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Foxlow is the kind of joint that every neighbourhood should have. Friendly service, a relaxed atmosphere and crowd-pleasing dishes are hallmarks of this mini-chain, which is a spin-off from the mighty Hawksmoor dynasty set up by Will Beckett and Huw Gott. The duo have a knack for creating venues with shared style, but without cookie-cutter sameness, giving each branch of Foxlow a unique character. Menus major on popular chicken and steak options - think finger-licking Tamworth spare ribs with green slaw, a juicy chicken burger with avocado, and perfectly cooked sirloin steak with fries and béarnaise - plus interesting veggie choices, such as spice-roasted cauliflower with chickpeas, wilted spinach and curried aubergine sauce. Separate kids’ menus, good value express deals (two courses for £12) and the popular brunch menu score further points with readers; with one fan declaring it “the best brunch ever!” Drinks meanwhile range from creative softs, like fresh grapefruit soda, to craft beers and well-priced wines. Meanwhile cocktails, including the Hawksmoor classic Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew, are impeccably made.
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13 December 2018
A neighbourhood restaurant in Soho? Lovely idea, but surely not workable? Maybe not, but this is the angle that Foxlow has gone for. The venue – the fourth in this mini chain operated by the same team behind the successful Hawksmoor venture – was full of good vibes and food and all very much on-trend. In summary, highly comforting (just like your neighbourhood local) and competent if neither revolutionary or ground-breaking. If Hawksmoor is about quintessential old-school Britishness, Foxlow is a much more modern rendering. Diners arriving are greeted with a buzzing central bar area, retro-chic floor tiling and reasonable amount of exposed brickwork. Despite the fit-out, noise levels were still very manageable, even with conversation and the soundtrack of well-curated music in the background competing. On the weekday night when we visited, every table was occupied, with those vacated immediately filled. Nonetheless, we did not feel pressured at any stage and the staff (similar to at Hawksmoor) showed a degree of genuine enthusiasm – being pleased to serve you rather than just simply doing their job – that is by no means ubiquitous across London. Onto the food, and no surprises that the main event at Foxlow is the meat, sustainably sourced from British producers, as is the case at Hawksmoor. Flawless execution would be the best description: tender and juicy meat done just as requested and across beef, pork and chicken formats. What was perhaps more notable at Foxlow – I sort of expected the meat to be good – was how well they excelled in their vegetarian offerings. Four of the eight starters were vegetarian and there were an additional four main dishes available. Having ordered all of the starters to be shared across our group, it was hard to fault any (maybe the squid was a bit too salty), but the kale and avocado salad as well as the roasted butternut squash were both stand-out successes. Even more memorable was a superb spice-roasted cauliflower main (pictured). Plates were emptied, wine was drunk (selected from a reasonable where the top-priced bottle is £50) and we left content. Every reason to return, especially when in need of comfort.
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