I booked dinner at Foley’s Tasting Kitchen as soon as I first read about it, and counted the days till our dinner. Foley’s kitchen is headed up by Head Chef Mitz Vora who was previously sous Chef at The Palomar, and that is still one of my favourite restaurants in London. They say the food is inspired by the spice route which I would describe as Israeli Asian fusion.
At The Palomar, the counter seats are best and the back area is crowded and too hot. At Foley’s, the counter is downstairs, where you can watch the chefs cook but the tables upstairs are nicely spaced out and the ambiance is cute. We sat upstairs but would like to try the counter at some point.
We started the evening with some cocktails. The grapefruit and peppercorn G&T was delicious and they the manager was willing to go off-piste make my margarita spicy by adding some chilies. We were dining with Stewart’s friend Sven who I was meeting for the first time, and quickly endeared himself to me by suggesting we order a lot of things and share them all.
The service was attentive and great and the waiters were all very friendly. Our fantastic server Patricia was Brazilian and we of course quickly became friends – that is what Brazilians do!
What we ate:
Ceviche endive tacos: they serve two tacos per portion but were willing to add another one so we could all have our own. A perfect mix of tuna and cucumber cubes and octopus tossed in a coconut miso leche and peanuts perfectly placed on an endive boat. Fresh, healthy and delicious. I could eat this every day!
Charcoal grilled chicken thigh ‘ends’ at Foley’s London: very tender chicken bites marinated in Korean BBQ sauce and topped with spring onions and sesame seeds and served with nam quoc dipping sauce.
Nori wrapped tuna: the gorgeous slices of tuna were wrapped in seaweed and served with compressed nashi pear, shitake, edamame, seaweed, yuzu mayo and tapioca crisps. The fish was perfect and the flavours were interesting and new and so were the textures, but I thought the dish was slightly too salty.
Cauliflower: this roasted cauliflower was smothered in tzatziki, tomato, smoked peanuts and was very good but a bit on the oily side. I was hoping their baked cauliflower would be as good as the one from The Palomar but lagged slightly behind.
Cornflake crusted chicken: when I read reviews, people seemed to unanimously recommend this dish and the octopus. The perfectly fried and not greasy chicken was served with pickled wild mushrooms, corn, endives and chorizo.
Grilled octopus: this was our lovely waitress Patricia’s favourite dish and it was indeed delicious. The tentacles were perfectly charred and tossed with black sesame mayo, spicy pork mince, peanuts, bok choy and homemade Sriracha. It was a bit hard identifying all the various flavours but what matters is that they all worked together.
“Fat boy Elvis”: once again not the most photogenic dish but so good we had to order a second one. Cubes of warm chocolate chip banana cake placed on a banana cream and all topped with crunchy peanut butter nougat, crispy bacon bits and subtle strawberry jam.
Baklava cheesecake: we wanted a second dessert and since the panna cotta didn’t excite us, we went for the cheesecake which is usually Stewart’s favourite dessert. But the texture of the cardamom cheese was more akin to a mousse which sat on top of a tall puff pastry, topped with walnuts, pistachios and rose petals. We liked the fat boy Elvis so much better that we ended up leaving a lot of this on the plate and ordered a second one of the one we truly loved.
In sum: really tasty and interesting food, cute setting and friendly service. A must return to! Is it my new Palomar? The restaurant I want to o back to again and again? Jury is still out but I have certainly been craving those endive ceviches tacos since.
ps: they are strict about the 2 hour limit and gave us 15 minutes extra, but we then moved to the little bar area and finished our bottle of rose….and ordered another one….