REVIEW: Foxlow, Clerkenwell
WHAT? The younger sibling of ever-excellent Hawksmoor steakhouse group, Foxlow worships at the altar of fresh British cuisine – namely meat. Huge slabs of it.
Awash with parquet flooring, wood panelling and leather banquettes in postal red and deep blue, the decor is swish.
Creating an authentic neighbourhood feel (though City university’s nearby students probably don’t stop by often, thanks to the mid to high end prices), it feels perfect for a birthday (and the dim evening lighting would probably help a special date go from good to great).
WHERE: First springing up in Clerkenwell (the site we dropped by one rainy afternoon), Foxlow has now expanded to Balham and Soho (the Chiswick branch sadly closed in March 2018).
Thick steaks, salty pork chops and towering Sunday roasts (£17-18.50) are the main draw, but the menu is filled with enough modern takes on British classics to suit everyone. Loosen a belt buckle and accept this meal will be heavy – it’s impossible to resist overdoing it on ribeye steak (£24.50) served with bacon salt fries, or the gargantuan fried chicken burger smothered in Kewpie mayo (£13.50), once you’ve seen them sail past to another table.
Begin, though, with rare breed spare ribs – fatty and indulgent, they’re slow-cooked, smothered in salt and served up with a tangy green slaw.
The Grill section focuses on ‘properly free-range’ chicken, and huge cuts of pork and grass-fed beef. Highlights include house-cured Scottish salmon (£14.50), flat iron steak (just £15.50) and the giant Dingley Dell pork ribeye (£13.50), though it’s worth scanning the board for the day’s specials, explained with impressive detail by your (beautiful, achingly hipster) waiter or waitress.
For a steak-focused restaurant, there are great vegan and veggie dishes – try spice-roasted cauliflower with chickpeas, wilted spinach and curried aubergine sauce or creamy veggie mac & cheese with St. Within’s cheese, broccoli, cauliflower, and vegetable gravy.
Sides are anything but an afterthought, great veggie options being mushrooms in tarragon gravy or Heritage tomato salad, but we’d write songs about how good the chilli mac ‘n’ cheese is.
WHY GO: We’d recommend Foxlow for the Ortiz anchovies & goat’s butter discs alone – all fish lovers should start with these gloriously salty snack bites, so moreish you’ll be tempted to order a second plate (and a large jug of water).
ANYTHING ELSE? Go back for the killer brunch menu. Served until 3pm, you’ll find waffles covered with fried chicken, egg or fruit, ham hock hash browns and huge breakfasts (taking in rare breed sausage, dry-cured bacon, tarragon mushrooms, spice-roasted tomato, herby white beans & toast). Oh, and there’s a MUFFIN MENU. Can you go bottomless, you ask? Silly question – choose fizz or Bloody Marys for 1.5 hours.
DETAILS: Foxlow.co.uk / 69–73 St John Street, London, EC1M 4AN /020 7014 8070