, a Korean fermented cabbage dish, the layer of beef on the shortrib was thick and literally melt in your mouth. I’m glad I was able to try both main dishes, but I think the Deckle just about topped it as it was truly delectable!
We ordered a selection of sides to accompany the mountain of meat we were devouring, including Sweet Potato & Kale Hash, Skin-on-Fries and Green Slaw. The Sweet Potato & Kale Hash was very unusual, a hearty side dish packed full of flavour.
I enjoyed the skin-on-fries with chicken salt, they were very salty (!!) and could have done with being shaken up a bit more, but they were tasty nonetheless. The Green Slaw was exactly that, made up of slices of green apple, cabbage and pickled cucumber, it was tangy yet refreshing in a light dressing.
If that wasn’t already enough food to keep us happy, we went on to order desserts! Although who could blame us when we saw the words “sticky” and “toffee” written on the pudding menu.
We were also intrigued by the “Elvis Presley Sandwich” which is a peanut butter, banana and candied bacon, toasted brioche sandwich served with Mr Whippy ice cream AND salted caramel sauce. The children at the table (children of 24 years of age, mind you…) couldn’t resist it and were wowed when the sugary, calorific mess arrived at the table.
Foxlow serves a selection of Neal’s Yard Cheeses available for dessert. Served on a wooden board with chutney and biscuits, we couldn’t resist sampling a couple.
I shared the Bourbon Sticky Toffee Pudding and the Passionfruit Eton Mess with another member of our dining party. The sticky toffee was good, you could certainly taste the bourbon and I was pleased to encounter a few dates in the sponge, but it wasn’t the best pud I’ve ever tried. I enjoyed the fruity passionfruit eton mess more as it was a refreshing end to the evenings meal.
To finish things off, we shared a bag of salted caramel popcorn – just to make sure we weren’t missing out on anything…
That concluded our gigantic feast at Foxlow, I’d give our evening a solid 8 out of 10. Throw in some aircon and a slightly “lighter” bill at the end of it and it could have been close to perfect.
Part smokey American pork feast and part cool French bistro, if you have a penchant for piles of pork and a passion for ribs, Foxlow’s meaty offerings will more than make do. Check out all the details below.
ADDRESS: 69-73 Saint John Street, London EC1M 4AN
CONTACT: 020 7014 8070
OPENING HOURS: 12:00pm – 3:00pm and 5:30pm – 10:30pm Monday to Saturday and 12:00pm – 4pm Sundays