Last Updated on February 12, 2022
A Permanent Home for a Favourite Pop-up – Fallow Restaurant
Fallow Restaurant, a place we first visited when they re-opened in Heddon Street, has now found a permanent home in St James’s Market, just south of Piccadilly. Our trip to Heddon Street was the result of the restaurant sharing their plight on social media and trying their best to get us to buy their sauces. The team of ex Heston Blumenthal chefs had opened their pop-up and a day or so later been forced to close thanks to the pandemic. Sitting outside in the sunshine, we sipped on English Sparkling Wine and feasted in a place that was, just then, for a few brief days, our own secret. Of course, the best secrets should be shared – and Fallow very quickly and rightly grew in popularity.
When we heard they’d moved, we really wanted to go back. What’s most noticeable about the new Fallow is a swisher, edgier contemporary design. We loved the speckled grey concrete walls – even more so when we discovered that the pattern came from the oyster shells from the pop-up that had been crushed and mixed in.
While I waited for my companion I sipped on one of their no/lo drinks – a long glass of lovage tonic which I learnt was a homemade blend of tonic, lovage, aniseed, honey and verjus. Definitely one to try for myself this summer! My companion was disappointed not to see a Negroni on the menu, but we discovered that the team at Fallow Restaurant will make any classic cocktails in addition to their own selection.
To drink, we ordered a rather indulgent bottle of Louis Pommery English Sparkling Wine. Indulgent because it was double my normal wine budget at £82 – but I really wanted to try it again, having visited this English offshoot of one of France’s best-loved Champagne houses in Hampshire for a harvest lunch late last year.
The pretty Fallow menu is divided into sections that encourage sharing. Obviously, you should (and we did) start with the famous corn ribs with lime – curling mouthfuls of deliciousness made from pieces of deep-fried corn on the cob seasoned with kombu seasoning which is apparently made by mixing salted kombu (seaweed) with old bay seasoning, smoked paprika, smoked chilli flakes and sea salt. I’m genuinely surprised that this dish is so simple to make. And, so moreish.
We also ordered the Fallow charcuterie, all made in house, including a delicious pigs head terrine, some cured meats and chorizo. Every bit as good as anything you can buy at Borough Market, I’m impressed with the effort that goes into doing this kind of thing in-house.
From the small plates section, we picked the healthy-sounding fennel, beetroot, blue cheese and raisin – a crisp, fresh and smokey salad which we both loved.
Of the two larger dishes, we both really rated the Dairy Cow Burger with bacon and cheese. It looks the part and tastes amazing, with a substantial patty that has a much ‘meatier’ texture than the ones I make for myself at home, which I suspect is down to the beef used. I’d pick this, with the corn ribs, for lunch any day. Neither of us was quite brave enough to order the Cod’s head with Sriracha butter sauce – it’s a dish that looks back at you in a slightly unnerving way. And, while I’d have probably picked the mussels with smoked bacon and pickled lemon, my companion can’t eat shellfish and we wanted to share.
Instead, we picked a dish from the grill section. Middle White pork with apple and sage sounded fabulous. The Middle White is a Yorkshire heritage breed that is suited to outdoor production and is generally reared for pork rather than bacon. It’s well known for fresh meat with a strong porky flavour and is one of fattier breeds. Our plate had a portion of pork belly, one of crackling and a sliced portion of what I thought was tenderloin. Our error, neither of us quite buy into the ‘fat is flavour’ mantra that’s so popular with culinary experts. Fat in the form of marbling in wagyu sure. But, I believe at least 50% of the pork on our plate was fat and neither of us wanted to eat it. Now, this is all about personal taste (and in my case, lack of knowledge). I have friends who would have really appreciated the dish. But, as fillet steak rather than ribeye kind of diners, it wasn’t what we were expecting. Next time, I’ll stick with the mussels or brave the Cod’s head.
Desserts were definitely in order – and although I was planning to indulge in one of the chocolatey options, we were brought a truly stunning Pumpkin soufflé which was, apparently, new on the menu and in need of testing. Never reluctant to act as guinea pigs, we accepted gratefully. Adding pumpkin to the base souffle gives an earthy taste and a slightly heavier (not in an unpleasant way) texture. We loved every mouthful…
Our other dessert, a Chelsea tart with caramelised whey was equally successful with a little buttery crumble to add texture.
The overall experience was, on balance, a good one. There is a raft of newish environmentally conscious restaurants in London right now – and we’re loving the idea that you don’t need to feel in the least bit guilty about eating out. The team at Fallow Restaurantare a great example of how to serve a menu with a good mix of sustainable meat, fish and vegetarian dishes that make full use of the base ingredients.
We went along on a Friday night, just after a couple of critics had written glowing reviews. The place was buzzing – it really was a hot ticket (we’d booked before the reviews went live) and there were a few more waits for drinks than I’d have liked. But, everyone kept smiling through the lively atmosphere. I’ll be back once the weather improves enough to sit outside on their terrace – and I’ll probably try to pick a quieter lunchtime. Of course, that may not happen – but I’m still craving those corn ribs!
2 St James’s Market,
London SW1Y 4RP