Fallow, 2 St James’s Market, Haymarket, London SW1Y 4AH. Snacks and small plates £7.50-£22, large plates £16-£40, desserts £9-£16, wines from £36
Early in our dinner at Farrow in London’s Haymarket, a waiter delivered a mushroom parfait to our table, pointing to a shelf suspended from the ceiling of industrial scaffolding. A gnarled, fungus-decorated log sits there. “And the restaurant also grows some mushrooms for this dish,” he says. Even taking into account the restaurant’s loudly proclaimed commitment to sustainability, this can be a very annoying occurrence of virtue signals. That mushroom parfait is amazing. A ferocious blizzard of shiitake mushrooms and oysters is smooth as velvet stroked in the right direction. It’s deep as a Samuel Beckett play and rich as a Rockefeller. Along with separated eggs, it’s no surprise that dairy products are involved.
It’s great to eat, but I think you can also replace the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel habit as a moisturizer. Simply rub in and keep rubbing. Amazingly, I believe it’s more expensive than Kiehl’s, whose £17 price tag for this mushroom patty platter, like a new drug, partially recoupes a significant R&D expense. I think it’s for Sure, it makes me feel better about the world.
It’s interesting that chefs Jack Croft and Will Murray met at Dinner by Heston. Because the best I tried before their mushroom parfait was a vegetarian alternative to Blumenthal’s famous meaty fruit. It’s really better (and, as it happens, cheaper). The two chefs were united by a desire to develop humility and use the bits that others discarded. The extended pop-up finally led to this hard-edged corner site last fall. There are polished floors and red leather banquettes, marble counters, and bundles of kelp and heather hanging from the ceiling. Flames splash in the open kitchen.
On one of those unbearably hot nights, the glass walls are pulled back and there are tumbles and buzz about the place. It reminds me of New York restaurants that reject the arch formalities and bows that typically constitute food of this quality, preferring instead to knocking out plate after plate of the good stuff. Some are served by very knowledgeable waiters, others by the chef himself.
Seasoning is worth mentioning. The corn cob slices swam too long in the deep fryer to walnut and became almost toffee-like. A bar snack that you can eat like a rib while wearing a zoot suit and spats. An equally addictive salty seasoning is used on long-smoked beef short ribs, with a tooth-pulling, off-the-bone sauce overcoat. At £12, this isn’t far off retail. Yes, prices can look a little uneven.
Among these early dishes is the “tartiflette” flatbread. It’s a pillowy heat-expanding disc of crispy peeled brioche stuffed with reblochon cheese, caramelized onions and slabs of cornichon. 80’s product. Next, a crunchy salad of shredded cabbage is served with white crab. Underneath is a smooth puree of Jerusalem artichokes. Poured into this pile of loveliness is toasted chili soup.
Try the leek vinaigrette, which is served hot unlike the classic. Chive logs are smoked until tender. This dish is enlivened by a rich vinaigrette and topped with fried bread crumbs. We’re working hard, but here’s a list of cuts from former dairy cows. Animals who gave their all to the milk business and finally gave it their all again. None of this story is going to change your mind if you disagree with eating dairy or meat.
The dish that gets the most attention and divides the crowd is the cod head with sriracha butter sauce. It’s exactly as described: the cod head, the part of the fish that might otherwise be discarded, the eye intact, slow grilled until the skin takes on a sweet crunch, then dipped in a tangerine sauce with a light kick of chili pepper. and garlic. Pick around to find meat around the chin and eye sockets, as well as the familiar cheeks. There may be food. Here he has two points of view. Either this is the worst of London restaurant hyper-hipsterism, or in the opinion of those who have tried it, is bloody, delicious and a totally engaging idea.
The best dessert we’ve tried is a coppery cream-filled tart made with whey that’s been slowly caramelized over almost three days. is. Chocolate mousse with various mushrooms and black truffles feels like the kitchen has gotten a little too clever. I mutter the word “interesting” on it. That’s never a good thing.
My only other criticism is the comprehensive wine list which starts at £36 a bottle and nothing below £9 a glass. It unnecessarily raises the entrance to restaurants that aren’t already cheap. This aside, Fallow serves the best food I’ve tried in London so far.The sustainability factor is great. Let’s have a mushroom show in the barn here. Use bits that other people throw away. But it doesn’t matter if the expensive dinner isn’t memorable. In Fallow, it really is.
Chef Adam Reid of The French in Manchester’s Midland Hotel has announced a new, less flashy venture in the city. The Butty Shop is a takeaway grocery store in the redeveloped New Century Hall, a self-proclaimed ‘social destination’ located in a Grade II listed building on Mayes Street. Reed’s all-day menu seems to focus on traditional sandwiches. Planning to bring it back to life. Comes with a pickled egg.and adam-reid.co.uk.
Michelin-starred Brazilian chef Alberto Landgraf at Otec in Rio de Janeiro brings his cuisine back to London where he started his career alongside the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Tom Aikens. His Landgraf, who offers a menu with a particular emphasis on both seafood and open fire dishes, will open his Bossa on his Vere Street in the basement of the Brazilian Consulate.
and a relationship with Cardiff, who is trying to get Ivy Asia, which offers a distinctive menu of vaguely Japanese-influenced dishes inside St David’s shopping centre. Ring had to take down a promotional video for his new Chelsea Ivy Asia and apologize for “any and all discomfort” caused by what has been denounced as a racial stereotype by various groups. That said, Ivy Asia in Manchester still has a space for private dining called the Geisha Room.