There has been a lot of talk about Fitzrovia’s latest edition, Foley’s that opened up in June. Especially as head chef is ex Palomar chef who cooked up quite a storm, attracting many people to dine at the Palomar. Has his creative taste and conceptual cooking worked again? Binny and I went to find out on our regular Wednesday night out, often known as #WineWednesday.
As predicted, it was a full house with a long line of bookings. However, the general manager made a special exception for us and allowed us to sit at the bar for our duo dinner.
We kicked off our meal with some deadly concoctions. I knew Binny’s choice as soon as I saw it on the menu, it was the spiced pear mojito of course. If you follow Binny’s blog, Twitter or even Instagram page, you will know she is the queen of mojitos. When I spotted the bartender making the ultimate G&T, I knew I needed one… or two.
Once we had our drinks sorted, it was time we figured out what we wanted to eat. Everything on the menu sounded so delicious that there was a little pool of saliva filling our mouths when reading the descriptions. We tried to narrow it down, without ordering the whole menu, although we were pretty close to it…
We started with the ‘bits and bobs’ section of the menu to ease us into the flavoured and spicy food to come. Indonesian peanut crackers with tomato sambal and charcoal grilled chicken thigh ‘ends’, complete with complimentary seaweed puffs. The peanut crackers were delicious, perfectly made with 4 whole peanuts perfectly place in the center of each cracker. A light peanut taste throughout which was ideal, as I felt it was going to be overpowering. The burnt ends were my favourite though, crisp with a light glaze coated in sesame seeds. Not to mention the flavourful dipping sauce that just complimented the chicken so well.
For our mains, we decided on a balance of veg and meat. We did think to try the octopus, but we decided against it in the end, more because of me than Binny. Seafood and I just don’t get on well.
The cauliflower with tzatziki, tomato, smoked peanuts was just divine. I never knew cauliflower could be made to taste so delicious, other than the usual cauliflower cheese which doesn’t even compare to this dish. So many flavours, spices and it just came together so well.
Binny is a huge aubergine lover, but I grew up having a love-hate relationship with it. It all depended on how it was cooked, so this was a dish I was really intrigued to try. Verdict? I genuinely loved it. Again, so much flavour and the aubergine was grilled to the point where it just softened instantly in your mouth. I liked the refreshing yet sweet touch of pomegranate, dates, chilli and lime yoghurt. The puffed quinoa added a crunchy texture to it too.
Now onto the glorious meat! We ordered each of the meats on the menu, bar the lamb. As we thought we should draw a line at three different kinds, but I am definitely going to try it on my next visit to Foley’s.
Binny cannot eat beef and I cannot eat beef for religious reasons, so we both had each of those plates to ourselves and shared the chicken dish that came perfectly in two bite size pieces to share.
Binny wasn’t shouting about her pork belly that was served with apple, green papaya, cured red onions and toasted cashews, as she had something quite similar at lunch and felt that was a better take on it. However, she still gave it a go.
The sticky beef did it for me. Which was served with daikon cucumber som tam, ago & kaffir lime purée (it tasted something similar to what my mum makes with coriander) and a handful of crispy shallots (we call it biristo in my mother tongue, Gujarati) which was delicious. The meat was extremely tender and it just melted in your mouth, which is always a real winner for me.
Binny and I both share the same feeling about the cornflake crusted popcorn chicken with pickled shimeji, corn and endive. We were expecting a little more flavour from it, like from the rest of the meal. I wouldn’t personally order it again.
We ended things of a sweet and typically indian note.
A perfectly made hot masala chai (tea) and the more beautifully moulded dark chocolate spoon. It genuinely couldn’t get any better than this. It just spectacular.
Overall, Mitz Vora has done a fantastic job with the menu at Foley’s. It’s truly wonderful. I can see why it is always so busy now, because the service is excellent, drinks are dangerously good and the food is just spot on. A must visit!
23 Foley St
Until next time…