Foxlow in Clerkenwell is from the same restaurant group as Hawksmoor, but given that I have not yet given into the pull of much-talked-about-but-expensive Hawksmoor, you will not find me comparing the two. My good friend Chris had repeatedly told me that Foxlow did the best salmon in the city – so good that he would often rather dine alone at Foxlow than cook for himself – so I was excited when he finally organised for us to grab a bite there last Tuesday evening.
I’d come straight from the Nike Run Club so had worked up a serious appetite. We were 100% in the right place. We sat up on high red leather stools in the bar area, and I drooled over the interior design and the items on the menu in equal measure.
Pickle-focused drinks kept us hydrated as we perused. My Pickle Buck cocktail was a surprisingly wonderful combination of rye, maple, pickle juice and ginger ale (£8.75).
The boys had beers and Pickle Back shooters (bourbon chased with pickle juice) – their faces in the aftermath suggested the pickle juice was possibly pure vinegar with a floating gherkin in it…
Obviously Chris ordered the House-Cured Salmon (£13), with a side of spring greens. Shane and I were taken with the Eight Hour Bacon Rib with maple and chilli (£16), with sides of skin-on fries with chicken salt (I’m still not sure what chicken salt is, but it tasted good!).
Food service was speedy – thankfully, as I was ravenous and my cocktail was going straight to my head! The bacon ribs were ginormous, and served with a big slice of charred pineapple and a jug of divine barbecue sauce (probably the best I’ve ever tasted). Succulent and melt-in-the-mouth tender, our plates were soon clean.
I was craving dessert. Shane was after a digestif. We got both – I ordered the Elvis Presley Sandwich (when faced with the choice “with or without candied bacon”, obviously I went “with”!) with three spoons, and Shane ordered us each a glass of Fernet Branca.
Our dessert and digestif course was somewhat of a mixed experience. The Elvis pudding was divine – banana, peanut butter, milk ice cream, sweet fried bread and candied bacon all came together to create an unforgettable dish. When faced with us and three spoons, it didn’t stand a chance, and lasted less than 60 seconds.
The bitter and herbal digestive liquer, on the other hand, was quite disgusting (if you ask me). Who wants to drink mouthwash after a perfectly lovely dinner?! [See Chris’ face below…]
The bill arrived, and we played ‘guess the total’ without much accuracy. Foxlow is not cheap (about £40 per head) but it is excellent.
Clerkenwell isn’t short of great restaurants and beautiful venues, but Foxlow is certainly vying for the top spot.
I am super keen to go back for lunch, to try the Ribwich lunch special (“a tribute to a Homer Simpson favourite” for £12) – slow smoked beef, pork and bacon rib, with slaw and pickles, in a sandwich – OMG!
Sundays see a proper roast (Middlewhite porchetta or smoke-roast beef rib with all the trimmings) added to the menu for £19.50.
69-73 St John Street, Clerkenwell, EC1M 4AN