It’s just over a year since Will Beckett and Huw Gott — the boys behind London’s favourite steakhouse Hawksmoor — opened Foxlow on St John Street.
We reviewed it here in its shiny new days and were bloody impressed. In particular, by its reasonable prices, punchy cocktails and an eight-hour slow-cooked bacon rib that came with a maple and chilli glaze and a seriously sexy swagger.
Just over a week ago, the restaurant started to serve brunch. It’s something that Beckett and Gott say they have been working on since the launch, but wanted to make sure they got right. We tried it this weekend and reckon they’re pretty spot on.
There are nine dedicated brunch dishes available, ranging from the light and fruity to the seriously meaty. They’re accompanied by the offer of bottomless Bloody Marys for £14 — yes, please — along with all the standard menu options.
Homemade ricotta served with London-made honey (from Bermondsey-based London Honey Company) is one of the lighter and more elegant dishes. The creamy cheese is sprinkled with orange zest and thyme and drizzled with the lightly floral nectar. Loaded onto thick chunks of sourdough, it’s a delicate but decadent dish. It’s also a snip at £5.
Moroccan eggs (£7, pictured above) comes in the form of two eggs baked in a tomato and pepper sauce, sprinkled with fresh coriander. It’s inspired by the baked eggs at Hackney’s Railroad Café and is the kind of fresh-flavoured morning food that leaves you excited about the day ahead. Importantly, it easily passes the yolk test: both are large, deep orange and gloriously gooey, as are the others we try throughout the brunch. You’ll need something to mop them up with, so we’d recommend paying an extra pound for some accompanying toast lavished with sobrasada, a kind of spreadable chorizo which is every bit as tangy and addictive as that sounds. Naturally, meat-free bread is also on-hand.
A rather epic breakfast burger (£10, pictured above) combines sausage, bacon, mushroom, tomato and a fried egg in a brioche bun. The flavours are superb thanks to a herby and well-seasoned sausage, a meaty mushroom and a perfectly runny egg. But we would have appreciated a slightly more robust bun, as ours fell apart halfway through — a bit of structural damage didn’t stop us messily scooping up every last bit, mind. Oh, and do add fries sprinkled with chicken salt (salt mixed with ground chicken skin) because they taste rather like roast potatoes dipped in chicken gravy, which — in our humble opinion — is the best part of many a roast dinner.
Fried chicken has recently been added to Foxlow’s main menu, and it also features here. A large chunk of meat encased in a crunchy batter is impressively soft and juicy, served topped with a fried egg and sat on a croissant waffle (£10, pictured above).
Yep, you read right: a croissant waffle.
Just imagine a buttery take on a traditional waffle and you’ll be on the right track. Enjoy its oozy richness and be eternally grateful while you do that the Foxlow guys have resisted the urge to name it either a croffle or a waffant.
Other mains include avocado, chilli and lime on toast (£5), waffles with fruit and Greek yoghurt (£6) and sweet potato with kale and eggs (£7), as well as stunningly simple steak and eggs (£15) — unsurprisingly great given the restaurant’s Hawksmoor heritage.
If there’s one reason to save room for pudding, it’s the Elvis Presley Sandwich (£5.75, pictured above), based on The King’s supposed love of peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches. Here soft-serve ice-cream is sandwiched between chunky brioche slices fried with cinnamon sugar and topped with a peanut butter and banana compote, sticky peanut sauce and crunchy nuggets of maple-fried bacon. With snacks like that, no wonder he met his end the way he did.
A soft-serve sundae — with toppings such as Bourbon caramel or mulled wine sauce — is a slightly less ambitious alternative if you’re close to capacity.
Foxlow is at 69-73 St John Street, EC1M 4AN. Brunch is served from 11am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays.