All the best bits of Hawksmoor, wrapped up in a friendly neighbourhood restaurant
Foxlow is the new restaurant from the Hawksmoor founders, Will Beckett and Huw Gott serving slow-smoked and charcoal grilled dishes, salads and sides alongside original cocktails and reasonably priced wines.
It’s situated in a Grade II listed former cork warehouse and features reclaimed materials throughout including 1950s oak flooring and pendant light fittings from a workingmen’s club in Wigan. Don’t worry, there are steaks on the menu but they’re lesser-known cuts such as Deckle, the top, fatty part of the rib-eye and Rib fillet, the leaner central part of the rib-eye. Both are available in 250g weights, while bigger cuts are written up on the boards and may include Porterhouse, T-bone or Prime Rib. As with Hawksmoor, most of the meat comes The Ginger Pig.
I arrived before Antonia (she’s always late) and took my pick from a few empty tables upstairs. Our waitress Ema immediately offered me some water and handed over the menus. From my two trips to the Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar I’ve come to expect a high level of service and Foxlow didn’t let the side down.
By the time Antonia turned up I’d pretty much made my mind up on the menu. I got a tip from Jess the Bao on Twitter to have the Anchovy & Goat’s Butter Crisps (£3) as a snack and I’m glad we took her advice. You get 3 crisps for your £3 and I thought they lovely little mouthfuls – salty anchovy, creamy butter and cheese and crispy… crisp but Antonia wasn’t a fan, which made the ‘who get’s the last one?’ decision easy.
Another thing you expect from Hawksmoor is a great cocktail menu and there were some interesting ones on the menu here, especially the Smokestack Mary – gin, tomato, chipotle, smoked paprika and peated Scotch (£7) and the Pickle Buck – rye, maple, lime, pickle juice & ginger ale £8.50. We went for wine in the end though and after some very knowledgable advice from Ema decided to ignore everything she said and go for the Rosso Piceno, Ciú Ciú ‘Bacchus’ 2012 at £23, which worked well with the rich flavours we were about to have.
As a starter we had the Crispy Five Pepper Squid, which was as good as any but on the small side for £7. Torn between the Eight Hour Bacon Rib with Maple & Chilli and Ten Hour Beef Shortrib with Kimchi (both £16) I opted for the latter and wasn’t disappointed. Lovely, smokey meat falling off the bone with good kimchi to cut through some of the fat. Antonia had the Iberico Pork ‘Pluma’, supplied by Brindisa (£16), which was served medium, full of flavour and perfectly charred on the outside.
You don’t get much with your meat here so you’ll need some sides. There’s a salad bar with 5 options and you can have 2 options as a side salad. We went for the lemon-roasted carrots & fennel and baked beetroots with hazelnuts & horseradish (£4). It’s a good portion for £4 and both salads were superb. We also had the Broccoli with Chilli & Anchovy (another good recommendation from Jess) at £4.50, which is tenderstem and topped with a cheesy sauce. There wasn’t much (if any) kick from the chilli but the saltiness of the anchovies worked well.
We usually skip dessert because we order too much of the other stuff but we couldn’t turn down the sundae section of the menu, which has 5 options (£5 each). Antonia wanted Bourbon Caramel, I wanted Peanut Butter & Jelly… We asked Ema and luckily she sided with me! It was good but the jelly syrup was too thick, sweet and intense for me.
Foxlow is pitched as a neighbourhood restaurant, the sort of place Will and Huw would like to have near their homes to visit regularly with friends and family. Warm, informal service and a comfortable, lived-in interior with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and I think they’re nailed the brief. I just wish I lived nearer…
|Anchovy & Goat's Butter Crisps||£3.00|
|Crispy Five Pepper Squid||£7.00|
|Ten Hour Beef Shortrib with Kimchi||£16.00|
|Iberico Pork 'Pluma'||£16.00|
|Broccoli with Chilli & Anchovy||£4.50|
|Peanut Butter & Jelly Sundae||£5.00|
|Rosso Piceno, Ciú Ciú ‘Bacchus’ 2012||£23.00|
69-73 St. John Street,
London EC1M 4AN