Foxlow has done very well in growing our of the Hawksmoor shadow. Initially I was a bit confused by the menu, it clings onto its roots by offering steak, then people were talking about their ribs, as well as really good salads. Is it possible to specialise in everything?
We started off with some cocktails. My Miami Dolphin was deliciously syrupy; St John's cocktail was much mellower and balanced, but the Sanlucar Fizz was decidedly odd. Instead of sharing some starters, we went for some light bites to save space for the meat feast to follow.
Anchovy & Goat's Butter Crisps
The combination of goats cheese and anchovy was surprisingly pleasant, neither were too intrusive and the creamy textures of the cheese helped to stretch the flavours and got my palate going.
Mama Ghanouj & Sourdough
It must be a middle eastern dip. It was much lighter and moister than hummus, We were told that it was made from courgettes as opposed to squash. I liked it, didn't fall in love with it.
Eight Hour Bacon Rib with Maple & Chilli
This was simply brilliant. The sturdy rib held its structure firmly despite the slow-cooking, but we could slice through it like a hot knife through butter. The meat retained its succulence and its smokiness, which came through the thick barbecue glaze and was packed with meaty flavours. The grilled pineapple was the perfect touch to round off the savoury rib.
Ten Hour Beef Shortrib with Kmichi
This was probably the low-light of the evening; not because it wasn't good, more because the other dishes were so much more exciting.
The meat was very tender, so much so that when James tried to separate the hunk of rib into 5 portions, it kind of reduced to a mass pile of pulled meat. I think the meat was well-seasined, but possibly a tiny weeny bit drier than anticipated because it's relatively lean. I doused it with the more watery peppercorn sauce and it was better, just not mind-blowing.
Deckle medium rare
Deckle is also known as the ribeye cap; that's the meat around the eye of the rib-bone, which could be a long strip of muscle once trimmed from the bone. It may not look beautiful, but it has the tenderness of tenderloin and the flavours from the rib-eye. The meat was incredibly soft, although it wasn't quite like wagyu where the meat melts away to leave strong bovine fragrance, it was still fatty and marbled, so it was like chewing on marshmallow and the muscles just kept oozing meat juice. This steak alone is strong enough to pull me back to Foxlow. How come Hawksmoor doesn't do it?
Rib Fillet medium rare
I shouldn't down-play the rib-fillet, for it was still very much up there with some of the finer steakhouses in town. The steak was rich in beefy grease, beautifully seared on seal its concentrated meat juice and so rich in flavours. Unfortunately when we had it next to the deckle, it was losing out on the limelight.
Iberico Pork 'Pluma' served medium
Just as we thought the deckle cut was pretty unbeatable, the 'pluma' gave us another perk. At first I thought the pork was looking a tad dry, but boy I couldn't have been more wrong. The charred edges gave a powerful smoky essence, and locked in all the piggy goodness. As expected the pork was delicate in texture, balanced in fat and bursting with flavours. We have tasted a fair number of Iberica pluma dishes, and this one comes top, hands down (even beats Nuno Mendes' *gasp*).
Skin-on Fries with chicken salt
The fries with chicken salt deserves a special mention too as they were addictive together with chicken salt. That said after a while it began to taste too similar to chicken stock cube, which is arguably the same thing.
I thought the sausage-stuffed onion sounded intriguing. Sadly it was literally sausage meat plonked into an onion and drowned in a thick gravy. Not that it had anything wrong with presenting what's written on the tin, but the sausage was too lean and bland, together with the mushy onion and the pool of gravy... just really looked like it came out of a tin.
We didn't stay for dessert, no one had space for it. Instead we popped next door to Giant Robot where the extensive list of cocktails kept flowing through to midnight.
Foxlow is absolutely fantastic - personally I think it beats its giant sister Hawksmoor. I like the diversity of the menu without losing focus of delivering top-quality steak. The dishes are straight forward and it's simply solid cooking and top quality meats. I can't wait to come back - Foxlow has officially became my favourite meat joint.
69-73 St John Street