Time Out says
The Hawksmoor-offshoot makes its way to Balham.
It’s not a great start when the first words that come out of your mouth as you walk into a restaurant are ‘It’s a pity.’ ‘It’s a pity they didn’t really revamp it,’ we muttered to one another (the site was previously Harrison’s, a smartish brasserie part-owned by Rick Stein). Then: ‘It’s a pity that the one thing they did change has made it worse’ (the bar area near the entrance has gone, presumably to encourage people to head to the downstairs Owl Bar, but creating an odd, desolate ‘lobby’ space instead).
We had a vested interest. We were four locals, all willing this latest outpost of Foxlow, a ‘smokehouse’ from Hawskmoor founders Will Beckett and Huw Gott, to be so superb we could come here every week until everyone knew our names and were frankly sick of us.
It’s not all bad. Poor design decisions aside, the cooking is mostly excellent. There was a creamy white-bean houmous, served with a green chilli-and-garlic ‘harissa’ and thick slices of good bread. Also good was a mashed-up burrata on toast with the clean, green notes of a sorrel salsa verde, and a salad of baby kale and beetroot chunks teamed with mandolined-thin slices of fresh horseradish.
Red meat mains, including top-notch steak and melt-in-the-mouth beef shortrib, were also excellent; as was rich mac ’n’ cheese with a breadcrumb crust. But the chicken burger – ordered in a panic because our waiter had neglected to mention that they were out of the beef burgers – was fairly pedestrian, and the biggest disappointment of the lot.
Desserts were a mixed bunch: our passion fruit ‘cheesecake’ turned out to be more of a so-so mousse-in-a-glass, but the dinky jug of boozy, buttery ‘bourbon caramel’ sauce, served warm for pouring over soft serve ice cream and crushed candied walnuts, is an absolute must-order. Perhaps the greatest let-down came from the staff. At the original Foxlow, service is exceptional: the perfect balance of chumminess and professionalism. But on our visit to this latest Foxlow, our waiter regularly crossed the line into overfamiliarity, and was more interested in being a full-of-catchphrases quipster than in properly describing the menu. We hope we just got unlucky on the night. It’s a pity.
Users say (11)
Average User Rating
4 / 5
- 5 star:5
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:3
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:0
We went to Foxlow expecting too much. Left very disappointed. Service was horrible. Took them 20 min to get our drink order and when someone finally came she was crying! Ugh. It was not even busy. They forgot the kids drinks (which was a big no no in my book) and then the kids food came out last! The chicken on the kids menu was not grilled as described on the menu rather crispy fried. I asked for my steak medium-rare and it came out mooing. My husbands portion was so tiny he left still hungry. To top it all off it was Father's Day. Disappointing.
After much anticipation around Foxlow opening in Balham, and struggling to get a table Thursday - Saturday over the past few weeks, my boyfriend and I visited Foxlow for lunch on Sunday.
The restaurant has a family friendly atmosphere which made for a relaxed meal and the food was pretty good. We shared the burrata to start and I had the Sirloin for main which was really nice, although on the rarer side of medium rare. They offered to trim the fat from the steak before serving it, but I was intrigued to see how fatty the steak could be, so I said they could leave it on (and oh my goodness was it fatty), but aside from that it was lovely. I ordered a side of chips, which were overly salty (although handy for the hangover I was nursing) and we shared a bottle of the house red which was good value for the money at £18.
My boyfriend went for the roast dinner which came with a huge Yorkshire pudding and a lot of food envy from my side of the table, and reported it to be delicious. The over all experience was good - the staff were reasonably attentive, although possibly a little hungover themselves, and the food was good enough, it just isn't Hawksmore.
But, saying that, I will return, probably on a Tuesday when it is BYOB!
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