I have a soft spot for Foxlow. For me, it sits somewhere between a hip neighbourhood eatery and an upmarket casual restaurant with a lot of pizzazz. And depending on what I feel like doing (a relaxed brunch, cozy date or Sunday roast), this versatile place always fits in with my plans.
This is my second visit to their Balham branch. They had a big refurb last year and the space looks brighter and much more tasteful – see my before and after picture below.
We were back in Foxlow to try their vegan dishes to celebrate World Vegan Month in November 2018. Whilst Kris and I are not fully-fledged vegans, we are encouraging ourselves more and more to eat less meat and animal products.
The vegan menu in Foxlow is concise and mainly plant-based. I have sampled their Soho menu before but this one had additional items which we were keen to try.
As massive fans of Foxlow cocktails, we kicked things off with one of each. I opted for the St. John (Gin, lemon, plum eau de vie) – a wonderfully refreshing and boozy tipple, perfect for day time drinking.
Kris opted for the Alsatian Whip (Poblano tequila, pressed pineapple, lime) – it was sharp, citrusy and sour. The taste of the pineapple came through nicely without overpowering it. It’s a naughtied up version of a breakfast juice, a perfect accompaniment to brunch.
From the rest of the menu, we sampled:
Smashed sweet potato | Dukkah & Sourdough
Chardonnay & thyme baked golden beets | Pickled watermelon radish & toasted almonds
The beet dish had a creative cluster of elements. There was a bit of tang to it (in a good way) but you could get the full flavour of the beets at the same time. The plate looked colourful and cheery. Overall, a lovely starter.
I was, unfortunately, a bit underwhelmed by my sweet potato starter. Although the individual elements of the dish were excellent quality (still warm, thick and crusty sourdough; velvety mash flecked with dukkah), I felt it was a bit unidimensional and less exuberant compared to the other dishes on the menu. I was expecting a few more layers to the dish. Post our meal, I did mention this to their team so they have taken the feedback on board.
Maple-glazed roasted sweet potato | Quinoa and grilled avocado
Spice-roasted cauliflower | Chickpeas, wilted spinach, curried Aubergine sauce
Things were back in business with the mains.
The sweet potato was excellent. All the different elements came together nicely, beautifully underpinned by the nutty quinoa. The vegetables were wonderfully seared, giving them a mildly torched texture and smoky flavour. Overall, a well-put together, coherent dish.
I have said this before and I say this again – THAT cauliflower dish rocks! It is one of the best dishes they have and not just from the vegan menu. I had this dish in the Soho branch and absolutely had to order it again this time round as well. It is truly a star creation.
Our dessert of Spiced Roast Pineapple | Coconut sorbet was light and refreshing, full of tropical goodness and sweet satisfaction minus the guilt.
In my last visit to Foxlow Balham, their service was inconsistent. But boy, have they upped their game. Right from our warm welcome by Andrew (Restaurant Manager), to the smily staff who looked after us, everyone was absolutely brilliant. The whole restaurant was buzzing with the friendly chatter of weekend brunchers and families with small children.
Foxlow was and is still known for is meat and fish. But what I truly admire about them is how they are reacting and stepping up to cater to a changing customer base that is ditching meat and opting for a cleaner indulgence. I applaud them for not shying from it but rather embracing what is going to be a popular lifestyle choice of the next millennium.
Some information on World Vegan Month can be found here
Location : 15-19 Bedford Hill, London SW12 9EX
For more information, click here.
N.B. Our lunch was complimentary but all photos and opinions are solely mine.