Foley's: Not Your Average Neighbourhood Restaurant

Foley's ★★★★★

Foley's: Not Your Average Neighbourhood Restaurant Foley's 5

It has all the hallmarks of your new favourite neighbourhood restaurant, Foley's. It's probably not your neighbourhood — not anybody's neighbourhood, really, this part of Fitzrovia. But it's hard to remember that you're in office territory, cocooned in all this miso-scented warmth and candlelight.

Chef Sakorn Samboon's new menu is Asian-inspired. It's also just plain inspired, with zero duff notes in our extensive prowl around it. A starter-sized miso aubergine comes in the form of small stacks layered with truffle honey and wasabi — four tiny bites that look like they can't possibly be enough to be satisfying, or memorable, but thanks to this fiercely smoky-deep-sweet-hot harmony are both and then some.

We challenge you not to get as dramatic over the udon noodles, slicked with chilli, garlic and basil sauce and scattered with small flecks of wagyu mince. The noodles arrive blanketed in bonito flakes that waft and curl gently in the heat, the way those red plastic Fortune Teller Miracle Fish you get in crackers do to tell you you're in love.

And they're not wrong. A grilled aubergine curry studded with lychee is equally fought over — a very real disadvantage to a sharing plates restaurant when the food's this magnetic — sweeping aside the objections we thought we had about stone fruit in curry. You can't be curmudgeonly when it's used this gently, just enough sweetness to temper the spicy heat into something rounder.

An addition of chicken to the green curry's optional — as are the wagyu mince and bonito flakes in the noodles — and we don't bother. In fact, this place is quietly but entirely nailing plant-forward dining, without any Veganuary-bandwagon bragging about it. The meat's often optional, and where it's included, it's in small amounts delivering an emphatic, brawny punch of flavour.  

Prices are averageish (£10 for a main course-sized dish), which translates to not-bad for Fitzrovia. And cocktails are zingy, strong, and, if you're going al fresco, served through a window hatch to your barstool on the pavement — making the restaurant's claim to be 'breaking down barriers to connect the best things in life' (you, and your Tommy Tam Spiced Margarita) a very literal reality.  

Foley's, 23 Foley Street, W1W 6DU.

Last Updated 10 February 2019